Food for thought

“It’s so hard not to eat all the time,” said Child Two the other day as we moseyed around the Westfield shopping centre at Stratford. We had mistakenly taken the escalator into the food court (we were looking for shampoo) and we were surrounded by enormous heaps of food. I could see fudge, biscuits, chips, tortillas, ice cream …. there was a ton of stuff for sale, and none of it was going to do any of us any good. I hadn’t been feeling particularly hungry before our plunge into Carb Land, but I soon found myself eyeing up a doughnut – and I don’t even like doughnuts. They taste like chips with sugar on. No? Just me then …

The UK didn’t used to be like this. Before I left to live in Brussels, all the way back in 1989, you’d be hard pressed to buy a coffee in most high streets, let alone the plethora of muffins, cookies, paninis and whatnot that now come with them. After eight long years of Belgian coffee, which is always served with a chocolate on the side, I was rather thrilled to come back home and find a Starbucks in my local branch of Sainsburys. Although, as I soon discovered, the coffee there came in cups as big as baby baths and if you wanted a snack, you had a choice of huge, sticky pastries, instead of a tiny slither of 70 per cent cocoa chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually good for you (all right, all right, in moderation, I know) whereas pastries are NOT in big, bold capitals.

Child Two was absolutely right. It is very, very hard to stay away from temptation. It’s really surprising that the whole country is not featuring on Secret Eaters wearing vast sweatpants and saying, ‘I don’t know where the weight comes from,’ hiding a Big Mac and crossed fingers behind its back. Do we want to get as big as the poor US citizens who can’t even get cremated any more, as their fat keeps on burning away in the ovens? Either we should all issue our children, and ourselves, with blinkers when we venture into a public space, or we should get this government to do something about it. If they can organise a tricky funeral, surely they can sort out some sort of plan to save us all from the worst sort of eternal flame.

Doughnut eat this

Leave a Comment