Thursday, April 7, 2016

What Makes Us Label (Almost) Everything?

As I do every morning, today I got up, got my coffee and settled down on the sofa to ingest the life-liquid as quickly as I possibly could. Matt usually gets up a couple hours before I do so the television is already on when I “shuffle my slipperless toes to the kitchen” most days.

Most mornings he goes for the Today Show. It’s easy and always there. Reliable.

Before I go on here I’d just like to say that I have nothing specific against the Today Show. I’ve watched that show on and off for years. I was even a little sad when Katie Couric left. The way I feel about the story I saw this morning isn’t specifically attacking the show.

Instead, my baffled head shake comes from the fact that people must want to hear about stuff like this, otherwise they wouldn’t report the story. The people out there in news program land enjoy hearing stories like this one, it isn’t about placing blame on “news” anchors or the writers.

Now I know a bunch of you probably think I’m talking about the Amy Schumer v. Glamour Magazine debacle that took place a couple days ago. They have a Plus Size women issue, Amy gets named in the issue, they don’t label her as plus size but she freaks anyway and takes to twitter to release her frustration.

No. I mean, that story is an interesting experiment in political correctness but it isn’t the labeling issue I’m referring to this morning.

What got me all riled up this morning has to do with food.

Before you say the “ugh” that’s dying to escape from your throat give me a minute.

You know I’m pretty environmentally focused, and that goes for the planet as a whole as well as the tiny speck of space I inhabit on the blue and green rock. I like my home to be clean and try for a chemical-free existence. I prefer to make a lot of my own stuff like laundry detergent and lotion. And I try to buy organic options whenever possible.

So, with all that said, you might be thinking I’m talking about labeling food with GMOs. And in a way, I guess I am, but that still isn’t the issue at hand. It raises a whole bunch of questions though and here’s why:

The story I saw this morning was about labeling our junk food with recommended exercise time in order to work it off.

Now, I’m not sure you had the same reaction as I did. Mine went something like this:

I’m sorry, but, what the actual fuck?

Once that went through my mind, the next three things I thought about, in this exact order, were:

  • We can’t get GMO labeling but this stupid shit is okay?
  • Who in the hell thought of this and how did it end up as a story on a morning talk show?
  • Idiocracy

I really can’t understand this world we live in sometimes. Big huge corporations are creating seeds resistant to pesticide and pests – and they all tell us those seeds are perfectly safe to consume – but the fight to have packages marked with that information is like asking the CEO of that huge company to pull his teeth out with a pair of rusty pliers.

Who wants to place bets that we get big bold stickers next to all the nutrition information on our bags of chips that tell us to shove in 5 of those chips then go do 100 sit ups before the fight is even over on GMO labeling?

Like I said, it makes me sad for our society. Watching people watching segments like that and knowing there are tons of people sitting at home and nodding along at just how great an idea that is makes me mental.

I mean, come on.

And I don’t mean to offend anyone here, because I’m basically talking about myself, but if you’re a person who sits around shoving snack foods, junk food, fast food down your gullet, is it safe to assume you don’t really give a shit about the nutrition label that says you need to go jog around the block?

Because, and answer me honestly here, what’s the first thing you want to do after ingesting a few (hundred) handfuls of cheddar and sour cream chips? I may not know you but, using myself as the example again, I feel pretty secure in saying it isn’t 'go to the gym'. At least not for the majority of the world.

The good news, if for nobody other than Mike Judge, is that at least we’ll all know how much we have to exercise while drinking our butter. It's just unfortunate, that butter is probably going to kill us with chemicals before we ever get off our ass to go workout.

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In addition to this drivel I also write books, both fiction and non-fiction.
Learn more on my author page.


Launna said...

Oh my gosh Jenn, my response was exactly what you said... what??? the ... lol... because that is insane and if anyone agrees that is what junk food needs... they need to get educated... wow

River said...

Firstly, I'm pretty sure butter doesn't have chemicals. I mean REAL butter, not that margarine crap.
About the junk foods? I know that if I've had handfuls of chips or way too much chocolate or anything else that isn't fruit and vegetable related, the only thing I want to do is lay on the couch and nap for about six hours.
Bring on the GMO labelleing!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

The whole thing made me drop my jaw, I just don't comprehend how people could get behind this idea but don't care what's in their food before it becomes dinner. Blind faith without research is just silly when it comes to our health. Thanks for weighing in!