Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The tobacco template reaches your dinner plate.

 Jamie Oliver's secret desire.

In recent years there has been a lot of talk about 'organic' and 'natural' foods, but the truth is, there's not much of that available and hasn't been for quite some time. It starts out natural and organic but by the time you get hold of it, a great deal might have happened to it.

For example, there are legal limits to how much 'added' water can be in any meat product when it goes on sale. Some water is inevitable, due to the processing methods, but once you have a maximum limit, then it becomes legal to add water up to the limit - so everyone does. If the process doesn't add enough, a syringe will finish the job.

Paying bacon prices for water is irritating but harmless. With most fresh meat and vegetables there isn't too much else to worry about other than whatever contamination it might have picked up on the way to the shop. Yes, it's tested for bacterial contamination but not all of it. The test destroys the food so it can't all be tested. Just samples.

Then there's the processed stuff. The mechanically-recovered scraps from the skeleton after it's been stripped of the good stuff, compressed into something roughly meat-shaped and covered with a disguise in the form of breadcrumbs or batter. Other forms of processing result in things like coleslaw and potato salad, sauces and dips. The more handling, the greater the risk of contamination and the greater the amount of added chemicals.

Salt is a trivial concern here. It will be reduced because the food industry is reacting in exactly the same way as the tobacco and booze industries to Righteous demands. They are attempting to appease the Banmeisters in the hope that they will be satisfied. No, they won't. They will never stop. The only thing the food industry has been vocal about is sugar and since that is now firmly in there with alcohol and tobacco, they stand no chance.

So we have scientists claiming that salt in crisps takes 20 seconds to be released. Who chews a crisp for that long? No matter, they will chemically modify those crisps so that, along with the artificial flavourings, you will now experience the wonders of chemical coatings so they can use less salt and more strange chemicals because strange chemicals are good for you and salt is deadly.

Who gets most of their salt intake from crisps?  It's surely an irrelevance unless you live on the things. Yet the salt reduction techniques applied to these high-salt snacks is likely to spill over into ordinary-salt-level foods. There are already drugs that limit the uptake of fats by the gut, and drugs that limit salt intake must be at the development stage by now. Why else would all those Pharma drones be so vociferous all of a sudden?

There's plenty more. Phosphates added to food (often used as a cheap acidity regulator) will now give you heart attacks and so the scientists want the labels to have red, yellow or green tags to reflect the phosphate content. How many of the general public know what phosphate is? It's going to be a breeze to terrify them with that. It's also going to confuse the hell out of them when there are the same labels for salt and fat and now sugar. You'll have more traffic lights than London on every packet. It'll be a case of 'Which would you like to die from? The salt in this one, the sugar in that one, or the phosphates over there?' There will be endless fun to be had just watching the drones trying to buy food.

Interesting, isn't it, that despite the claimed fantastic fall in heart attack cases since the smoking ban, practically everything you eat and drink will give you a heart attack? How can this be? Never mind, none of the drones will even think to question it.

So how will the food industry fare against the Righteous? Surely they must have a better chance than booze and baccy. Nobody needs to smoke or to drink alcohol but we all have to eat. Food is natural. Isn't it?

Well, here's a formulation for mayonnaise that contains no dairy products at all. It is an entirely artificial construct. Tastes like mayo, but what are you actually eating there? Then there is, at last, the reality of Soylent Green - food made from algae.Yes, it has arrived and even though grazing on algae is about as natural for humans as swimming around filtering krill through our teeth, it is presented as 'good for you' because it doesn't have fat in it.

Well, neither does gravel but I'll pass on that, thanks. There are many more scientifically-produced foods and additives to be found on that site.

The food industry has long treated us as one big experiment. 'Feed them this stuff and see what they make of it. Oh, it makes them fat? Sell them this other stuff and tell them it'll make them thin.' So the food industry can claim no moral high ground against the Righteous. They've been meddling with food for years. Preservatives in, preservatives out, E numbers, flavour enhancers, acidity regulators, things like 'I can't believe anyone thinks axle grease is butter' and value-brand cheese that melts like plastic. Now the Righteous want to play too.

 There is nothing the food industry can do about it. Not that they're likely to try too hard. If they can leave out something and all their competitors have to leave it out too, everyone saves money and they're all happy. The 'level playing field' is all ready for this new game. Once more we see, instead of 'get lost and stop hitting us' it's another case of 'if you hit us, you have to hit them too'. Ah, but when those hits actually boost profits...

Mars are gleefully cutting the size (but not the price) of their chocolate bars in a pretend-health move. Peanuts are noticeably less salty, even the ones that are not advertised as being suitable for gullible morons who believe all this crap.

All these lactose-intolerant, wheat-intolerant, nut-allergic people - where did they come from? All those irritable bowels, all those bloating stomachs. There was none of this forty years ago. I knew nobody, growing up, with any such ailments and now it seems every other person I meet has them. It's still milk, still bread, still peanuts. That hasn't changed. Has it?

Well, there are things in animal feeds now that weren't there forty years ago. Milk was pasteurised or sterilised or condensed or dried. Now there is a whole rack in every supermarket of various grades of processed milk and you sometimes get funny looks if you buy the non-diluted stuff. Bread lasts disturbingly longer than it used to and includes all kids of 'added nutrients'.

Maybe it's not the lactose and the wheat. Maybe it's the meddling that people are reacting to. The answer? More meddling, of course. Soya milk and chemical mayonnaise. Flour made from algae. Replace the sugar with chemicals. Replace the sodium chloride with potassium chloride and don't, whatever you do, find out what vets use to put down dogs.

Now the Righteous are involved with their tobacco control template and what happens next is entirely predictable to every smoker in the land. Just as many of us have already started growing our own before plain packs make the flood of dodgy baccy inevitable, it's time to start finding your own sources of food. Plain packaging on those cat chicken dippers means you'll never know what's really in them because that plain packaging is so easy to fake. Learn to set snares and find out where the nearest rabbits live. Take another look at the rising numbers of roadkill-collectors. Keep a few rabbits or chickens, dig out the geraniums and plant potatoes.

There is no aspect of your life the Righteous will not meddle in. Tobacco was just the start. The end?

There isn't an end.


Andy Dwelly said...

A couple of months back I started getting industrial levels of acid indigestion, and noticed that it was on days when I'd had sandwiches at lunch or pasta at dinner. So I stopped eating wheat based stuff pretty much completely. I had a bun this weekend and you could have used me as part of a lead acid battery that night.

When I looked into it I found that what we call wheat has changed quite significantly in the last few decades. Our grandparents ate something from a plant called triticum aestivum which had changed only slowly over the previous several hundred years. These days, most farmers grow dwarf wheat varieties, triticum compactum, and triticum durum. These are high yield, pest resistant, and may or may not contain some weird amino acids not present in the original. It's only anecdotal, but giving up bread appears to be giving me an easier nights sleep and my consumption of Rennies has plummeted.

In any case, it would seem that you don't necessarily need to add strange things to bread to get the effects you described. The basic ingredient - flour - has changed.

GAinNY said...

Soylent Green is made out of people. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0070723/quotes)

Simon Cooke said...

In Annie Hawes' book about living in Liguria she describes the family who called their home-made wine - "wine made from grapes" to distinguish it from the stuff in the shops that, presumably, wasn't made from grapes!

sillyusername said...

I very rarely take odds with anything you say, but mayonnaise is not a dairy product. Having made it myself many times I have to tell you it is made from eggs, oil and seasoning. No dairy as eggs do not come from cows, well cows do produce eggs, but the ones we eat generally come from chickens. Other than that a very interesting post.

sillyusername said...

Oh and lactose intolerance, which affects over one third of the worlds population has been known of for longer than thirty years. Europeans are mostly lactose tolerant (except for very high levels of intolerance in Finland) because of habitual cows milk consumption which induces lactase expression. Lactase is present in the gut of human infants, but unless milk consumption continues after weaning it declines into adulthood.

mrs.raft said...

May I recommend a lovely box of salt for Sir's cupboard?  I always have my favourite (Maldon) but there are plenty of others to choose from.  Butter- fried egg with sea salt and dippy chippy fresh from the shop is a dinner for the gods. 

N.B. Andy Dwelly is right about the wheat.  If you change just that one ingredient to something sensible like spelt flour a great many problems go away. I don't know why, but I do know that spelt bread makes you feel like you've eaten food whereas some of the modern wheat breads behave like MSG and corn syrup - they seem to make you more hungry rather than less.

Dr Evil said...

'Ang on LH...........mayonnaise doesn't contain dairy products. It's egg yolks, olive oil and a touch of vinegar, a bit of salt and that's it! Joe Pub probably doesn't know phosphates are jolly useful for turning into bone, not just pH control. Mars is an utter disgrace, but they have been reducing the Mars bar in weight for years. I love the 'marine oil' added too. Just deodourised cheapo fish oil. in chocolate? Never in Belgium or Switzerland. We do put u with crap in our food. as for water in bacon...... brine is supposed to reduce water content! I suggest buying shares in the producers of trisodium polyphosphate!

nicholas.ashley1 said...

Just spotted a few typos and further down 'Lactase'. Now whatever happened to good old beta galactosidease then?

sillyusername said...

 lactase is one of the beta galactosidase family of enzymes. Before you decide to be a smartarse check, OK.

Legiron said...

 I never touch the stuff personally. I had assumed there was milk involved in it somewhere, but if that's wrong, then it's wrong.

For some reason I have never understood, eggs are classed as 'dairy'. Anyhow, the point is there are no eggs in the new syntho-mayonnaise, whether you class them as dairy or as chicken-bottom-produce. There is soya milk though.

Legiron said...

 I was aware of widespread lactose intolerance in places like China and sure enough, when I went there, they regarded the Western obsession with milk in tea as bizarre. Milk is for babies over there.

Growing up though, there was no such thing as lactose intolerance here, and being allergic to bread was unheard of.

Legiron said...

 Yes, but it was sold as being made from algae from the sea. It wasn't until Saul got hold of the oceanic reports that concluded the seas were dead that the truth was found.

This new flour is sold as being made from algae... but it won't be easy to convince anyone that a meat extract comes from algae. That's where the film falls down. If only they had thought of pretending to grow meat in vats instead.

Rather than growing meat in vats, how much easier would it be to dissolve dead bodies in vats and sell that as 'grown meat'? I wonder if either of those technologies will ever come to pass? (oh, I have just thought of something fun to drop into casual conversation somewhere!)

Legiron said...

 There are things called lectins in wheat which can cause problems with some people. Maybe, after hundreds of years of adapting to one variety, we're having to start all over with the new varieties.

I wonder who thought of eating grass seed in the first place? Must have been somebody very hungry indeed.

nemesis said...

I remember seeing a telly programme where in order to give low fat mayonnaise the right consistency they added the gloop from rotten lettuces. yuk. full fat for me.

Dr Evil said...

Using the term lactase is just lazy. It ain't in my copy of Lwhniger either.

opinions powered by SendLove.to