Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The Rise of the Mini Food Snob

The huge shift in recent years towards locally produced, fresh food and our ever-broadening desire for more exotic and exciting meals is, of course, to be welcomed. However, it has had one very unfortunate side effect, bringing with it the arrival of a new and insufferable breed of food snob feigning horror at the very thought of a ready meal.

It genuinely scares me how much rubbish food I ate when I was young. Despite my mother's best efforts to feed us as well as she could afford to and, like many other 80s babies, mine was a childhood dominated by Findus Crispy Pancakes and Stinger Bars. An apple was a punishment not a snack and vegetables, if present at all, were generally just a token spoonful overcooked almost to the point of collapse.*'IN MY DAY RANT ALERT* But whatever we ate, there was no choice involved and we (generally) ate what we were given.

Society's renewed focus on eating well and return, particularly in the past 10 years, to the more wholesome values of a pre-convenience food era is great and something I embrace but something I overheard in Superquinn recently has made me think that perhaps we have gone too far the other way.

Me, aged 4 and probably full of Penguin Bars

It was a little girl who couldn't have been more than six or seven who asked her mother to
put back the tub of green olives she was holding as " mom you know I only eat Kalamata". They were immediately swapped. If adult food snobs are an annoyance mini ones are incredibly so and this was just the latest in a catalogue of incidents I have observed that make me think we are in danger of ending up with a generation of pretentious food brats.

In fact, many parents bizzarely appear to wear their little darlings 'refined' palates as something of a badge of honour. Yes, little Cliona eats spoonfuls of horseradish sauce right from the jar and insists that you leave the head on her fish.... we get it. Strange that it's never bacon and cabbage they love, or a nice plate of stew?!

Like many of you I'm sure, thinking about my next meal takes up far too much of my day and I now spend a disgraceful amount of money on 'proper' food. However, though I hope that my adult love of vegetables is helping to compensate for my former Banshee Bone habit, for me, 'rubbish' most certainly still has its place.I defy anyone to find a better cure for booze induced starvation than half of a Pizza Hut Hot Dog Stuffed Crust pizza and nothing cures a hangover like a bag of Spar own brand Bacon Fries. Anyone who says otherwise is lying(or has never had a proper hangover).

It's fantastic that we are increasingly aware of the importance of healthy eating and that children these days are being exposed to a range of foods those just a generation or two back could only have dreamed of but I can't help feeling that the rise of a particular strain of 'foodie' and the associated snobbery is somehow facitating the growth of a generation of pampered, spoiled brats and that think they can have whatever the hell they like and not just in terms of what they eat.

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