Sign the Healthy Star Rating Petition HERE
For two years we have been campaigning to stop the Heart Foundation from using the “Tick of Approval” to promote food and give advice that is literally linked with heart disease.
This program is currently being reviewed and the new healthy star rating system has been brought in, in its place by our own Government. I note sugar is now a criteria which is a positive step- unfortunately the rest of the criteria fail dismally to establish how ‘healthy’ a food like product really is.
Watch this short video I made to understand the importance of this petition here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0YWS-nHq1U
Take for example Nestle No Fat, No Sugar “Soleil” (they can’t even call the stuff yoghurt) which has a 5 star healthy rating, the highest rating a product can receive. The ingredients are SKIM MILK, WATER, FRUIT (7.1%)(PEACH (4.6%), MANGO PUREE (2.5%)), MILK SOLIDS, THICKENERS (1442 (FROM TAPIOCA), 452, 407), GELATINE, FLAVOUR, ACIDITY REGULATORS (296, 331), SWEETENERS (951, 950), PRESERVATIVE (202), COLOUR (160B), ENZYME (LACTASE), LIVE CULTURES (CONTAINS B. LACTIS)
Then take Jalna Whole Milk Yoghurt- the ingredients are whole milk, live cultures. This product received 2.5 stars.
This is the description of the program on the NESTLE website-
“The Health Star Rating is a government led initiative that scores the nutritional value of packaged foods. It is designed to help consumers compare foods so they can make healthier choices when shopping within a category.
The health star rating is from ½ star up to 5 stars. The more stars the healthier the choice. Simple.”
Unfortunately the program achieves the exact OPPOSITE of its intended purpose. Favouring products lower in fat and sugar by giving products full of articifial sweeteners, additives, preservatives, numbers and flavours a higher rating.
Nutrition is unfortunately not this simple, just because something is lower in fat, sugar, sodium and energy and higher in fibre, protein or calcium for example DOES NOT MAKE IT A HEALTHY CHOICE OR EVEN CONDUCIVE TO SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING WEIGHT.
I simply cannot comprehend how we are still on the path of recommending highly processed, fake foods over simple, traditional, full fat counterparts in the face of a MASSIVE body of evidence that shows that neither fat, nor sodium are the health demons they have made out to be and in fact it may be these highly processed, inflammatory, low fat, artificially sweetened foods doing the real damage.
There are many studies that are now showing that saturated fat and cholesterol should no longer be feared and are actually an excellent, protective and necessary part of the diet to support cellular health, brain function, sexual and reproductive function, the immune system and many other important physiological functions in the body.
Some studies to note
And some information around the salt myth, sodium is also an essential part of the diet but we need to be consuming the RIGHT kind of salt, not the highly processed kind http://chriskresser.com/shaking-up-the-salt-myth-healthy-salt-recommendations
Bottom line it makes me sick to my stomach that while our Government busy themselves cashing in on deals with massive processed food companies, children are growing up thinking that if they are eating highly processed food with a 5 star rating they are being healthy.
I have two young boys and I cannot possibly allow this kind of thing to be promoted. I want my children to grow up knowing that fresh, whole food, things that grow in the ground and move around and are prepared without toxic chemicals and a million and one ingredients will nourish their bodies.
Why don’t the Government invest in supporting local farmers, subsiding and educating and promoting fresh vegetables, fruit and well looked after animal products. Why don’t we have low cost cooking classes and educational seminars? Community gardens and chook pens in every neighbourhood for fresh eggs?
Food CAN be cheap and accessible. Every family deserves fresh, quality food and deserve to know what they are feeding themselves and their kids. Stop green washing the packaged rubbish and start having an honest, transparent and open relationship with the food system.
You are already costing the economy billions in health care. It’s time to turn it around, take some responsibility for the things you are promoting and take a stand for the next generation. Your kids, loved ones, parents and grandparents deserve better than this!!!!
Get involved with the movement, join our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/406379082853846/ to help us spread the word and get involved, follow progress and share with your friends at www.facebook.com/getafreshstart instagram @getafreshstart and twitter @jessiereimers