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Coming soon to a place near you

Over in Gotham there are plans afoot to make "restaurants with highly standardized menu items and portions that already make their caloric content available" (that's Maitre D's, Starbucks etc) publish "calorie counts..next to menu items in type that is as large 'as the name or price of the item'”.

Hmm. Information is good, and I'm all in favour of that, but if restaurant / cafe food, why not the NYC equivalents of the Gavroche and so on, or is it only 'the proles' who need to have the health gestapo on their cases? Equally, why not snack foods in general? Or any food? One of the pizza operations points out that an "innocent deviation of a single slice of pepperoni from the 48 specified for a large pizza would undermine the accuracy of published calorie counts".

Sure as night follows day, you can be sure that this will result in internet infomation being taken down if this will allow the various operations to avoid disclosing calorie counts on menus and signs. What are known as 'unintended consequences of intended actions'.

After all, there are some very sharp minds working at the top of these companies. I heard a tale some time back that one of the US pizza companies sacked all of its location scouts and decided to base new locations on the existing presence of one of the big burger places on the grounds that pizzerias / burger joints have similar customer profiles, and burger munchers would be bound to want a change / push the boat out from time to time. I believe the scheme worked out quite well.
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Anonymous newmania said... 2:28 pm

I have a day off today and I `m afraid I `v got a bit carried away . Feel free to delete on the grounds of |tedium alone

I `m not at work , and the reason is that the fridge has broken . Two years old , a solid German name "NEFF" , and its cream crackered. This post slipstreams neatly into neatly into a flock of thoughts that have swirling around ,as I watch the pound notes drift out if the window ,like confetti. For a long time consumer products were very good. Magazines like ,“Which “ ,became redundant as competition drove greater utility and value into the customer’s hands . Then came the “sophisticating” of brand value selling, and out -sourcing. The chap who is now emasculating me, by talking to my wife about mechanical things , laughed when I said “German” .
“Put the label on in Germany maybe “ he said .
I gather even the phrase ,” Made in the EU “ does not by any means guarantee it actually was . So now the consumer is at sea again .They are even doing it with cars , Mercedes notably , ie running down the quality to maximise brand value in the short term.
Recently it has been reported that the number of crisps in a packet chave been getting slowly less . Then a big maxi size pack is popped in , only slightly larger than the old crisp packet, but much more expensive. It is easy to see why lhaving established the value of a brandl there is short term profit in selling it out, to the point of actually removing the contents.

In this environment of caveat emptor, the seller and the consumer are in an escalating war of withholding, and finding information .Long ago we established the principle of varying contract law so as to protect the Consumer . This Statute is fairly unique, in that it removes responsibility from one party to a contract . The justification for this is that the seller is better informed ,and will use his advantage to warp the “consensus ad idem” until it invalidates the whole basis of any contract .

I very much doubt any of it has a net beneficial effect myself. Nonetheless we can see that the consumer is uniquely protected . We can also see that misinformation about the provenance of a product of indeed its contents will be tempting. The market is a garden , not a wilderness and weeding the garden is a legitimate area for state intervention.

All well and good and the advert “It does exactly what it says on the tin” has been super effective as we flounder to obtain reliable information. Its as if everything we bought was on the basis of a Time Out review . ( Never Never see anything because Time out said so).

Now ,reflecting dietary concerns, there are a variety of codes in the air to oblige packets to reveal, in a simple and coherent way ,the levels of salt , fat and so on . I don’t , just for once, have a huge problem that such a requirement should be extended to fast food .Clearly it would have to be better thought out than C`s example, but there is some logic at the heart of it .
In a supermarket packaging requirements are there to allow the market to work towards beneficial ends by stopping sellers from lying and freeing choice. I can see that with fast food this might be a good way to tackle it . Much better than denying health care to the fat, or taxing fatness. Both of these are on the table ,and I would guess the health care one ,is happening already .( They are doing it to smokers in Nottingham) .
So with a couple of tweaks this could be a good idea ,especially as you are dealing with companies who ruthlessly exploit monopoly supernormal profits whenever possible ,and veer as close as they can to selling addictive drugs.

This in fact is good statement of the Conservative position on Freedom . As applied to markets it would accept that the market must be managed so as to allow freedom . Anarchy of any sort is not something \I would ever be in favour of because it leads to the strong exploiting the weak . In this case MacDonald’s exploiting children.

Such is any bureaucracies wish to extend its power, that from the worthy premise we have a growing flood of laws ostensibly to stop the manufacturers of food ,especially, misrepresenting their product. Can anyone here think of the one organisation that habitually does nothing whosoever like what it ,“says on the tin “?. I daresay , if anyone has bothered getting this far, its pretty obvious where I am going ,but I blunder on.

This dastardly group of cowboy suppliers are guilty of the following crimes.

1 Operating dishonestly by splitting area of trade into regions and so as to confuse the national consumer of price and value. ( Are they beer sellers often taken to a task for this by the monopolies commission ?)
2 Selling a policy that costs far more than to would appear by hiding the coasts in various ways .

3 Deferring costs but tying the buyer in so as to misinform tat the point of purchase.( Is it the Pensions sellers now whipped daily by the FSA?)..

3 Operating as Cartel with the only other supplier in the market whenever their mutual interests are served?

(Could it be the Supermarkets themselves whose market share is monitored assiduously?)

IT IS OF COURSE THE FUCKING GOVERNMENT ! They would-be in court in a second ,and never let out ,if any of the rules of honest trading the market required applied to them

Quick tranlation
1 The deliberate use of Regional assemblies to obscure responsibility for Housing policy and thereby to obscure the consequences of misguided immigration policy( and much more especially king fraudsters GLA)

The growing tendency to implement unpopular legislation region by region since the poll tax riots

2 Escalating stealth taxes
Indexed inflation , indexed to house prices no less
Destroying pensions
Inheritance tax

And so on ad infinitum

3 Europe
Criminal Justice

So to get back to showing the calories in a Pizza. More information is basically good . Stipulating that the Consumer is protected , yes if that means requiring information to prevent anti market short term ruses. Maintaining the integrity of the relationship between the Consumers choice and the product .Absolutely .

For all these reasons we need to move towards flat tax , no regional assemblies , clear costed decisions for the tax payer .We must also stop branding British laws “British” when they were outsourced the tithe EU many years aago

Its interesting how clear it is, that leaving web information up, is by no means clear enough when you want to buy a Pizza . Requirements for Local authorities to make information available, are now solved by similar web access. If you had ever tried ,as I have , to find the section dealing with housing policy in my Borough ,in the thousands of pages on the London plan you can see that Pizza companies are amateurs, at obfuscation. Dare we imagine what Brown Nose will do?

.Government at all levels uses exactly the same ruse to get round there own responsibility to inform . Flat tax and no Regional assemblies are part of the answer; but the growing use of sophisticated marketing by David Cameron notably , is also something that should worry us . We have the Consumer Protection Act When will we get a voter protection Statute. Or isn`t democracy as important as Pizzas?  

Blogger Rigger Mortice said... 2:40 pm

so what are you saying?  

Blogger Peter Hitchens said... 2:52 pm

Not only that Mr Mortice,
why the fuck is he saying it?
newmania have you never considered looking at porn online and beating one out when bored ?
That or writing to the daily mail.  

Anonymous verity said... 3:23 pm

Second that, Rigger.

But do we really want to know?  

Anonymous newmania said... 4:15 pm

Fair points. Porn it is.What I should have said was that if the governement was required the same code of conduct as a tin of beans life would be better .

I`ll get my coat  

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