Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
Dear PR – since when is it a crime to order a take away?
Categories: Cooking, lifestyle, London

I have had so many scary stories land in my inbox recently that I am beginning to wonder if there is any hope for women with children. So I’m blowing a big fat raspberry to the scare mongers.

raspberries

The thing that really gets me is that statistics are being darkly manipulated used against Mums to scare them into buying products. Apparently we are being challenged to eat grapefruits rather than greasy fry ups because 88% of family meals consist of takeaways rather than fresh fruit and vegetables.

So how does this 88% calculation stand up to scrutiny? That really is quite shocking isn’t it? But let’s see how that pans out over an average month of family meals;

30 days x 3 meals = 90 meals

Therefore 79 of them would be take aways.
79? How does that work? If the average cost if £15, that means the family food bill would be £1185 per month. You could afford a personal chef for that amount.

I mean, come on, is this your daily routine?

‘Morning darling – can you get your school uniform on please.’
‘Yes, Mum, I’m hungry’
‘Don’t worry, the burger van is on it’s way and I’ve got them to do a kebab for your packed lunch.’
‘What’s for dinner tonight Mum? Can we have my favourite?’
‘Oh you mean left overs?’
‘Mmmmm.’
‘Now let’s have a look, we’ve got some pizza crust, some manky cold chips and a few gherkins chucked out of a burger bap. Oh and look, here you go; last week’s special fried rice. That’ll make a great smorgasbord. I tell you what, why don’t you invite some of your friends round and you can sit on the sofa and watch movies and eat finger food.’
‘Great! My school uniform is feeling a bit tight though.’

I doubt it is, but this thoughtless manipulation of figures amounts to a very dim view of Motherhood.

I’m on the frontline of parenting. I’m a Mum who understands the issues around food and nutrition, not a journalist on a deadline who is looking for a headline. Is it lazy PR to send me a press release meant for a print writer or is it failure to understand the mindset of a blogger? Even worse, is it spam?

Why on earth would I write a blog post damning families on such flimsy evidence, just because a press release tells me to do so? And it even mentions lack of fruit in school childrens’ diets to counter balance ‘unhealthy lunches’. That actually has increased my blood pressure just reading it. Where do ‘unhealthy lunches’ come from? Jamie Oliver is mentioned in the press release. Great. Apparently fruit intake has gone up 25% but hell, even that’s not good enough! I’m incensed.

Why has this campaign taken this approach of knocking down any progess and demeaning us Mums (apparently Dads don’t get a pasting because it’s the Mums who are not doing the cooking and feeding of kids properly according to the press release.)

Perhaps digging a little deeper and maybe asking families why they got take aways instead of cooking would be the next logical step in fleshing rather than obesifying (sic) the story out.

So I am not going to write a tabloid style story about ‘Take Away Shame’ and how I managed to swap speed dial for slow cooked gooseberries with liver.

I’m going to cite why people get take aways;

Friday night is fun time?
After a week of hard work, if you haven’t got the energy to go out, a take away of Indian, Thai or Chinese is something to really enjoy, especially if you know your local restaurant. Our fabulous Thai makes a slightly less spicy green chicken curry, which funnily enough has peas, broccoli, cauliflower and red peppers in. Hmmm, where’s the guilt there?


My babysitter can not cook – or if she did, she’d burn the house down…

Well, she makes a mean tuna sandwich but that’s as far as her repertoire goes. So when she does babysit, I’m going out to have a fun evening, so Miniminx can have a little indulgence too and have a pizza and waffles.

Because I can’t make Peking Duck
While I’m a dab hand at most things in the kitchen. I can not for the life of me imagine cooking Crispy Duck from scratch.

And while I’m on the subject, perhaps reading up on the latest news around the 5 a day fruit and veg myth might enlighten PRs as to the topicality and transience of food trends. Science not surveys are very key in nutrition too. Grapefruits for example are utterly jam packed with Vit C and can really help in the uptake of touch nutrients like iron.

Sadly, tucked away at the bottom of the press release are some really interesting food tips; get your children to grow fruit, take kids to Pick Your Own farms. I would love to see more thought go into this issue that has been raised but sadly it’s a missed opportunity. Maybe a guide to the the best PYO places and what’s in season would make me evangelise this story but the facts as they are just don’t do it or even think about it.

Oh, and raspberries? That’s from my PYO trip last Summer, and I still have some home made jam left from them. Grrrrrrrrr.

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9 Comments to “Dear PR – since when is it a crime to order a take away?”

  1. Brilliant post. I’m also tired of some of the scaremongering PR emails I receive – it’s as though they’ve been to the Daily Mail School of Press Releases to Scare Parents. There is enough mum bashing going on we don’t need it from PRs and major brands too.

    We don’t have takeaways very often but we do have them and I don’t care what anyone thinks. So there.

  2. New Mummy says:

    Press releases in general annoy me, but ones like these really get my goat.

    Made up crap to scare parents into thinking that yet again they’ve got it wrong. Me and my OH have a takeaway once a fortnight as a treat, my daughter who 17 months has yet to have fast food, so they can stick that fact up their bums!
    .-= New Mummy´s last blog ..The Soundtrack To My Week =-.

  3. How’s my Miley buddy??? Long time no see.

    Great post. I feel for these PRs sometime. They are all about 20 and just have no idea.
    .-= A Modern Mother´s last blog ..On Gordon Brown and the "bigoted woman" gaffe =-.

    • admin says:

      Good thank you very much and envious of your trip to Pixar. It begs the question for me; the difference between media relations and blogger relations is huge. ttfn

  4. kat says:

    We got this release and it is warped. The figures they quote are insane and the angle they take is not going to sell many grapefruit. Don’t get me started on the whole mums/dads thing Liz is right when she says it’s Daily Mail stylee and there are many reasons why I don’t read that paper!

    • admin says:

      Yes, it is warped. I don’t think there’s any logical connection between grapefruits and take aways either! I love grapefruits and we were made to eat them as kids. We used to cut them in half and sprinkle brown sugar on the top and leave them overnight so the sugar was a crystallised crust in the morning. The only possible way I could get my daughter to try any would be as part of a frozen juice lolly which I make loads of in the Summer. Any other ideas welcome!

  5. hari says:

    “the burger van is on it’s way” – brilliant. xx
    .-= hari´s last blog ..Dutchess of Skid Row =-.

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