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post 45 on Sunday 9th September 2007 at 09:40

Pop Goes The Weasel

Get yer gas mask!The concept of creating an offensive term by mixing a potentially health-threatening substance or food product with the part it affects has always amused me. Childishly, I do happen to find beer-belly, lard-arse and fish-breath amusing. I could even raise a titter for something a little rarer: but popcorn-lung?

Yes you read the correctly – but only in America. It turns out that the microwave version of this presumed-friendly Friday night staple contains a chemical dangerous enough to warrant the alert of US factory workers who handle it over concerns that it may cause cancer.

Some microwave popcorn contains butter flavouring, Diacetyl, a naturally occurring substance found in products such as milk, cheese, butter, and others. So why is this causing a problem? Well, factory workers have the safety net of protective armour to shield from the ravages of working in a place that makes food (gah!).

However, the case that has caused people to talk involves a consumer at home.

Unprotected, and undoubtedly addicted to microwave popcorn; suffering all the symptoms of popcorn-lung – his case is now serving to highlight the dangers for us all.

Blame the microwave I say. Who are we to complain about cancer-causing food additives when we use the nuke power of fifty million gamma rays to heat food as a matter of course?

But what sort of food is one that, when heated, gives off vapour potent enough to cause the mutation of cells in the lungs when inhaled, anyway? Alright, the dude is obviously sat watching the bowl turn, drooling down his big old pants, totally unaware of the danger, and thinking only of losing himself in mindless oblivion in front of the goggle box some time in the next 20 seconds.

When is the US government going to realise you can't approve a food additive just because you're golf buddies with the CEO of the company that manufacturers it?

It reminds me of the Aspartame scare of a few years back. I can just imagine Ronald Reagan on the fifth hole with Mr. Monsanto, nodding his head and smiling in compliance and joviality, the words "sure you can have a licence, we could all use a little extra sweetness huh?" stumbling off his uneducated tongue.

So there we have it. Another "food" to avoid and another idiot consumer taught a harsh lesson.

tags: [ domestics ] [ food safety ] [ rants ]
post 47 on Thursday 18th October 2007 at 11:05

Making Life Seem Greener?

Making life seem greener?So grandparents' favourite Sainsbury's want to buck up their green cred and be seen as an environmentally conscious retailer, enlisting fish-lipped TV gastro-arse Jamie Oliver in a new television campaign; their MARKETING director crying piteously, "we've been too humble".

You'd think all the do-gooding, Daily Mail reading morons would have tugged on JS's coat tails and lamented "why are you not offering green loyalty points?"

Well maybe these customers are clever enough to already know Sainsbury's is doing *so much* for the environment (guffaw), and are sensible enough not to make a fuss about it? Or maybe the truth - more likely, they, like most sensible people, realise that green loyalty points don't make a flying fuck's worth of difference.

Perhaps they ponder "surely it's the plastic they drive into landfill every year, rotting our earth from its delicate core" or "the fuel miles clocked up shipping carrots from the Netherlands because they're cheaper than carrots from the UK".

One thing's for sure - it's a stupid consumerist society where marketing executives are the new politicians. And I'm not buying it.

tags: [ advertising ] [ domestics ] [ food safety ] [ rants ] [ sainsburys ]