Monday, 25 May 2009

Please, Mr Food Man

My eyesight’s not bad for my age – it’s only in the past couple of years that I’ve started needing glasses for reading occasionally, if the light’s not good or the text too small. But something that has become apparent to me since my diabetes diagnosis is that food labelling leaves a lot to be desired. It’s important to me to know how much carbohydrate is in a particular foodstuff, so that I can adjust my insulin doses accordingly. Some labelling though, has such tiny writing that it’s only discernible with a magnifying glass! Usually, it’s because the manufacturer is trying to conceal a high sugar content. This is particularly true if the item is ‘low fat’ or ‘virtually fat free’ – the sugar takes the place of the fat but the purchaser is led to believe that the item is ‘healthy’. Why can’t we have more honesty?

Please Mr Food Man

I spy with my little eye,
A hundred food labels that just pass me by
Perhaps, Mr Food Man, you could explain why
The writing’s so small as if hiding a lie.

In bright coloured letters, and bold as can be
The packet says ‘I’m healthy! And almost fat-free!!
But in tiny black letters you can hardly see
Is an excess of sugar that’s harmful to me.

Oh please, Mr Food Man, I’m not being rude!
Why can’t you be honest in labelling food?
If this was America, you’d likely be sued
For hiding the facts with a method so crude.

So, buck your ideas up and please make it clear
That your food’s really healthy, we’ve nothing to fear!
It would make our lives easier and fill us with cheer,
And perhaps, if you did it, we’d buy you a beer!

Monday, 11 May 2009

Low G.I. bread

As a person with diabetes, I’m aware that in order to keep good, even blood sugar levels it’s helpful to eat foods with a low glycaemic index (low GI). A friend related a story about how her local baker was offering ‘Low GI’ bread and, out of devilment, she thought she would go in and see if they knew what ‘GI’ meant…

Low G.I. bread

Down at the bakers, I’ve heard it’s been said,
There’s a good special offer on Low GI bread.
So I put on my coat and set off down the road
For something to lower my glycaemic load.

And there in the window in prominent view
Was a sign confirming what I’d been told was true:
‘Live your life healthy, for you’re a long time dead –
Come in and sample our Low GI bread!’

The devil inside me said ‘I wonder if they know?
They say ‘Low GI’, but what makes it so?’
So I questioned the counter girl, would she comply?
She looked rather puzzled, then gave this reply…

‘Well, the ‘Low’ means there’s less, and the ‘I’ means ‘Inside’,
But as for the ‘G’ I can’t really decide…
Could it be Garlic or Ginger or Goat?
Or (scraping the barrel!) a Gloucestershire stoat?’

‘Or Gherkins or Grapefruit, or maybe Goosefat?’
I suggested ‘Glycaemic?’ – ‘No, I don’t think it’s that –
Gammon? Or Gumbo? Or Guava? Or Gin?’
(She was beginning to wish that I hadn’t come in!)

Then a lady beside me said ‘Why would I pay more
For bread that has less of what went in before?’
That caused the girl’s listing of ‘G’ things to stop,
So we both turned round briskly and vacated the shop!