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We need to talk about sugar

25 Feb 2016

Yesterday in a happy coincidence, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan announced a sugar tax for South Africa and something subsequently happened to me at the supermarket that gave me hope for the future.

I was paying for my bottle of bubbly I had bought which came to R139. To take advantage of Pick n Pay’s free hour and half parking when you spend a R150 or more - I considered taking the chocolate bar displayed at the till to make up the difference. I asked my friend her opinion when the cashier said “no, rather choose something healthier like nuts, chocolate is unhealthy”. I could have kissed her beautiful face.

We need more people like this. Why? Because it’s not easy to ignore sugar. If we, as Food24,  post a sweet treat or anything chocolatey on our considerable Food24 social media platforms, they are guaranteed to garner more likes, comments and follows than any other post. Fact.   

Most read recipes on Food24 always include some sort of chocolate and Malva pudding recipes. You could say that we, at Food24, are part of the problem - pushing the sweet agenda.  Unfortunately as a food website we need to deliver the content that our readers are looking for, otherwise we’d be HealthFood24. And so what do we do?

Along came Tim Noakes and Banting, and the conversation about what we are putting into our bodies really began. We received tons of commentary from readers about our ‘support’ for Tim Noakes and his Banting diet. Especially when it first came out.  “The fat!” - people  were terrified of the fat. It's ironic that many people cared so much more about content educating readers on the strictly anti-sugar Banting eating lifestyle, and providing recipes to try out this diet – but completely accepted the top-traffic, sugar-pumped recipes that are slowly killing us.

We can’t fight a war against sugar on our own – but we can help to balance out our recipe offering to include healthier recipes that don’t contain sugar, articles that educate, posts on Instagram that also tell a healthy story and hopefully our message will grow to be louder and stronger.

At Food24 we feel strongly about healthy eating - and you might ask, "what does healthy eating entail these days?". Well we believe that eating food in it's natural state, that is unprocessed or unrefined can't be a bad place to start. Yesterday’s news from the Minister of Finance was welcomed by us.

We will continue to post sweet dessert recipes on the website and our social media platforms, but we have to shift our focus towards the healthy. We hope that you notice, and use, some of the healthy food advice we share. Maybe now it will even save you money!

Today is my second last day at Food24 – but I know that I leave you in the best possible hands with our ‘Health-Nut’ editor Tessa Purdon, (who is also a closet chocolate eater). I know she will do her best to help our readers make the right choices around food. 

Look after yourselves everyone, this is the only body you gonna get!



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