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Sunday, July 22, 2007

The delicious irony of it all

I had to smile when I read the headlines generated by the Food Standards Agency's discovery that it's not only what the papers euphemistically call "low income families" who eat convenience foods high in fat and e numbers. What the Independent today calls "middle class families" (a bold step nowadays to refer to class!) are equally guilty. In fact, there is hardly any difference between what the two types put in their trolley, whether that trolley is being pushed around in Lidl, Asda or Waitrose.

What made me smile was the imagining of shrill rebuttals and disbelief in the middle class homes of the chattering classes. The people who pay through the nose for organic produce and sneer at "low income families" saying that their children are hyperactive and fat because they're fed a diet consisting of the McCains range, cheesy lunchables and the Colonel's bargain bucket. Their chocolate is by Green & Black, not Cadbury, their crisps by Kettle and not Walkers; they rarely pay less than a tenner for a bottle of wine, and they like to buy fresh herbs and whatever's trendy to stave off ageing, pomegranate, blueberries, etc.

Yet despite all their foody posturing, they still lack knowledge of nutrition and health. Or perhaps they have the knowledge but still succumb to the lure of the ready meal. As one commentator pointed out last week, actually we do all know about nutrition and what we should be doing (making meals from scratch, freezing them, eating five portions of fruit and veg a day) but the way of modern life is not to do this. It's all about ease and convenience.

Today at the gym for example, I saw a car searching for a space closest to the building. Everyone seems to do this, whether it's the gym or the superstore. It's no longer "normal" for children to walk to school, even when they can, or for anyone to walk to the shops, even if they're 10 minutes away. We've become use to this life of sloth and indolence. So we all pretend we're too busy, our lives too hectic, to possibly cook our own meals from scratch. But really we're just deluding ourselves.

1 comment:

Bill Blunt said...

I find it more than a little alarming (not to say tempting!) that a whole aisle in Saindbury's is devoted to chocolate. In my childhood days, a bar of chocolate was a treat, to be shared between the family, a square or two each.

Ditto, how many products are there that are smothered in chocolate? The ubiquity of the chocolate biscuit ... quite frightening.

What happened? Did we discover an underground reservoir of chocolate somewhere, that needs using up?

I enjoyed your post!

Bill

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