1) Number one will come as no great surprise to anyone who keeps up with the news. Thanks to Reuters (who said investigative journalism was dead?) it has emerged that Starbucks UK paid no corporation tax for three years. Critics urge a boycott, defenders point out Starbucks haven’t broken the law. The debate about tax evasion vs tax avoidance continues…
2) From finance to politics (dull, isn’t it?). A lobbying group known as “Dump Starbucks” are also calling for a boycott. Why? At the beginning of the year executive vice president Kalen Holmes released a statement titled “Starbucks Supports Same Sex Marriage“. Interestingly, Ben & Jerrys have come out (for want of a better phrase) with the same opinion. One group has managed to collect a whopping…285 signatures against them. *Snigger*
3) Zionism! Yes, that’s right; my love of Starbucks and Israel have collided. While the idea that Starbucks itself somehow supports Israel is false, the CEO Howard Schultz was honoured in 1998 with “The Israel 50th Anniversary Friend of Zion Tribute Award” for his services in “playing a key role in promoting close alliance between the United States and Israel.”
4) Firearms. And you thought the last point was a bit wacky. But yes, just as I’m beginning to scrape the barrel for ideas, my American friend informs me that the company support concealed carrying of firearms in US stores! Despite having the right as a retailer to ban customers from entering stores with weapons, Starbucks have declined, and therefore allowed themselves to be labelled pro-guns.
5) The taste. If you’ve successfully navigated yourself through the ethics and politics of tax avoidance, gay marriage, Zionism and guns then it’s time to grab a latte and sample the guilt-free taste. But alas! Coffee snobs complain the coffee is burnt and bitter. They claim Starbucks roasts their beans at a higher temperature in order to produce large quantities of beans in a short time. The high amount of sugar and syrups apparently make it more like “candy than coffee“. Have you fallen at the last hurdle?
If you’re in the fortunate place of agreeing or disagreeing with all five of these points then you have a water-tight argument either way. Some will say that because the company are screwing the government over, support same sex marriage, are gun friendly, love Israel and make excellent coffee then we should all buy more of their coffee.
The opposite could also be true. You could disagree with Starbucks’ take on thorny issues and dislike the taste.
But the vast majority will find themselves in a position where they neither agree or disagree with all of the policies. What then?
Well ladies and gentlemen, may I make a profound point here. May I suggest that when it comes to Starbucks, there’s only one point that has ever mattered. The taste.
I know, it’s a startling idea to consider: We should either enjoy or boycott a coffee company based on what their coffee tastes like! How profound.
In 2009, the American the fast food industry spent $4.2 Billion on marketing.
The American government’s Centre for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, which promotes healthy eating has a yearly budget of $6.5 Million.
Here’s how much more money the fast food industry is spending than this government department:
Let’s be clear this is an out and out battle. It’s the people trying to make us buy unhealthy food vs a government which is trying to lessen a health crisis. In monetary terms, the government isn’t just losing, it’s getting its ass kicked.
The US government spends double its above healthy eating budget on subsidising industrial agriculture to produce corn for high-fructose corn syrup. That’s the same syrup that has been linked to America’s obesity epidemic.
If this is sounding like a dig at America, it’s not meant to. After all, we have this same syrup in the UK. I’m sure the brands are spending more money on advertising fast food than the government is on promoting healthy eating in the UK.
I just find the statistics shocking.
On the other hand, being fat is good for the bank account. I’m referring to the story of the world’s fattest woman (think very carefully before you click that link) who has made $90,000 every year from charging a $20 subscription fee to access her website.
Sometimes I think the world has gone mad.
The words ‘Fast food’ and ‘healthy’ rarely appear together in the same sentence. And when they do, it’s normally a lie. Fast food isn’t normally healthy. But ever since Super Size Me shocked Mcdonald’s eaters throughout the US and Europe, times have been changing.
For example much of Subway’s branding promotes a healthy message, and we’ve grown used to the idea of Mcdonald’s selling salads (a concept unthinkable just a few years ago).
But the fast food outlets I have mentioned so far are massive corporations, the choice in the UK is either massive corporation or dodgy looking independent kebab shop – that most only stumble into whilst under the influence of alcohol. The reason for that final point is simple, tape worms are the most disgusting creatures in the universe. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up and I promise you, you’ll never visit a cheap kebab house again!
I can’t eat 5 pieces or fruit and vegetables a day, I’m a student! I don’t have enough money! Five is much too much! Can’t it be three?
But eating 5 a day really isn’t that difficult. Here are 5 ways to get your 5-a-day…
Why bother going to all this effort to eat well? Part of the answer can be found in this blog post. Here are another 5 reasons…
Fruit and vegetables:
- Taste great and there are hundreds of varieties.
- Are a great source of vitamins and minerals.
- Are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevents constipation. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of bowel cancer.
- Help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and some cancers.
- Are part of a healthy and balanced diet.
This is by no means a post to preach to everyone else about healthy eating as I am often one of the worst culprits. What concerns me is this: Do we even realise we have a problem?
I’m not talking about obesity or even people being overweight (although they are sometimes sign of the more fundamental problem).
The problem is that we are consuming absolute rubbish all too regularly.
In bestselling author Don Colbert’s book ‘Eat This and Live’, a distinction is made between living foods and dead foods.
Dead foods increase our risk of developing degenerative diseases, makes us overweight, increase our cholesterol and makes us feel tired. Living foods energize us, help our bodies protect themselves from cancer and sharpen our minds.
Enter Lucozade. This popular energy drink markets itself as a living food. But it is not. It’s dead. Lucozade contains 68 grams of sugar- a whopping 14 teaspoons. How many teaspoons of sugar should we have in a day? Eight. So as soon as you have had a bottle of Lucozade, not only should you not have anything sweet for the rest of the day- but you are already well over the recommended amount.
Why does the recommended amount matter? Because too much sugar can give you type 2 diabetes. It’s also addictive, has been linked to behavioural disorders and osteoporosis.
If we were all drinking such things once a month, or even once every two weeks I probably wouldn’t feel the need to be writing this. But I know I’m not, and you probably aren’t either. Think about it. The earth is full of brilliant, life-giving, tasty, healthy minerals, plants and animals that will do us good. We have more than enough living foods on this planet to survive. So why do we continually settle for less and consume dead foods that in the long run will give us all kinds of nasty illnesses and diseases?
I don’t mean to scare anyone. I just want to be someone who thinks twice before taking the cheap, easy-and lets face it- lazy option of reaching for a can of coke, when what my body really needs is over by the tap.
Over the next year (at least) I will be spending far too much in this shop…
Uncle Charley’s All Things American sells, Mountain Dew (in all its varieties), Betty Crocker (in many of its varieties), M&Ms (because yes, more than 2 flavours DO exist!) and sooo much more!
Yes ladies and gentlemen, real Jack Daniel’s BBQ sauce is sold too.
It’s amazing, and it’s only round the corner from where I live. (Opposite Sainsburys on Bedford Place for those of you who are local)
Go check it out, but be warned these are genuine imports so it aint cheap!
Finally, a question for my American friends- do you have “British” shops. What are they called? Mr John Smith’s All Things English or something?!
It tastes great and is still probably the healthiest fast food outlet around.
Having said that, the prices are a bit questionable. £5 for a sandwich isn’t exactly a good deal.
Subway appear to have realised this though, and they are attempting to do something about it.
It sounds exciting doesn’t it? Have Subway finally provided a way to get a bit more for your money?
The Subcard is a simple concept. You collect points on your card and then trade them in for free subs.
Well I’m sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but this is one of the most pathetic offers ever to come from not just Subway, but any fast food outlet.
Well if you look at the small print you earn 1 loyalty point for every 10p you spend.
When you hear you can get a FREE 6 inch sub for 500 points that sounds great. Until you realise how much that is in real money.
And for a free foot long sub you have to spend £100!
That, my friends is rubbish!
Get it together Subway, you’re better than this.