Day 96

Do you want food with that?

Food Distancing

There is a reason I developed Type 2 Diabetes. [Do NOT mention McDonald’s in the next sentence! Legal are going ballistic – Ed.] Veggie roll may have something to do with it, or vegetable roll to give the foodstuff its full, formal title. For those of you reading (and apparently there are only about three of you left, depending on the day) who are not from this benighted isle, veggie roll is beef, probably, but not beef as you know it, Jim; it is meat from those parts of the dead cow that are hardest to reach and which has been separated from its dead bones by a process you do not want to know about. A slice or two of onion, and a few ragged leaves of something vaguely green are then mixed into the piles of meat off-cuts, the mixture is rolled into a cylinder shape and wrapped in plastic and sold to us, either as a whole cylinder or sliced.

Each to his own, but the fact that this mixture of offal and brains and hooves of dead cows is sold to us under the name vegetable roll is surely a court case waiting to happen? The roll part is accurate enough, but using vegetable to describe a substance that is about 97.3% meat is surely stretching the word a bit too far? I envisage a case brought under the Trade Descriptions Act 1968, and in which I will argue – convincingly – that vegetable roll was a contributing factor in my acquiring diabetes, and that the complications thereof for my social, emotional and culinary life are such that I should be generously rewarded compensated in respect of them. I will, naturally, represent myself at the legal proceedings; the last thing you want to do when it comes to legal proceedings is to get lawyers involved.

“I put it to me, your Honour,” I shall say as part of my two-hour summing up speech, “that my client, a decent, upstanding but culinary-naive citizen, would never have gone within a beagle’s gowl of the foodstuff under examination (cross or otherwise) had he been aware of its actual ingredients. A trusting soul at the best of times, he presumed he was eating his way to tip-top health through the prodigious mountains of vegetable roll that he consumed each and every morning for twenty years. And the major, nay only, factor in this mistaken belief of his was the actual misnomer of a name the foul disc is advertised and sold under. I mean, your Honour, notwithstanding the fact that if it tastes vaguely like meat, and looks vaguely like meat, it probably is vaguely like meat, my client was duped by its name into believing he was consuming vegetables – and much more than the recommended five a day, I might add – and, as such and heretofore, was completely flabbergasted when his GP presented him with a diagnosis of incurable Type 2 Diabetes. You see him sitting there today, a broken, diminished man, his trust in the purveyors of goods for consumption to accurately name those goods completely shattered. ‘What next?’ he wonders with trepidation. Has his smoked salmon not actually passed through the lungs of a fellow human being before he eats it? Is that not actually a toad he has been biting the head off for years once he has extricated it from its hole? Is Big Stew in any way actually of greater proportions than its colleague, Wee Stew? I leave it to the generosity of the Court to adequately quantify the damage done to this poor wretch. Usual 10% off the top to you, of course, your Honour.”

As for who I should sue, there is not an actual rich, multinational company in charge of the global veggie roll trade – it being a Norn Iron delicacy. So I might just have to take my action against the estate of my dead mother who first introduced the substance to my diet, thus cutting off my nose to spite my face.

Part-Time Wife reliably informs me that her granny used to cook veggie roll without first removing the encircling plastic casing. While this may have added to the nutritional content of the meal, it hardly did anything for the taste.

It is her birthday today, she also informs me. I wonder what she got?

Remind me to do the McDonald’s post some other day. [Another call-back! Do your homework – Ed.] In the meantime, this is a good laugh.