By Duncan Sones – from an article which originally appeared on the Africa Soil Health Consortium (ASHC) website
Farmers in Northern Ghana are reaping the benefit of village-based film screenings to inform them about agricultural practices. Film screenings are growing in popularity amongst farmers and extension projects, as the technique for sharing information. This is because they are a very inclusive way of sharing information.
In mid 2018, IFDC approached Countrywise Communications about working together in Northern Ghana. IFDC wanted to improve the harvest and post-harvest treatment of soybean. They proposed doing this through showing a film. Countrywise knew exactly where to find films that was ideal for this purpose.
You might expect that producers of sugar and producers of other sweeteners would see each other as rivals, and there is indeed evidence of this. For example the ‘Truth About Splenda’ website, provided by the Sugar Association which represents sugar beet and cane farmers in the USA, emphasises the presence of chlorine atoms in the artificial sweetener sucralose (marketed as Splenda), and includes a link to a site comparing sucralose to bleach and DDT. On the other side of the debate, although www.sucralose.org doesn’t say anything very contentious about sugar (it’s true that sugar causes tooth decay and sucralose doesn’t), the sucralose industry has a history of arguably misleading advertising in the form of the slogan ‘made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar’.
There’s a challenge! How to do it? Stealth, education, marketing, example. Which do you choose?
Should we hide fruit and vegetables in meals so children eat them without realising as suggested in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition recently or use marketing to improve the image of healthy food, employing packaging and advergames? Or in fact should we just try to lead by example and make sure the home and school environments help children establish a healthy diet habit at a young age. Last but not least, does education play a role?
I’d love an answer to this one!