The T-bone Steak Debate, Awesome!

Alberto GarzónAlberto Garzón, Spanish Minister for Consumer Affairs

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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The Corner
The Corner has a team of on-the-ground reporters in capital cities ranging from New York to Beijing. Their stories are edited by the teams at the Spanish magazine Consejeros (for members of companies’ boards of directors) and at the stock market news site Consenso Del Mercado (market consensus). They have worked in economics and communication for over 25 years.