Thursday, 12 February 2009

Fast food - should the law be changed?

Bry has just posted something about fast food which got me thinking:

Call me a fascist but I really do think that fast food should be more strictly regulated in some way. The laws applying to catering and FF are not the same as those for food which we buy from shops/markets etc. This means that a gazillion types of rubbish is legally allowed to be put into this 'food'.

For example, a caterering supplier around the corner sells drums of pomace oil to restaurants/takeaways. Pomace is non-food grade olive oil. It's the worst kind of olive oil you can get, and is most commonly used in the cosmetics and soap making industry. It's what's left after all the nutritional goodness has been squeezed out of the olives. It's essentially a by-product, and generally deemed unfit for human consumption.

Because laws pertaining to supermarkets are pretty stringent, Waitrose for example, couldn't sell it to its customers for cooking use, but a caterer can. Yet this stuff will clog you up, and give you a bad say the least.

As may be assumed, I'm not a fan of fast food (although the odd pizza has been known to pass my lips) - probably because I was brought up with good, healthy, home-grown food. I've always cooked from scratch too, and frankly, I find it utterly frightening that legally, companies are allowed to put so much crap into food.

Beef connective tissue anyone? Trans fats? Chicken feathers?

Even more frightening is how non-resistant some people seem to be to the appetite-stimulating chemicals which are pumped out of these places and into the surrounding air. Think they don't do that? Think again. Even a certain high st. chocolatier pumps out chocolatey scents in an attempt to get our receptors dictating to our purses. Add to that the flavour enhancers and other almost addiction-inducing chemicals, and what you end up with is a nation of junk(food)ies.

It's not just the obesity issue, although admittedly it is a huge problem, if you'll forgive the pun. It's a question of health too. I go into town and I see leagues of greys at McSatan's. Their skin is dull and lifeless, their hair is manky, and they generally look like extras from Shaun of the Dead. Food is supposed to be good for you. It is supposed to maintain health, not destroy it.

There has to be a level of responsibility because if as Bry says, people are unaware of the damage they are doing to themselves, then the onus must surely be on the food suppliers to ensure that risk of damage is limited. I don't expect for one minute that your average person walks into JunkBurger and asks for nutritional content and an ingredients list for the Big Whoppa they've just ordered. In fact, I'd be surprised if the staff could even furnish said customer with such a thing! How is it so difficult to make a healthy and delicious burger? Surely people's health is more important than profit?

People are always going on about their civil liberties and the Nanny State, but if they are not capable of looking after themselves, then it's time surely, that someone stepped in to lend a hand. We all accept that alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs can be hazardous, so why do we still close our eyes to the damage that food can do?

And don't even get me started on the ecological implications...

Of course, when I rule the world, there will be no fast food outlets. There will be no junk food sold in shops. There will be no wearing of sports clothing unless a sport is being participated in. (The latter will be easy enough to implement however, due to the chavs having been exchanged for fine upstanding citizens from less wealthy nations, who are more than willing to work for a living.)

Furthermore, it will be illegal for Microsoft to try to turn the 360 into a Wii.

Or for Michael Bay to make any more films.

Or for Tom Cruise to call himself a reasonable human being...much less an actor.


sapphireblue said...

You should see the poison peanuts they are trying to feed us here in the U.S.,0,6902138.story

GOK said...

That's utterly bizarre - how on earth do you get the salmonella virus onto peanuts?

The BBC did a very interesting series called 'Mischief' - one of the documentaries was, 'Britain's Most Disgusting Foods'. If you get a chance to watch it, do. There's a clip of it on YouTube;

Jamie Oliver did a series about anti-food; honestly, it's appalling what goes into so-called food. And even worse, people are feeding their children on this rubbish.

What scares me is the level of ignorance regarding food. When I was teaching, most children had no idea where their food came from...they didn't even equate things like burgers with animals!

One boy I knew (aged 12) didn't even know that milk came from cows, let alone goats and sheep. As far as he was concerned, his mum just bought it from the supermarket.

It is now part of the National Curriculum that primary school children must be taught about where their food comes from, and about nutrition.

Of course, this is all very well but if the parents aren't willing to change, what are the kids supposed to do?

I fear for the future - I can see cooking being relegated to the status of craft activity, along with knitting and sewing. These too, were once essential everyday skills.


Gina xx said...

See, My kids know where their food comes from. If we have lamb, then we are eating Shaun, pork is Babe, chicken is Henny Penny and beef is Daisy, goat is Geraldine.
I cook from scratch, have done for years. Occasionally have a lazy fish finger day but usually it's from scratch.

GOK said...

Aaahhh, another Good Life fan I see! :-)

Mine always knew where theirs came from too, although they didn't have character names!

When my children were young, we were about 85-90% self sufficient, so they knew exactly how their food was grown...they often helped with it!

Like you Gina, I've always believed that proper, whole food is best. I just don't understand how people can live off junk day in and day out. Surely they must feel sluggish and generally yucky? Besides, it must cost so much more to have processed food all the time.

Patrizia said...

hey Nicôle!

I'm so honored that you have my blog linked to yours! I always get a buzz when someone does that...(which is rare) :) :)

Fast food can be yukky, I agree.
Occasionally, meaning once every two or three months, it's hot chips for us. They are a real weakness, unfortunately!!