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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 13, 2005

Food Controversy Rocks Observer Blog


It's always interesting to see the things people get het up about over at the Observer Blog. This time it's to do with food, and one of those Sunday supplement lists. Most people either turn the page and ignore it or simply enjoy it on its own terms. Others get a bit hot under the collar that anybody would dare to talk about gastronomy while there's even one hungry child in the world.

There's that scene in one of the Woody Allen movies - can't ever enjoy himself if there's even one person unhappy in the world. Was it Anne Hall (Anhedonia) or Stardust Memories?

Or, as Bruce Springsteen once said, "Nobody wins unless everybody wins."

I enjoy a bit of food myself. I find that I regularly get hungry, no matter what day it is, and I end up eating something. Rather than eat grey mush out of a tin cup with a broken spoon, I tend to try to make something enjoyable and vaguely good for me.

Last night, for example, I made a tortilla with onions, pepper, mushrooms, and new potatoes - 4 eggs, but I only ate a quarter, so 1 egg.

But the people on the Observer Blog who criticise and carp on about starving people? Well, to me, they're more crass and offensive than the actual list itself could ever hope to be. First of all, yeah, right-on, but if you hate the Sunday Supplement middle-classness of it all, what are you doing reading the Observer in the first place? Frankly, I don't see many Snottingham working class types reading papers like the Guardian and Observer. Your broadsheet customer is, on the whole, middle-class by default, even if they did read one chapter of Das Kapital at University and think "we're all working class really."

The guy who posted "Share a biscuit with an Ethiopian child" 67 times must be great fun to know. I love people who go round the internet looking to pick fights.

As for the gastronomy, I can take or leave your 238-course meal for 16 quid, or whatever it was. I've had multi-course meals on occasions in France, and I always stop enjoying the food after I've stuffed myself on h'ors d'oevres, which is always the best bit.

But - and here's the point - much of the list provided by the Observer and contributors to the Blog is all about local food, local produce. The best food is fresh food, and the only way to get fresh food is not to be down Tesco when it opens (it never closes, does it?) to get food that has trundled up and down motorways for several days. It's to be there, on the ground, in the locality.

As far as I'm concerned, and I think Simon will agree, the future lies in local produce. It has a lower impact on the environment and is better for us all - including that biscuitless Ethiopian kid - in the long term. So, if you think about it, it is kinda politically correct to sing the praises of local food. Sure, you have to travel to get there to enjoy it, but people do travel don't they? Sometimes the most right-on sandal wearing vegetarian socialist types travel the furthest.

But even if you don't travel, you can take from such lists the strong message that local is best, and apply it to your own life, in as many ways as you can. That way, everybody does win.


  • A very big MO' 75 to all of that.

    I agree with all of it.

    And in spite of my pessimism, I think that there are probably only three or four major problems with our world, and International homogenised products in supermarkets are a big element of several of them.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 3:04 am  

  • right on for local food. i only ever buy joosters from the shop round the corner.

    By Blogger dog, at 4:57 am  

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