There are some things in life that make me exclaim, either in my head or out loud, What. The. Fuck?!
This is one of those such moments, were I discover the lovely people over at Kraft – the makers of Vegemite – have created a My First Vegemite
For the little tackers. Awww, isn’t that cute?
It comes complete with extra B vitamins, a “toned down” flavour and half the salt – pardon me, sodium content – of the regular kind.
The former-health-nut-before-I-became-a-realist in me is nodding and saying “yep, awesome, half the salt content, gotta be good”.
The rest of me – the realist is screaming a number of things. I think what is irking me most is the name: My First Vegemite. I mean, if they’d taken the regular stuff, halved the salt sodium content and just sold it with a bit sticker saying “now with reduced sodium” I woulda probably grumbled a bit about adulterating an iconic food before even trying it.
No, I can’t help but feel this is one of those things that just reinforces what a crap job we are doing as mums, especially those of us, aka me, who send their kids to school with Vegemite sandwiches. Daily. Because a quarter of a teaspoon, if that, amongst the wholemeal bread, raw carrorts and low fat cheese is gonna kill them by the end of next week.
Better still, its “you’re doing a crap job, but here, we have something to remedy that!” Lucky, huh? Otherwise, we’d be self-flagelating with a bottle of wine … or, possibly, sitting on our arses having a glass and mumbling “what the fuck” about more products coming out to reinforce our crapness and providing unnecessary fix-its just to make us feel better.
Except – oh no! – in this case, as you can see in this article, the experts are out in force saying “this is not good enough” and we “shouldn’t be feeding it to our kids at all”!
Also, I think that parenting, especially Mums, is the flavour of the month, and whilst I understand that companies do need to keep evolving and creating new products in order to increase their profit margins and pay the directors squillions of dollars and have something new to market etc etc, they seem to be doing a hell of a lot more of it to mums.
Worse, mums are actually buying not just the products but the messages as well.
So, I say, HTFU (harden the fuck up), stop buying into the crap that you’re doing wrong by your kids. Surely we have much bigger things to be worrying about (lets not get me started on breakfast “cereals” , celebrity endoresment of products and marketing tactics that verge on unethical – too late, blog posts a-coming!) than a sandwich spread that generations of kids, and adults, have loved. You know, things like our three year olds potentially being upset cos they didn’t get a birthday invite? Yes?
Oh, wait, no!
Also, I think some of our kids need the same hardening up, instead of being mollycoddled to the point of having a sandwich spread devoted to them.
I am trying really hard not to get my cranky pants on about it, as I get that it is all a marketing ploy – albeit with some vaguely positive health benefits – but when it starts to infringe on the already well-established and innate mother guilt that many mums experience, or even slighlty implies that mums are doing a crap job, then I can’t help but get more than a little ranty.
Sadly, I think, as a society, we’ve done so much to shelter our kids from even the slightest discomfort that we’ve affected our own minds, and we start to believe that good old Vegemite is now our enemy.
I, for one, will not be buying into the message. Also, I wish that my life had so little stress that my only worry was a single scraping of vitamin rich, scrumptious spread on a piece of bread.