As a children’s food guru, Annabel Karmel built a multi-million-pound empire telling parents how to cook healthy meals for youngsters.
And after lucrative contracts with the likes of Disney, retail chain BHS signed her up to develop a children’s menu for their restaurants.
Hurrah, a British businesswoman doing business. Good news, yes?
But Mrs Karmel, who was awarded an MBE in 2006 for outstanding work in child nutrition, has been forced to backtrack on claims that her food was ‘healthy and nutritious’ – after a leading expert reported her ‘outrageous’ claims to a local council.
What ‘outrageous claims’ were these? What was she serving? Irradiated food? Foie gras? Polar bear livers?
Harley Street nutritionist Yvonne Bishop-Weston was horrified when she saw the dishes, which included burgers, sausages, chips and ice cream, were being promoted on posters and menus as healthy options.
‘It is outrageous that food such as burgers, sausages, and sugary snacks are being advertised as healthy,’ she said.
Why? Eaten in moderation, there’s nothing wrong with them!
Neil Alcorn, from the food and safety team at Croydon council, said: ‘We have been told they have had several high-level meetings with Annabel Karmel regarding the wording for the children’s meal boards in the store and have agreed that the word “healthy” will be removed from the menu boards.’
Does that satisfy the likes of Miss Bishop-Weston? Well, what do you think?
Despite the climbdown, the self-appointed ‘UK’s number-one parenting author’, whose business has a turnover of more than £20milllion, is still claiming the dishes are ‘nourishing’ on her company’s website.
Well, why not? The dictionary defines ‘nourishing’ as ‘To provide with food or other substances necessary for life and growth’.
Can this NuPuritan honestly claim that’s not true of these foodstuffs?
Miss Bishop-Weston welcomed the store’s climbdown as a ‘small victory,’ but said she would have preferred the menus to have been overhauled – offering food that was ‘actually healthy’.
Well, love, when you land a contract with BHS, you can put your preferred foods on the children’s menu – beans, pulses, vegetables and wholemeal pasta.
And when BHS profit drop and restaurant waste goes up, they’ll know who to blame.