WATTIES HAS ONCE again spoiled a great opportunity to promote vegetarianism in its promotion of four new types of canned beans.
The new Watties range includes Indian style lentils, Moroccan style chickpeas, Italian style cannelloni beans, and Mexican style red kidney beans.
So far, so good. The more beans the better for a meat-free source of protein.
The four flavours are all in a tomato-based sauce, with flavours based on the countries listed on the cans. We don’t yet know the exact ingredients, or the sugar or salt content, or details about any other additives.
The Watties press release starts well enough, with:
‘These four internationally inspired flavours are most likely to be served as the basis for nutritious, tasty and simple weekday meals, helping Kiwis eat more legumes for good health.’
But then it goes and spoils it all with:
‘With the winning combination of legumes with tomatoes, Watties nutritionist Julie North sees these being added to meat and other vegetables to create healthy and exciting weekday meals.’
But hang on a minute, aren’t beans a complete protein in and of themselves? Why on earth would you want to ADD them to meat? And isn’t the information on diet and health pretty conclusive when it says that most westerners ALREADY EAT TOO MUCH PROTEIN?
That’s right, with our big meat diets, we’re already getting too much protein, but not enough of the complex variety of complex nutritional varieties.
Then Watties takes the travesty a step further by providing a recipe for each of the beans, three out of four of which contains meat! We ask: what’s the point of adding beans to a meat-based dish? If the idea is to get people into the idea of eating legumes, why not make those legumes the centre of the meal, and take the meat out of the equation?
Watties should get with the programme, and use their massive power not to encourage people to gobble up yet more protein at the expense of good health, but to plant a seed: the idea that you DON’T need meat every day of the week, with every meal, and that legumes should be replacing meat when they’re used, not added to meat dishes.
Disappointed in you, Watties, and your so-called nutritionist. GARY STEEL