Jan 18, 2021

What's my role?

 I gained a lot of clarity this weekend on the role I'm playing in creating awareness of packaged foods, thanks to this incident.

A few weeks back, I had written a post about Thandai powder and how family elders were drinking it despite us warning them that it contains loads of sugar. When MIL was refilling the bottle, I showed her the label and the statement "Not to be consumed by diabetic patients". FIL asked me, "How much sugar is there in this pack?" I showed him the pack and told him that it contains 75% sugar. He was shocked. They immediately decided to stop drinking it after seeing the label for themselves. 

I felt happy that they have finally decided to stop drinking it. MIL mentioned that these printed labels are hard to read for senior citizens like her.

The role I played in this situation is that of a MAGNIFYING GLASS. I realized that this is the role I have been playing in the last 4 years through my blog posts - magnifying the image of the nutrition labels.

As I narrated the whole incident to K later that day, he told me, "You shouldn't feel upset that people aren't reading labels. You should get the brand to print the "Not to be consumed by diabetic patients" warning in big, bold fonts on the front label."

I know this is NEVER going to happen, and I'm not interested in taking up this cause with brands or regulators. I don't see myself as an activist taking up such causes. 

I intend to create awareness among consumers on nutrition labels. If people are aware of the ingredients and still want to consume processed foods, it is their choice. I'm not affected by their decisions. 

In 2017-18, I used to get quite irritated and disappointed when some of my favorite food bloggers were promoting packaged foods on Instagram. I then decided to unfollow them and am no longer bothered with their posts, sponsored or otherwise.

As we were discussing the topic of social media and activism in yesterday's OMW session, I reflected on my journey in the past 4 years - there were initial frustrations, disappointment, and anger, but I'm glad I didn't go deep down that path any further.  

It is hard to change the behavior of our family members, let alone others in society. 

Taking this single step of quitting packaged foods has brought in many positive changes to my health. My role is to decode the nutrition labels and share my perspectives with consumers. The need to change is completely at an individual's discretion. 

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