…The harmless selling mantra of every Petrol Station I encounter these days. Well practiced no doubt, having been relayed to hoards of people filling up their vehicles throughout the week. And it effing irks me. I am borderline OCD about walking into a gas-station of late, feigning a case of Tourette’s Syndrome waiting for the attendant to speak….”No. I. (expletive) Don’t want your $2 Tim Tams, Starburst, Mentos”. I pretty well just want to buy my E10 petrol with a degree of social & environmental conscience then leave (I call irony when I see it).
When did this become our normal? In a developed, over fed, food and sugar addicted nation to up-sell our petrol purchases with junk food? At a time when our national health bill cost $58.8 billion this year funding services for Cardiovascular disease, Diabetes and Oncology. (Health expenditure Australia 2013–14: analysis by sector)
I like to let things go. I like to revel in the bigger picture and let people make their own shit-house choices. But when I see corporations like the earth & resource rapists (BHP, BP, Shell, Caltex, WPL … whoever the f*ck) play on the dollar signs of communities I develop a deep sense of social injustice. I start to imagine them sitting around their polished endangered oak boardroom tables discussing ways to bleed more money out of people and kill some seabirds at the same time. I can hear their heinous laughter as they plot their attack. Bastards!
I digress. It is a small act of retail thuggery. We can always say ‘NO thanks’ and walk away but that is not my issue. It is the way we have come to accept processed & chemical laden foods as being something akin to breathing – it just happens so easily, a passive process of simply ‘yes’. It’s the circular addiction we have to consumerism and mindless living that bothers me. Seeing this and other similar trends make their way into our food & retail industry as harmless and unseen habits worries me, especially when my career pivots around teaching people how to eat and nourish their body mindfully. It simply goes against my grain…
Standing in line I wonder what else could they offer? You know, to make the world better place- rather than a fatter, sicker and more polluted place? A gesture of “sorry about f#cking the environment”. Maybe we can choose to donate our fly buy points or discount dockets to OXFAM or the World Wildlife Fund for the sea life and humans embroiled in the next oil spill clean up? Or maybe they can house next level Teppanyaki bars where we can pay $2 for a Japanese chef to flip a seared scallop into our mouths from behind the counter. It might seem like a ridiculous idea, but what could be more justified than a multi-BILLION dollar industry investing some love back into the community?
I was watching a documentary the other day about the evolution of Mankind – profoundly in awe of us a species having survived the ice-age, melting glaciers and wild mammoths only to arrive thousands of years later at petrol station counters eating packets of star-burst lollies before driving home to our air-conditioned homes. It is unlikely that we will change the direction of our highly gratified existence. I certainly will have little influence (somebody tell me where to find the head office of BHP??). But I am a woman evolved from a long line of human species who knew how to choose to live. I am a mother who can teach my children how to call bull-sh#t when they see it so they too can survive the elements of our new world. I will continue to say ‘No thanks’ to the harmless offer of lollies with my petrol and hope for the sake of our species more people will too.
Melanie Robinson ND BHSc | Naturopath | Mother | Social Activist | Health Warrior | Writer | Food as Medicine | Nurture Magazine | Gaia Health, Port Macquarie