Posted by: Judy | April 9, 2018

Meme Debunking

On social media, a video was posted stating that America should eat breakfast more like Europe. Yep, hit a red hot button. Like most memes, the generalizing annoys me.

They compared the donut breakfast, something I’ve only done on special occasions, to three countries in Europe, eggs, bruschetta, and something unappetizing, in my book. Three. They do understand there are more than three countries in Europe, don’t they? In France, I ate bread, usually a croissant, dunked in chocolate milk, every morning.

No one I know has a donut for breakfast every morning. Does that mean no one I know is American? *pfft*

As to the cereal the video bashed, again, no one I know has sugary cereal for breakfast every morning, unless they’re going through a phase of sorts. Everyone I know does their best to go healthy and, if they eat it, save the sugary cereal for treats. None of this is always true. Herein lies the problem: Generalizing is rarely true.

Then they quoted “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Someone didn’t do their homework. It’s a commercial, a tag line, an advertising gimmick. Really. If I remember my research, it started with the bacon industry. The most important meal of the day was initiated in the early 1900s. Pork farmers wanted to sell more meat, so they hired someone to figure out how to do it. Voila, the most important meal of the day was born.

Kellogg and Post jumped on the bandwagon adding cereal has a healthy alternative to bad foods like eggs and bacon. Always follow the money, the source of the study.

I watched eggs pingpong from the greatest food on the planet to the worst possible food you can eat more times than I can count. One of my parents had a school friend that lived on a chicken farm and ate a dozen eggs a day. The person lived to a ripe old age. I’m allergic to eggs and have to be careful about how much I cheat, only distributed thinly in other things.

The truth is that there is no most important meal of the day. It is important to eat regularly and reasonably healthy. An occasional fast, going without food or water, is good for you, as long as you don’t go overboard. I can’t go without water, so I don’t. The whole drink 8 glasses a day is a ballpark figure. I think it came about because doctors were pestered for something specific. The truth: Drink enough water to keep you hydrated. If you’re hungry, drink water first as you may be thirsty. However, you may be hungry so don’t ignore it.

What we’ve really learned to do: Ignore our body. Instead, we listen to advertisers (most studies are paid by someone who wants a certain result that is then used in advertising) who are only there to sell something. They don’t care about you; they’re only interested in your money. Really.

You are unique. Advertisers, and the companies they work for, don’t want unique. They need generalizations. They need group think. They need one size fits all. Unique is not profitable. However, if they can convince you that they are interested in your uniqueness, then they can lump you in with all the others they’ve convinced of the same thing. You’re right back to not being unique to them.

I don’t hate advertising. It’s how business lets you know what they’re selling. The trick is to not fall for the gimmicks, the exaggerations, the stretched lies.

Like memes, I consider the source. I work hard to not let their smooth lines and/or pretty pictures sway me from what I know.

The video meme wasn’t about facts. It was selling dissatisfaction with America, painting America as gluttonous and stupid. Sadly, many people will believe it. Their picture is not the one I know. They refuse to acknowledge that there is no perfect country anywhere on the planet. Every country has people who are rich and poor. Every country has people who are cruel and thoughtful. Every country has people who are prideful and humble. Every country has people who are selfish and giving. Running one country down doesn’t elevate the others.

Ignore the noise and listen to yourself. You’re smarter and wiser than the advertisers and the companies they work for want you to believe. Maybe I’m ready to change some of my less than stellar habits.


Responses

  1. These breakfast bits have annoyed me too. And like you I don’t know anyone who eats sugar coated breakfast cereal. And..I’ve seen plenty of salami, polish high fat sausage and high fat cheeses consumed in Europe for breakfast.

    • Good to know I’m not alone. 🙂 True!


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