Saturday 11 May 2019

Locusts and wild honey

If a diet of locusts and wild honey was good enough for John the Baptist, it's surely good enough for us. The fact that his camel-hair attire and diet is described on the bible is taken as evidence that both were peculiar; maybe even peculiarly sanctified - in the mortify the flesh and see god sense. But we are uncuriously fastidious in Ireland about what we'll eat. 50 years ago, you had to search high and low and round the houses to find pizza, or chicken curry; let alone avocado, quince, sweet potato or bell peppers. All these are nowadays readily available along with such fashion accessories as hedgehog crisps, cocoa-pops, cheese-strings and chamomile tea. But although plenty of people are defined as living in poverty - bringing in less than 60% of the median income or  €240/week- nobody in Ireland is actually starving - in the Eritrea, South Sudan or Burkina Faso less than $2/day sense; or indeed in the Ireland 1847 sense. Something particularly drastic and immediate would have to occur to drive people out into the hedgerows scavenging for berries and grubs to feed themselves and their families.
At the EnvSciCnf a couple of weeks ago we were presented with free samples of Eat Grub cricket powered energy bars [one variety shown L]. 2000 years ago, eating Orthoptera was an indicator of poverty and holiness, now it's the latest marketing ploy by Generation Woowah. But I'm not proud: I'll try anything once - sheep muesli, [mmmm good and only 25c/kg], mussels, and morris dancing. But you can bet your sweet bippy I won't be paying out €2 for 36g of anything. That's €55/kg|! - more expensive than cloves or thyme but cheaper than saffron although there's nothing in the ingredients that seems to justify the price - except a really over-busy web-site.
Ingredients: Juice Infused Cranberries (22.3%), Sunflower Seeds (16.4%), Currants (12.3%), Chopped Dates (9.8%), Gluten Free Oatbran (9.8%), Goji Berries (7.9%), Pumpkin Seeds (5.9%), Vegetable Glycerine (5.5%), Cricket Protein Powder (5.1%), Water (4.7%), Natural Orange Flavour (0.3%).
So what are they like? Okay, fine, tasting quite fruity,  more bendy than one of my flapjacks: you could eat one in bed without making crumbs. But damn their eyes for specifying gluten-free oat bran: of course it's gluten free - it's !oats! . . . and fat free, lactose free, strychnine free, powdered chalk free, camel-dung free. Not since Gwyweth Paltrow started peddling "Dust" at €700/kg has anyone so conspicuously attempted to put one over on people who are both needy and awash with money. Where's John the B when you need him? Harrrumph!

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