Make up your own mind

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Make up your own mind
Make up your own mind, Questioning the public health effect and ethics of fast food franchises
McDonalds use of the internet with   is an interesting development. Could it be the beginning of the end for a company that has been built by the power of network advertising on the now declining free to air TV networks? A company run by old fashioned marketing types who haven't understood the internet? If pages like this start to rank on search engines for make up your own mind, it could be! Well, since that was written, this page came to rank second to McDonalds for Google searches of make up your own mind.  The actions of media companies is kept under the spotlight in Australia by the ABC Media Watch program.

The make up your own mind URL seems to have been prompted by alarming statistics from public health authorities regarding increasing obesity among the population, including the very young, for which the fast food  and soft drink industry's carry much responsibility.   The reputation of the fast food industry has been called into question by Eric Schlooser and his detailed investigation into practices within the industry, detailed in his book Fast Food Nation. Eric investigates not only the public health issues but the dubious ethics of some of these companies and the effect that are having on communities. The internet is built on the basic democratic principal of freedom of information. McDonalds have the absolute right to express themselves via the internet as does anyone else. Readers are however, free to draw their own conclusions from the information provided in the above mentioned website and books, and are equally free to spend their money where they wish and to choose what they eat.   

A number of communities in regional Australia are fighting to keep McDonnalds out of their communities as they threaten the ambiance of their towns as well as the health of their citizens. Specifically Tecoma in Victoria and Dunsborough in Western Australia . The Australian national broadcaster, the ABC reported on the situation in Tacoma on the 730 Report. It was disturbing to see, McDonnalds, a company operating as a guest in Australia acting more like the German SS in relation to people protesting about the proposed McDonnalds outlet.The website reveals more interesting details about the company’s operations.  Paul Roberts discusses the implications of current food marketing to the survival of the current civilisation in his interesting and well informed book, The End of Food . The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan is another book well worth a read if you are  interested in what you eat to your own health and the effect of your eating decision on other people as well as the natural and economic environment.  The Men who Made Us Fat, watch it on ABC TV, on ABC TV provides an in-site into how our food supply has been manipulated. The public health consequences of modern processed food is discusses in ABC Catalyst Programs Gut reaction Pr 1 and Gut Reaction Pt 2. This suggests if we all lived off foods bought at Farmers Markets, many of our current health problems would vanish.
This opinion piece is not intended to be anti-American. I have been a proud member of the Lions Organisation most of my adult life. The Lions organisation originated in Chicago in 1917 when a group of successful business people got together to return something to the community that had made them successful.  It is the Ethics of the Lions organisation  that  was shared by many American businesses  in the past that has made the USA . I’d argue that it is the ethics (or lack of) of organisations like McDonnalds and Monsanto that is bringing it to its knees.  But at the same time American Capitalism has also brought us Googel and the Internet which is allowing this opinion to be shared
In this informational, inspirational work, Charles, the Prince of Wales, describes his views on climate change for the first time, presenting a compelling case that the solution to this problem lies in our ability to regain our balance with nature.
Small is Beautiful, a study of economics as if people matteres
The Price of Inequality
Fast food franchises have spread like cancer across the food supply of the western world and more recently into developing countries, as reported on ABC 4 Corners on 2013 . McDonnalds are not having it all their own way, they have beat a retreat from Bolivia due to consumer backlash as reported in Food Matters.    More enlightened consumers are starting to recognise that they can influence the way of the world by where they spend their money. the men who made us fat

 This is being demonstrated by the increasing acceptance of the Slow Food and Chittaslow movements as well as  Farmers Markets and Organic Farming  all defying the marketing logic of the last 30 years as the increased demand is not being driven by advertising  push but byl consumer demand. All these are developing without the big marketing budgets that have created companies like McDonald's. In the book The Longer Tail, Chris Anderson discusses how the internet is creating great opportunities for niche producers across the board. Just how this will translate in Australia where we have mostly foreign owned mining companies driving up the cost of labour and the value of the dollar with a devastating effect on mostly locally owned manufacturers, farmers and tourism businesses, remains to be seen. The major political parties don't seem to understand that signing up to WTO agreements has destroyed Australian Sovereignty and will become a threat to our food security. At least the Liberal party was providing a forum for discussion of food security on their Road Map to Australian Food Security website.

Have you read this far?  This page is now receiving 400 visits per month, I'd love to know if anyone is reading it, if you have I'd welcome your comments, email me, . If you have read this far then you'd probably enjoy  Harmony, A new way of looking at our world, an inspirational work, Charles, the Prince of Wales, describes his views on climate change for the first time, presenting a compelling case that the solution to this problem lies in our ability to regain our balance with nature.

Most of us don't know where our food comes from, how it's made and at what cost. We don't know about the appalling conditions that many workers endure to produce it cheaply, the long hours and low rates of pay they offer and the damaging effects on the communities and environment where the foods are produced. In Blood, Sweat and Takeaways, six young fast food junkies will embark on a grueling month-long journey into a world they know nothing about, to discover the tough truth behind their fast food fixes.

Much of what happens in our society today is not driven by any logic, but by marketing. I'd suggest that marketing has become the science of presenting commercial and political opinion as if it was a fact (Barry Green 2007) . Why else in system driven by economic rationalists would our society be doing so many things that are economically and socially and environmentally irrational, like driving gigantic four wheel drives around the city's and eating more foods that are making us sick and burdening the health system? The power of marketing is becoming a threat to western democracies as discussed by Lindsay Tanner in his book  Sideshow, the dumbing down of democracy . Having said that, we are lucky to live in a democracy that does allow its citizens to express an opinion at a time when the best of American enterprise has brought us Google and the Internet so that there can be a free exchange of ideas. No longer is information controlled by organizations that can afford to advertise on the old commercial media.  New Matilda is an Australian website of news, analysis and satire. they have been publishing intelligent coverage of Australian politics, business, civil society, international affairs, media and culture since 2004. By filling in the gaps, New Matilda makes an important contribution to public debate.

Australia's national broadcaster, the ABC has a great show about advertising. The Gruen Transfer  looks at how the advertising industry works. In times of war, this industry would be the propaganda department of government. The practice of "Astro Turfing" is explained on the ABC Background Briefing.  The ABC's Media Watch keeps an eye on all media in Australia and challenges inappropriate and biased material. Check out their program  Advertising goes native, the brave new world of ads as news, or should that be news as ads? Can you even tell the difference? And is that the point?

This website and associated radio service is funded by advertising, but we only accept advertising from businesses that provide the unique activities and attractions and products that you want to find while holidaying in Western Australia. Why would you want to listen if our programs were full of other crap? If you live here, or are planning to visit us, then a look around the site starting at  will help you to make the most of your West Australian holiday experience.  

Barry Green
Managing Director
Western Tourist Radio

God (or evolution) vs Satan   (anon, a received email!)


In the beginning God covered the earth with broccoli, cauliflower and spinach, with green, yellow and red vegetables of all kinds so Man and Woman would live long and healthy lives.

Then using God's bountiful gifts, Satan created Dairy Ice Cream and Magnums. And Satan said, 'You want hot fudge with that? And Man said, 'Yes!' And Woman said, 'I'll have one too with chocolate chips'. And lo they gained 10 pounds.

And God created the healthy yoghurt that woman might keep the figure that man found so fair.

And Satan brought forth white flour from the wheat and sugar from the cane and combined them.. And Woman went from size 12 to size 14

So God said, 'Try my fresh green salad'. And Satan presented Blue Cheese dressing and garlic croutons on the side. And Man and Woman unfastened their belts following the repast.

God then said 'I have sent you healthy vegetables and olive oil in which to cook them'.

And Satan brought forth deep fried coconut king prawns, butter-dipped lobster chunks and chicken fried steak, so big it needed its own platter, and Man's cholesterol went through the roof.

Then God brought forth the potato; naturally low in fat and brimming with potassium and good nutrition..

Then Satan peeled off the healthy skin and sliced the starchy centre into chips and deep-fried them in animal fats adding copious quantities of salt. And Man put on more pounds. God then brought forth running shoes so that his Children might lose those extra pounds.

And Satan came forth with a cable TV with remote control so Man would not have to toil changing the channels. And Man and Woman laughed and cried before the flickering light and started wearing stretch jogging suits.

Then God gave lean beef so that Man might consume fewer calories and still satisfy his appetite.

And Satan created McDonalds and the 99p double cheeseburger. Then Satan said 'You want fries with that?' and Man replied, 'Yes, and super size 'em'. And Satan said, 'It is good.' And Man and Woman went into cardiac arrest.

God sighed ......... and created quadruple by-pass surgery.

And then ............ Satan chuckled and created the National Health Service.


After an exhaustive review of the research literature, here's the final word on nutrition and health.:

1.     Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

2.   Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

3.   Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

4.   Italians drink excessive amounts of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

5.   Germans drink beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than us.

6.    The French eat foie-gras, full fat cheese and drink red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than us

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like.  Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Send this to at least 14 friends in the next 60 minutes to receive absolutely nothing back and something good may not happen, but may, or again may not, but who cares

Here endeth the Lesson.


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