An issue of this mag­ni­tude re­quires a more stu­died stra­tegy

Spain: The T-Bone Steak Debate, Awesome!

Alberto Garzón, Minister of Nutrition.
Alberto Garzón, Minister of Nutrition.

Fernando González Urbaneja | Nutrition, the co­rrect and re­com­mended nu­tri­tion to pre­serve health, deserves a de­bate and an am­bi­tious, hig­h-­level stra­tegy. Michelle Obama de­di­cated a good part of her ac­ti­vism as “second lady” to this cause, co­rrect in­fant nu­tri­tion. It was not with an oc­ca­sional video and a few co­lourful sta­te­ments, but she also pro­posed a stra­tegy and a po­licy of greater range and scope.

And from international organisations, especially the WHO, there are campaigns, studies, proposals… of scope, insufficiently taken up by governments which tend to have other pressing issues.

The Spanish Minister for Consumer Affairs, the somewhat busy Alberto Garzón, has heard the bells ringing and taken the thesis of correct nutrition on board, going at it like a bull in a china shop. A video of just a few minutes was enough for him to combine climate change, greenhouse gases and incorrect nutrition to denounce the fact that Spaniards eat too much meat. All in one fell swoop, with no regard for collateral effects. And without even warning the Minister of Agriculture and Livestock, who dissociates himself from the issue as inopportune at this time of day. The music Garzón or one of his advisors has heard is good, but the interpretation could not be worse, ranging from childish to idiotic.

An issue of this magnitude requires a more studied strategy, the help of experts, awareness and timing. The minister seems to be looking for headline-grabbing impact, and he has succeeded. But not with the results he hoped for.

The Prime Minister is also amongst those surprised by the Consumer Affairs minister’s initiative, which has caught him unawares. His response to the journalists’ predictable question was humorous, as if the subject could be dismissed with a witticism.

The PM says that a steak al punto is unbeatable; awesome; someone could have prepared an answer with more substance. One that did not ridicule his minister and flagged up the idea that nutrition is an important matter needing attention and debate. It is obvious this is an issue that the government will not pay attention to, it is not on the agenda, although there are documented notes in the 2050 Report that La Moncloa has promoted. That said, perhaps they have not read beyond the executive summary.

The issue is a minor one, good for a couple of days of jokes; but it gives the measure of the frivolity of some disengaged minister who, in order to find a gap in the news, throws himself into the abyss.

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