National Muesli Week Anyone?

I have been a regular consumer for many years. I have faced the supermarket weekly for well over twenty years. I have bought all the food and household products for seven people for over five years. I have been swayed by some ad campaigns and special offers. I have seen through others. I thought I had seen it all.

But what I saw last week in the supermarket in-store magazine topped it all. The news that 17-24 May was officially National Watercress Week filled me with horror, ridicule and despair. Not that I have anything particularly against watercress – but why have a week formally designated to it?

Flicking through the magazine, I was also made aware of other such ‘Weeks’. Did you know that 10-16 May was British Sandwich Week and National Breastfeeding Awareness Week? Sorry if you are disappointed that those have passed you by. The bad news is you also missed National Bread Week from the 4-10 May, so you may now have to wait a while for another bread-related week. The 18-22 May is also Walk to School Week and National Allergy Week. I guess for some, those two may be related.

Why do we do it? To raise awareness? As an advertising opportunity? To promote healthy living? As a chance for real fans to celebrate? Will National Watercress Week really have made some quantifiable difference?

Who comes up with these ’Weeks’ anyway? How do they become official? Can anyone have a go? I would like to propose 23-30 May as National Muesli Week and this is my pitch.

We all know the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. It’s a great start to the day, activating your brain and giving you the energy to give your best until lunch. And what better than muesli, the healthiest of all healthy breakfasts? Muesli was developed for just that reason. In around 1900, a Swiss physician saw muesli as a great way to boost the health of patients in his hospital. It became popular in western countries in the 1960s as people became increasingly interested in healthy eating and recognised the combination of beneficial ingredients found in a bowl of muesli. Fresh fruit, oats, nuts…..ingredients high in fibre and omega-3 fatty acids, with a low glycaemic index, shown to reduce high cholesterol and the risk of cancer…all served up with either fresh or soya milk. Perfect.

The only way to make it more perfect would be to buy Fair Trade or organic muesli. Then the benefit would not only be yours, but also the environment, and the growers and the producers of the ingredients. I’m a fan of Traidcraft muesli, especially now they have released an Apricot and Cranberry variety. I like to be able to read the information about the farmers on the back of the box. I like to know that what is improving the quality of my life is improving the quality of life for others as well. I like to be able to offer my family a choice of varieties to suit all tastes and with brands like Traidcraft, Rude Health and Alara; we’re spoilt for choice!

So are you with me on this? Will you join me in making 23-30 May National Muesli Week? Let me know your thoughts.

Happy munching!

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