The menu in the time of Corona: the plague and soup – Culture

to feed or to feed. Basic occupation during corona quarantine seems normal. “Illness makes people more physical, and makes them more physical,” says Thomas Mann’s novel about disease par excellence, Magic Mountain. Exaggeration in everyday life: cleaning windows, counting test strips, cooking food or placing them on the threshold of a virus cave. Cook, chew, digest. Consume.

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It’s time to start thinking about food in a pandemic. The Robert Koch Institute counted 23 million cases of coronavirus by mid-April. It also means: Quarantine 23 million times. The number of unreported cases is likely to be much higher. And even if it feels like the pandemic is over now, it isn’t. The next quarantine will surely come.

And where the state fails, companies step in. “Immune broth”: This is the name of the product that Maggi literally made any unnecessary precautions, hitting the broth cube on the head. The soup powder has been on sale since fall 2021, Nestlé’s press office writes upon request. There were three varieties: “Cream vegetable soup” with squash, “Cauliflower and cauliflower” and “Chicken noodle soup”. It was, it was: Because after a warning from the Consumer Counseling Center, Maggie took the soup off the range. The company delivered the last bags to supermarkets at the end of March. The term “immune soup” is an “unacceptable health-related claim,” according to the Consumer Advice Center’s Food Clarity portal.

Maggie explains herself

At least Maggie’s making his statement, the indoor cabaret artist is commenting rudely at this point. When the doctor is on call, you only hear a raspberry berry. The line is overloaded. The fax machine is down. Department of Health: Go unknown. So only thick liquid helps. The child fell into the well, and now only the spices are lost.

The cycle of procedures and their cancellation, once they come into force, seems like an eternity at the “Magic Mountain” sanatorium in Davos. The time a person “spends in bed as a sick person” is “always the same day that repeats itself,” as stated there. “They will serve you midday soup as they brought you yesterday and will bring you tomorrow. And at the same moment it blows upon you–you don’t know how and from where; you feel dizzy when you see the soup coming, the times fade and flow into one another, and what appears to you as the true form of being is a gift Unextended soup is brought to you in it forever.”

Anyone who does not live in the wizarding world of Thomas Man often turns to convenient products these days – for example in the relentless search for an epidemic snack. “Baby, there’s rice,” Helge Schneider said back in 1993. “Rice is delicious and delicious from the cooking bag.” Delicious alone is not enough these days. “Vitamins B12 and B6 support the immune system,” she promises to coat the immune stew, thus relieving the amorphous appetite of a bad conscience. When asked, Nestlé still claims that it is a “legally approved and scientifically proven statement”.

How do health promises work?

Stephanie Wetzel of the Consumer Center sees it differently. The correct statement can only be read in the small print of the soup packaging: the product “… contributes to the normal functioning of the immune system.” Only this statement is scientifically proven and legally approved, she explains. “Health promises are regulated across Europe in the List of Health Claims.”

But even this list is not really enough. Because if Maggi added vitamins to a package of soup, for example, the company could advertise the vitamins’ effect — at least as long as they stick to the prescribed formulations. “But in the worst case, consumers ignore them and pass on the beneficial effect of the added ingredients to the entire product.” You can even advertise a chocolate bar with the claim: “Contributes to the normal function of the immune system.” Of course, only if you add vitamins B12 and B6 beforehand.

strengthening effect

A boost is what homeopathy calls a process by which the remedy is supposed to work best if the active ingredient is heavily diluted with water, alcohol, or lactose. We are not talking about chocolate and soup, so completely new possibilities open up here. In economics, one speaks of scarce goods, which can be compared with piety. It is especially profitable. And now? A major food company that used the pandemic to advertise its products in a misleading way?

“Many products are considered healthy without any scientific knowledge behind them,” explains Tina Bartelms. She is a junior professor of nutritional sociology at the University of Bayreuth. “Then they say: My grandmother was already making soup when I was sick. Of course, the economy is taking advantage of this. There is hardly any need for additional marketing.”

She says that many members of the socioeconomically lower classes also lack nutritional skills. “But you must assume a certain level of consumer critical awareness.” Barthelemys finds it unlikely that many customers will truly believe in the curative effects of the sack soup.

Nobody should believe in advertising

However, the complicated thing about advertising is that no one has to really believe in it in order to succeed. Advertising “presupposes that this is a presupposition,” system theorist Niclas Lohmann wrote in his book The Truth of the Media. In other words, she assumes no one believes her and yet continues to pretend playfully. So there is such a thing as German health politicians with their foolproof, water-soluble claims: “We have the alternative under control”; or “You should learn to live with the virus” or “Summer will be good.”

Perhaps not all of this is tragic after all. Pandemic soup is very salty, sure. But it is not only companies that fill the void left by the state. If everyone has been quarantined at some point, (almost) everyone has (almost) shopped for someone else at some point. “Let me know if you need anything.” Sleeping acquaintances wake up, more reliably than when it comes to renting an apartment in a large city in West Germany.

Sociologist Bartelemis says that shopping is not without its pitfalls. Anyone who has coronavirus at home and lets others run errands for them has “certain expectations of what to buy, usually without making them specifically”. This can go wrong. Then you end up with the wrong apple in the bag, cheese too expensive or too cheap, and frankly, do you really need that much chocolate? “You should convey these expectations more accurately,” Bartelmes advises. Women often do this in their daily lives anyway. “But maybe a lot of guys haven’t talked to their friends about what is important to them when it comes to grocery shopping. And now I’m shopping for a girlfriend for the first time in her life.”

act of love

Shopping for each other is an “act of love,” as anthropologist Daniel Miller wrote in his book “Shopping Theory.” This love is not about a “romantic vision of the perfect moment”, it is about caring daily for each other. It is ambiguous and full of contradictions. “Attention, anxiety, commitment, responsibility, and habits play a role in these relationships, as do resentment, frustration, and even hate.”

In such a bubbling condition, an immune broth can’t hurt like a little shopping joke. It is true that satirical shopping does no more harm to large corporations than the malicious consumption of reality shows by television stations. Even companies are specifically benefiting from the attention they receive from marketing gags like Dr. The Oetker, or “Ritter Sport Mett” chocolate bar, was announced on April 1, 2014.

In the maze of signs

But if there is no way out of the maze of signs, then one should at least use it. “Immune” soup powder is no longer available for this purpose as it has been banned from supermarket shelves. But her name is now free. With a good deal you will surely get their rights. A Service Proposal for Good: If the Vaccination Campaign Fizzles, the Vaccination Demand in the Stars – Why Not Rename the Good Old Syringe Again? “Immune soup” against Corona: Who would not dare to throw it in his arm?

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