Guest Post – Doug Sellman and his delight in finding more things to stop!

by Frances Denz

I am really fussy about the use of words and the effects they have on the subconscious.  And of course people like Sellman are experts at using strings of words to have the greatest effect on their messages – and include downright lies.  And when one lie is included with some truths it is usually taken as a truth.

He does this with the following statement

Fast food outlets facilitate overeating through convenience, low price and provision of energy-dense moreish food, and therefore are an important factor in the New Zealand population eating too much.

Which is the lie in here?  

That fast food is low price.  This is repeated so often it is taken as a truth.  But as a person who cooks all her own meals from scratch, and buys carefully, I know that my food bill is far cheaper than if I ate fast food!  My food bill is around $5.00 a day which includes a quality breakfast, usually porridge and a cooked meal with meat and at least three vegetables a day, plus soup or salad for lunch.  My housekeeping bill, which includes rubbish bags, shampoo, loo paper etc is $60 a week and I usually manage a glass of  (cheap) wine a day out of that budget!  Now I know I am not a rampant teenager eating my parents out of house and home, but I vividly remember what we ate when we were kids, and it was good sustaining food which was certainly far less expensive than takeaways are now.  $5.00 wouldn’t buy you three meals at Maccas.

We must stop saying takeaways are cheap.  They are not.  If we changed the sentence above to say

Fast food outlets facilitate overeating through convenience, but at a higher price, and provide energy dense…We are sending a different message.

Let us change the language

Fast food = high price at least reduces some of the excuses.

So then we have the excuse that women don’t have time to cook anymore – that they work too hard.  True, they do work hard, but let us change the language around that.  Let us say that our women are brilliant managers – and most are, but that they need to have a bit more expertise in inexpensive cooking.  For example throwing the meat and veg into the crockpot before you go to work can take ten minutes, and the meal is waiting when you get home.  And modern vegies are so clean you don’t even have to peel them.  Don’t put the women down or they won’t hear the message.  Say they are wonderful, and here is the time and money saving tip for today and they might listen!  Time to learn new skills is tricky, but I get lots of tips on face book – and so do they.  Actually if you give the job to the small kids to keep track of cheap and easy meals, and get them to do it might be the answer!  They don’t like being hungry and they might take ownership of sensible food if they cooked it.

But let us watch the language we use and not let lies slip in as truths


Frances Denz MNZM

Frances has been instrumental in helping entrepreneurs establish more than 4000 businesses since 1986. She is an authority on business start-ups and regional economic development and is a keynote speaker at conferences internationally. Frances is the co-founder of Stellaris Ltd and specialises in the small business and government sectors.
In 2013 Frances was honoured by the Queen with Membership of the Order of New Zealand (MNZM) for services to business.

As a Maori woman of Ngati Tuwharetoa and Tainui descent, Frances has worked with many Maori organisations to establish expertise in self-employment. Frances has special interests in the health and horticulture industries. 
She was  the founding chair of the Womens Loan Fund.

Frances is the author of Hope and Rehabilitation, Able to do Business and Women at the Top. She is passionate about encouraging small businesses to establish good governance and management in order to develop into very successful businesses.

 


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