A news item caught my attention on the radio a few days ago, namely that the British are drinking less tea and eating less toast as well as less fish and chips and fewer green vegetables. What we have seen an increase in is processed food, ready meals, low calorie soft drinks (and possibly not so low calorie ones) as well as ready packs of stir fry veg. The trend leading to this sort of modern rubbish all started in the 70s apparently, though doubtless the rot really began in the 60s (darkly.) Well, all I can say is that in the M household we are a lot more traditional. We might have foregone bread and dripping and frying in lard but green veg, tea and toast, and even the odd fish and chip blow out is definitely still in vogue.
I was thinking of this news item yesterday while planting out the seed potatoes and replenishing the compost heap.The act of planting veg always makes me come over a bit retro 1940s dig for victory and all that. I recalled the advice of the food writer M F K Fisher who in 1942 advised war weary Brits to fill up on toast. "You can be lavish", he wrote, "because the meal is frugal" which means that, in this age of austerity, we should by rights be embracing this type of fare. The result of these musings was a sudden and compelling urge for tea and toast. Ten minutes later and I had a steaming mug and a heap of buttered (it isn't bad for you anymore, don't you know) toast and love-it-or-hate it marmite , which is virtually contraband in Denmark.
There are certainly more important issues in the news at home and abroad than our eating habits. The race for the White House is hotting up in the US, while David Cameron has just set the date for a referendum on the 23rd of June. Yet it occurs to me that there is a link. If we can't even make the right choices when it comes to little things like green vegetables and tea and toast, how can we be trusted when it comes to the bigger things?