Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Thursday, 31 October 2013

What are they doing to our Food?

Our food manufacturers seem to be giving into government "suggestions" that they reduce the amount of fat, salt and sugar in our manufactured foods with the result that they are becoming quite tasteless.
First it was salt. Manufacturers were pressurised to reduce the amount of salt in food on the basis that it helps prevent heart problems. What they don't mention is that for older people like myself, lack of salt gives you joint pains which can make life quite uncomfortable. Is it better that I should eat some salt and still be able to walk a few miles, or give it up and be confine to the house by knee pains?

Then it was fat. Too many people in the country are obese, so we must all suffer. The net result seems to be that our ordinary loaves and biscuits have become crumbly. Hobnobs, which used to be one of my favourites, have become so crumbly that there's almost as much in crumbs left on the plate than I've eaten in the form of biscuit. Ginger Nuts have lost their crunch and aren't what they used to be. The latest company to announce a change is Nestle who are to reduce the fat in their Kit Kats, no doubt cutting costs at the same time.

Now today it is sugar, again presumably because of obesity, The government is to lower the minimum amount of sugar that must be used when making jam, and no doubt manufacturers will make full use of this reduction and substitute some cheaper alternative.  Fortunately, it seems that jam will be available from other sources; I alread buy marmalade from a lady who makes and sells it in aid of her church funds; it is far superior than any that I can get in the supermarket and is no more expensive. It doesn't come with a warning that it must be refrigerated after opening as it contains sufficient sugar to allow it to be kept in the sideboard, just as my mother did. Jams are also available from various other organisations raising funds, and already the demand tends to outstrip supply as people seek "the real thing" without added chemicals. Incidentally, when I last looked, a bag of muesli with "no added sugar" cost more at Tesco than one with added sugar!

Its time we were told to look after our own health and the government stopped interfering. If people want to get obese, that's their problem, and although it may cost the NHS money in the short term, they are unlikely to live long lives and will cost the state less in the longer term.

So, I'm going to follow in the footsteps of my parents and grandmother, eating what I fancy in moderation. My one regret is that I can't have decent dripping toast, as I had when I was a child, the modern beef has insufficient fat to produce any worthwhile dripping, although I've now been told that one can buy tubs of it at a local farm shop

My parents ate good food, with plenty of salt, fats and sugar, and both lived well into their nineties,  and my grandmother lived to 102. I'm hoping to follow in their footsteps, but some how I suspect that all the "E numbers" in my food are doing me more harm than the good old fasioned salt, fat and sugar.


  1. The sad thing is that those people selling home-made jams and marmalades are undoubtedly breaking all kinds of rules and laws (as well as possible tax evasion).

    Even sadder still is that there would be some people who, were they to get wind of this activity, would actually report them to the authorities and see that as them doing their "civic duty" or some nonsense.

    The world has indeed gone mad.

    As for the salts and sugars, I used to get into all kinds of arguments with my manager when I was deputy manager of a nursing home because she would hide the salt and pepper pots.

    One woman, in particular, used to smother her food in salt (I had to admit, it turned my stomach to see how much she used) but she ploughed into that salt with food under it like it was the nicest thing she'd ever eaten.

    My view was that if that's what she likes, who were we to interfere. My boss took the view that it was bad for her health.

    The salt-loving lady in question was 88 years old...

  2. Earlier in the year a directive (don't you just hate that word) from the EU, forbade the reusing of jam jars, instead only new ones can be used. What a daft ruling, all jam jars, new or reusable have to be sterlised so it makes no difference which ones are used.
    I volunteer for a charity, we have ladies who make jam and chutney to sell for said charity, however head office have now ruled that only new jam jars are to be used, end of ladies making jam and chutney.
    There's no ruddy sense left in this country now.