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Alexander: And the winner is ... rhubarb!

Media Statement For immediate release Friday, 10 October, 2003

Alexander: And the winner is ... rhubarb!

New Zealanders are about to be hoodwinked by yet another Green publicity stunt - their annual food awards, United Future MP and French-trained chef Marc Alexander said today.

"And judging from the contenders in various categories being lined up for the usual ritual panning, the awards owe as much to Keith Locke's rampant anti-Americanism as they do to the odd bit of bumpkin science," he said.

Mr Alexander, a judge at a number of food events, including this year's Hokitika Wild Foods Festival, said in the end all their findings would be reduced to wowserish irrelevance if people were to follow the most basic tenet of nutritional common sense - everything in moderation.

"Do that and you can't go wrong," the former Christchurch restaurateur said.

"You certainly don't need to get too concerned about this po-faced disapproval of anything that looks likely to taste good."

Mr Alexander pointed to the nomination of McDonald's fries in the Full O' Fat category with 15 grams of fat and no sugar per 100 grams weight content, yet a muesli bar is nominated in the best breakfast category has 15.6 grams of fat per 100 grams weight and 20 grams sugar per 100 grams.

"And the McDonald's salad doesn't get a mention!

"A little less game-playing and a little more science would go a long way," said of the awards due out this weekend.

"No one would dispute that obesity is a national problem, but the answer lies not in the not-so-well-hidden agenda of fat-taxes, but in getting Kiwis more physically active and responsible for their overall diet.

"One can only assume the Greens will not be rolling out some of their more Rubenesque MPs for the occasion," Mr Alexander said.

Ends.

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