El Cártel de la Chatarra/Arrest of the Junk Food Cartel

Cártel12_568Here’s one news story that I absolutely love! This morning in Mexico City the Alianza por la Salud Alimentaria (Alliance for Nutritional Health) reenacted the arrest, for violation of human rights, of four “Captains of the Junk Food Cartel”! Bravo! It’s about time!

Cártel03_568Arrested were the Coca Cola polar bear, the Cocoa Krispies’ elephant, Tony the Tiger, and Ronald McDonald. They are accused of violating the rights of Mexican children under two principal charges: manipulating and cheating children via the publicity and marketing of their products, and introducing food and beverages that contribute to the obesity epidemic of Mexico’s children. During the arrest, officials explained the specific criminal actions of which each of these captains is accused:

  • Tony “the Tiger” falsely tells children that eating Frosted Flakes will lead to success in sports, despite the fact that 40% of the weight of the product he peddles is sugar. He is held responsible for displacing oats and amaranth from the diet of Mexican children.
  • Melvin “the Elephant” is accused of distributing Cocoa Krispies, a substance containing 35% sugar and four artificial colors, three of which are associated with hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder in children. Yet, this is the most advertised product on television.
  • Ronald McDonald, alias “the Clown,” entered Mexico in 1985. He now operates out of 400 locations in Mexico. He uses toys, images of parties and healthy, happy play to induce children to ingest high volumes of fat, salt and sugar. He has previously been fined in Brazil for his nefarious activities.
  • “Coca” the polar bear, is accused of being one of the major causes of both the obesity and diabetes epidemics facing Mexico. Each 600 ml bottle of the Coca Cola that she deals contains more than 12 TABLESPOONs of sugar. Coca’s reach has penetrated every nook and corner of the country, far and wide, and has helped make Mexico the world’s largest consumer of soda. Despite Coca’s agreement with the World Health Organization not to publicize to children under 12, she has conducted numerous campaigns aimed at that very population.

Héctor Bonilla, one of the arresting officers, stated, “The unregulated presence of multinational corporations in the food sector is truly criminal. I welcome the attempt to counter the millions and millions of dollars in publicity of these organizations, with horizontal communication and the moral authority of those who are motivated by social conscience to collaborate, rather than by economic interests. New technologies are fertile territory for cunning and the unveiling of great lies to the public.”

Such a public demonstration seems to me a great way to raise awareness among kids. Congratulations to the arresting officers! Kids, let’s get outside, breathe some fresh air, and run around! Try some new, whole foods and you’ll be surprised just how good real food can make you feel!

pzqfmruAbove is one of those photos recently circulating the internet, of a school science project that illustrates the quantity of processed white sugar in various commercially available bottled beverages.

Fruit Loops, GMO and artificial coloring



Carnaval Parade Preparations

Carnavál de Mazatlán is such a major community event. I love how it brings people together. And not just from Mazatlán and the surrounding communities, but it brings in people from all over Mexico (this year we met a great 80-piece band from Puebla, for example) and Latin America (the visiting queens).

The best-kept secret of Carnavál, however, is the PRE-parade, just prior to the second parade. That’s when all the dancers, royalty and performers have already paraded once. They have had their coronations, things are winding down. They are relaxed, happy. They know what they’re doing, they know what to expect.

And, they are lined up along the malecón, getting dressed, putting on makeup, eating something to tide them over for the next few hours of dancing. They are laughing and talking, relaxing, and posing for the tourists. It has honestly become one of my absolute favorite Carnavál activities, though of course I have lots of “favorites” this time of year!

Below is a video I put together tonight, highlighting some of what happened during pre-parade today. I hope you will get a taste of why I love the pre-parade. Thanks for viewing!