Sunday, 16 January 2011

Sweets For My Sweet; Fish Gelatin For My Honey

Having a kid has made me more aware of what’s in what we eat. I’m afraid I’m not a complete hippy and have never de-toxed. I’m also a true Scottish Dad so if the organic version of something is ridiculously more expensive than the chemically-induced one, I side with price rather than environment, feel guilty for a nanosecond and feel better about saving my pennies.

The rise of food labelling is seen universally as a good thing. Red tractors, traffic lights for fat, sugar and salt, and explanations of E numbers. But sometimes I think less is more.
For this reason I’ve never looked at the ingredients on the side of a haggis. I know perfectly well what’s been stuffed in this sheep’s stomach. I just don’t need it printed in front of me in black and white, thank you.

Bizarrely my mum got me Haliborange for Christmas. Maybe I’ve been looking a bit peely-wally. If so I expect to be brimming with vitality soon after a few days necking ‘orange flavour chewable tablets with sugar and sweetener’. Sugar AND sweetener? Double the goodness! And let’s check the full list of ingredients: Talc, Aluminium Silicate, Fish Gelatin, Carnauba Wax, Titanium Dioxide, and more Gelatin (presumably this time from cows’ hoofs). Mmm, mmm!

Another brilliant festive gift was a box of Jellied Fruits. I am half tempted to contact Trading Standards as I don’t think fruit has come anywhere near this box. Indeed there’s a warning on the back: May have an adverse affect on activity and attention in children. Still, they’re endorsed by cake legend Jane Asher so what are you waiting for? Tuck in…

After the Advent Calendar incident we’ve been pretty good at keeping TWMBO away from chocolate and other sweets. One foodstuff I had hoped she’d take to was cheese. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Namely: I love it but if I eat too much dairy my skin goes bonkers.

On the subject of dairy I see the number of dairy farms has dropped again yet the number of cows has gone up. And of course the mega-dairy is on its way. It’s enough to make you udder, I mean shudder.

And while I’m in bash-the-big-boys mode, I saw this load of bullocks from Sainsbury’s. They and other out-of-town retailers are fretting about a proposed rates increase by the SNP Government. In reality it would only apply to one tenth of one percent of stores and only increase their rates from two per cent of turnover to two-point-three. Aww, diddums.

Back to the cheese course and sadly TWMBO keeps turning her nose up at it. I‘ve even tried screening some Wallace and Gromit in the hope they‘ll provide role models. According to the books one of the best ways to get kids to eat their greens is to smother them (the veg, not the bairns) in cheese sauce. She does like pasta so maybe macaroni will have to be tried.

But I mustn’t grumble. As I type she’s wolfing pitta bread after pitta bread from the Findhorn Bakery. Ingredients: Flour, water, malt, sunflower oil, sea salt and yeast. And nothing else. See what I mean by less is more?

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