The Sugar Tax Stupidity

I was interviewed on the radio this morning about the sugar tax and think I did all right considering the fact that I hadn’t even heard of it when the producer called at 8am to ask if I’d like to air my views on the mid morning show.

By the time I was Interviewed live at 11.30am I had been a busy Google and Twitter bee and was suitably enraged enough to sound like I’d been campaigning against the tax for years. I hope.

Because it’s all such bollocks isn’t it? As if taxing sugary drinks is going to bring down the price of fruit and vegetables.

We don’t want the tax to subsidise buying fruit for children to eat at school (and from what I’ve seen, school ‘fruit’ usually consists of an unpeeled carrot or a pear) we want the price of fruit and veg to come down so EVERYONE can afford it.

The only way to do that is if supermarkets stop rejecting perfect products that don’t t meet with their perceived view of what we want to buy. Why do they presume we wouldn’t want to eat a cauliflower that’s bigger than our heads?

The above picture is of Zoe-the-daughter and I with fellow gleaners rescuing cauliflowers that were too small, too big or too yellow to be acceptable to the supermarkets. It broke our hearts that we only had time to collect a tiny percentage of what was in the field before the farmer had to plough it back into the land.

When I spoke to schoolchildren at a sustainability conference this week (above picture of the jolly title they gave me) I showed them what I did- basically running around like a mad thing, going through Lidl’s bins and zipping the stuff around Pendle – and asked them if they thought what I did was sustainable because it absolutely isn’t.

What I do is madness and the price of fruit and veg needs to be brought down by responsible buying and responsible attitudes to food waste. And that doesn’t mean charities collecting it at the end of the day. Yes, it’s great that Lidl allow us to do that and everyone who benefits is really grateful but all that perfect fruit and veg should be taken back by the supermarket to make a cheaper product.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if every park and playground in England could sell fresh fruit sorbet cornets to kids for pennies? What better way to get 5 a day into kids?



And finally – because my dinner is ready and I’m starving – what about dangerous diet drinks? Are they going to be taxing those if they want to keep us healthy? And if it’s all about the sugar content then consider this – fresh pure grape juice has DOUBLE the amount of sugar per volume than Coke. And a mango has just as much sucrose as Coke. Not fructose. Sucrose.