18 October 2009

Fun Police: #1 BOGOF

You might not know what BOGOF means - it is Buy One Get One Free in the UK.

Great, you may say. Effectively half price for two items, particularly welcome for families or for goods that can be frozen or readily stored. I have used BOGOF many times, for everything from yoghurt to chips to chocolate to fresh fruit.

Oh no, say the food police, it encourages you to buy more than you otherwise would, making you fat and unhealthy, and that costs taxpayers. So the wagging finger of the "do as we say" crowd want it to end. I can just imagine Sue Kedgley jumping on this in a moment, insisting that for "unhealthy food" 2 for 1 is just morally wrong. Others say it encourages "food waste" as people buy 2 for 1 and don't use 2, so throw it away. Oh the outrage, maybe there are kids in Africa who'd love what is being thrown away?

Sarah Vine in the Times takes on such people saying:

One of the great follies of our age is that there are a lot of people who abhor the idea of affordable food. They think that poor people are fat because the food that they eat is too cheap and too plentiful. If everyone paid a bit more and ate a bit less, they reason, we’d all be a lot healther and happier.

They are the people who prefer to go to shops which harp on about the quality of their products, and who think local shops (you know the ones that are overpriced with a poor range, until a supermarket comes near) are just a glorious example of what is great. The most successful supermarkets are most loathed, as she says

Of the supe(r)markets, Tesco is the one most commonly despised by the hug-your-cow-before-you-put-a- bullet-through-its-head snobs. Quite why this should be is not clear, as Tesco sells exactly the same produce as its rivals.

Sadly Tesco is succumbing to the Stasi like attitude so many have of giving a damn about what other people buy or eat.

If you don't like a BOGOF deal then don't buy it. Some people love it, some people don't, it is a way of managing inventory through price and gives consumers a great deal if they need more than one. If people waste food, it is their money, the food biodegrades, it isn't your business.

It's just sad this culture of control is now so ingrained with government than the private sector succumbs to lobbying by people who want to control what people buy, because they think they know better than others.

I'd just tell them to BOGOF, sanctimonious little petty fascists as they are.


PM of NZ said...

MMP = BOGOF right?

Vote for an MP of choice, get one free via the party lists.

ZenTiger said...

MP's aren't things you willingly vote in to get more free, they are like taxes you pay only to find another tax sneaking in the back door.

The issue isn't really about poor people eating too much of course, it's about poor people making poor food purchasing decisions - products high in sugar, or processed to the point they provide little nutritional quality.

BOGOF on carrots and apples would not presumably be criminal? The Food Nazis are chasing the wrong things.