The Warrior Queen has been a bit peeved. She wants to know why you can’t get real food anymore. There were so many different types of milk on offer down at Food-o-rama, she didn’t feel qualified to make an intelligent decision.
Manufacturers obviously wouldn’t know a cow from their elbow. It was either skim, trim, lite, brite, lo-fat, no-fat, soy, protein enriched, thigh-enhancing or joggers’ delite. What are you supposed to do? All you want is a drop of white stuff in your coffee – is it too much to ask? Well, yes, actually. It either comes with everything taken out of it, or a whole lot of other stuff put in. You can’t just get it the way God intended, because that would look as if nobody had bothered. No matter how much trouble the poor old cow went to, trying to ensure a fresh, nutritious product – the human being has to get right in there, stuffing about with it.
It doesn’t stop with milk, either. There’s the bread enigma. Not content with it being merely white or brown, you can now get it with hidden grains. Secretive ones, even. Grains you have when you don’t want anyone to know you’re having grains. Grains your kids can’t see, so they think they’re having bread that’s bad for them when you’re really fooling them into having something nutritious. Like grains. That’ll be 50c extra for the hidden goodness, please – and sucked in because you can’t prove whether you’re paying for anything extra at all!
The WQ wants to trot down to the shop with her pail and have it filled straight from the udder. She wants to take her burlap bag and have them weigh out a pound of faggots and a few grams of broken biscuits. She wants to go home with a lump of cheese wrapped in muslin and stuck solidly under her armpit. Such were the halcyon days!
It’s all becoming too complicated by far when you need a chemistry degree to go to Food-o-rama to choose ingredients for a simple family meal. What’s worse, most of the stuff we’re getting these days tastes like crap. That’s because chemicals taste like crap – and they’re supposed to – they’re medicine. Chemicals were not supposed to taste like roast beef. When you pump cows full of them, roast beef doesn’t taste like roast beef. But it’s supposedly immortal. You can keep it in your refrigerator forever. An eight-year-old cheeseburger found recently under the seat of a car still looked edible. Bully for it.
Not satisfied with having destroyed the very essence of milk, bread and meat, there are people – thin people – employed to create smug little labels to stick on everything. If you check out the labels you can see exactly how many calories you’re going to pack on if you eat the whole box – which, let’s face it – was the general idea. Sometimes the amount of calories is thousands. The front of the pack says ‘Baked not Fried – 97% Fat Free’. It’s still thousands. This is something I really need to know.
There is absolutely no enjoyment in a Mars Bar if you are forced to read first how it has 100% fat, 10 million calories and the potential to render you incapable of fitting into a bus seat unless the one beside you is unoccupied.
There is no fun in having to read a list of numerals which indicate whether or not your children will trash the house and try to kill each other if they eat the product. Why not skip the additives in the first place? Who cares if the stuff won’t last until the middle of next year? Who wants to stare at a packet of bacon in the fridge for longer than a few weeks anyway?
Nobody used to die from eating fresh food. They didn’t crawl the walls either. They didn’t need to fill themselves with prescription chemicals to override the effects of food additives. We were perfectly happy with a bit of botulism every now and then, and the odd attack of dysentery. Chickens were free to lay their eggs wherever they damn well pleased, in the sunshine, under trees, in the privacy of their own yard – and you didn’t have to pay extra for them having the pleasure.
Eliza … where the devil is my burlap bag?