What is going on with food these days?! 0



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Apparently the thing you have to drink now, in order to stay healthy is pea milk! The manufacturer claims that this milk, made from yellow peas, provides 8g of protein per glass, less than half the natural sugar found in a cow’s output and 50 per cent more calcium than the cow’s as well. I must confess, my first thought was – how the hell do you milk a pea? But then of course, common sense took over and I realised what they must do is get a whole herd of them together and gently squeeze them until they reluctantly give up their content. Having worked that one out, I then started to wonder if ‘herd’ was the correct descriptor for a group of peas; should they perhaps be referred to as a ‘pod’ of peas, or even a ‘clamber’, because pea plants are notorious for clambering all over any support they can find.

Then I gave up and went back to reading the rest of my Sunday paper before I had to get up for the eggs on toast Jacqui would soon have ready for me!

Talking of eggs, that little story in the paper did get me thinking about all the fad foods we are conned into eating, with several new ones appearing every year. And the ‘experts’ change their minds such a lot too. Regarding the eggs, I remember a time when we were extolled to “Go to work on an egg”, only to be told, a few years later that eggs were borderline deadly and should be avoided at all costs if we wanted to live to a ripe old age! Then, another few years later we were told a mistake had been made and eggs were once again allowed on our breakfast tables. I wonder how long it will be before they are removed from our menus yet again, because some bright scientist has discovered a chemical in all eggs which the world had never been aware of, but which will shrivel your sexual organs if you eat more than one egg a month!

Then there are the fad diets. They say you must eat nothing but protein, or cabbage, or chocolate coated wheatmeal biscuits for two weeks, while others insist that colonic irrigation is the answer to everyone’s prayers and yet more advise us to drink at least five gallons of ‘organic’ water a day. (What on earth is ‘organic water’ for goodness sake, and how does it differ from ordinary water?)

We can also add food and drink snobs to our list. You know, it’s those people who drink wine and try to convince us that they can detect the flavours of walnuts, chocolate, gooseberries, wood smoke, citrus fruit, oak and blackberries in their glasses. Isn’t it amazing how they can taste all that, yet I’ve never met one who could simply say, “That tastes like a nice dry red should”, or perhaps at the other end of the quality test, “Bloody hell, who put petrol in this?” Both comments the average wine drinker, and enjoyer, could understand and trust. And have you noticed, the same thing is now starting to happen with coffee, which apparently has a myriad of different flavours and textures, if you are educated enough to be able to recognise them. Right at the top of the quality coffee tree, there’s a brew that has to be made with beans which have been passed through the intestines of a particular breed of monkey, and then given back to the eagerly waiting world by means of the same method we all use to get rid of bodily wastes! However much they washed those beans, I’d even prefer a cup of Nescafe to a cup of that!

No, I may be a bit of a philistine where food is concerned, but I know what I like and simple and nourishing suits me best – a nice plateful of roast beef and three veg, washed down with an inexpensive glass of Aldi red followed by a bowl of sherry trifle or apple pie would be fine. And I am NOT going to tell you about all the subtle flavours I can detect in that, either!

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Brian Lee

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