Want some instant pancakes? Do you?

A couple of related issues around food and its marketing have struck me this week.

First – instant pancake batter. Instant = pre-mixed. I spotted some in the fridges of M&S but they could well be elsewhere too. What is this all about? Are we all really so lazy that we can’t be bothered to crack our own eggs? Come on it’s not that difficult, (here’s a basic recipe) as tried and enjoyed over Shrove Tuesday’s through the ages. Don’t let the marketeers persuade us that such a basic delight requires processing.

Secondly the news that teenage girls eat more unhealthily than any other group in the population, ­The Guardian report quotes Dr Alison Tedstone, the FSA’s head of nutritional science, who said the issue was “an area of concern” and added: “Broadly, teenage girls particularly don’t eat enough.”

Is this a misdirected insecurity about body shape, or is it another example of the laziness about food which the “instant” industry relies on?

Those issues clearly fell outside the scope of this particular piece of research but are surely at the heart of this complex tangle of mixed messages about nutrition which bombard teenagers – and the rest of us.

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