I fancied a snack the other day and so took a stroll to the local shop. There are times, you see, when you want a snack and not a hotel meal and to be honest I can rarely suffer hotel snacks (or their cost). I found some sort of meat product in the fridge and concluded that the addition of some form of bread roll and a packet of crisps would meet my needs. At the rear of the store I found various flat breads and chapatis (well I am in North London), loaves of bread and, finally, bread rolls. Obviously I had no use for a loaf of bread but a packet of 4 bread rolls was ideal. Having paid for my goods and wiped my hands clean of the grease transferred on my change due to the overweight storekeeper not wanting to take a break from his food,I set off to the hotel.
I should have known something was wrong when I struggled to open the bag of rolls. This was no mere plastic wrap, it was nuclear holocaust proof stuff. Gaining access was only the first half of the battle, when they pack things inside a ‘protective atmosphere’ it is not because it is fragile in fact the opposite is true. As I snapped a roll out of the four and cracked it open, yes those terms are accurate, I pondered what allows something to be called bread when it is so far from anything you would recognise. The bread had a very strange taste, it was dryer than leather and generally not a great experience. I managed a couple, they were the size of biscuits, and then gave up for fear that the ingredients were actually hazardous to my health.
What really got me thinking is the families shopping in the store. I appreciate that transport issues mean that this is more than a convenience store to many but with delivery and public transport should it be? I almost appreciated the Iceland mums when I watched young mums buying this garbage for their kids. A few days previously I had seen a mum picking up bread rolls and Bobby’s crisps for her children’s supper. What does this do to children, feeding them food that bears no resemblance to what it is supposed to be. Is this breeding a generation that wont understand what food actually is, will they go out for a meal one night in years to come and reject the bread roll because they don’t recognise it? Is this why our bakeries are struggling, because children don’t recognise what actual bread is. It is not just cheap plastic rolls it is the pink textureless, factory produced ham, the slices of yellow (who can call it cheese) this manufactured garbage is the education of these poor kids pallets. I don’t think that we need to go as far as showing children that animals are slaughtered to make dinner although, where it is convenient, I have no objection. Should we not show our children that there are supposed to be bones in ham? How about demonstrating that cheese does not come as string or as slime that will stick to a wall.
As parents it is our job to educate our children, we should introduce them to as many foods as possible but I think that we can skip the garbage group. Educate your children as to the quality so that when they are adults they will be able to cope in a restaurant and will have aspirations when cooking dinner. The thing that we don’t need to show our kids is garbage food, trust me they will find that on their own. Lets be honest, if you want grandchildren then your going to want children that are capable of taking their future partners to a restaurant, don’t rely on the state continuing to sponsor childbirth!