Eat Your Greens

07:28 Wednesday 24 October 2012
Bigger Breakfast Show
BBC Radio Cambridgeshire

PAUL STAINTON: It can be a bit tricky, can’t it. You go round one supermarket you’ve got a traffic light system on your food. You go round another, there’s a different system of telling you whether it’s healthy or not. Well, from next year good news, Tony Bonsignore. Good news!
TONY BONSIGNORE: Good news Paul. Good morning. We should be able to .. from next year we should be able to very easily decide which foods are healthy and which foods aren’t, if that is what we choose to do. The Government today announcing a new plan. Basically, next year, all food packaging is going to have a similar kind of .. or in fact a totally standardised way of giving you nutritional information, including this kind of traffic light system. So basically, if the food you’re buying, like most of the food I buy, is high in things like fat and salt and sugar, there’s going to be a big red stamp on it. And if it’s a bit healthier, there’s going to be an amber stamp on it. And if it’s healthier still, there’s going to be a green light on it. And the idea is we can all shop healthily. And hopefully we’ll all get a bit slimmer and fitter.
PAUL STAINTON: So all the supermarkets are signing up to this, are they?
TONY BONSIGNORE: It looks like they’re .. or pretty much all of them are signing up. But this is not mandatory, interestingly. It’s voluntary. The reason it’s not mandatory is because of European law. There would have needed to be a European-wide agreement for this to be mandatory. That couldn’t be reached across Europe so it’s voluntary at this stage. But Ministers say they’re confident that the whole of the food industry is on board, though we’ll have to wait and see what transpires, whether there are any refuseniks who decide they don’t want to take part in this.
PAUL STAINTON: So there’ll be no excuse for us not to eat healthily really, will there?
TONY BONSIGNORE: Well yes. Although it’s not quite as simple as that. As with all these things, health campaigners today saying it’s a great idea, and it might well be a great idea. But it’s also interesting, some critics coming out and saying, well it’s over simplistic this, and you can misinterpret this information. And they also say it’s going to demonise some food groups, so things like bacon and cheese and sausages and full fat milk, which might have a nutritional value. But if you see the red stamp next to them, are you going to buy them, or more importantly, is your partner going to let you buy them.
PAUL STAINTON: It won’t put you off will it Tony?
TONY BONSIGNORE: No. Absolutely no way.
PAUL STAINTON: (LAUGHS) Tony Bonsignore. It should be easier for us though, from next year.