Today I stumbled across a piece of news that must be proof positive that is truly is time to 'get real'. You know that we've taken our worship at the altar of convenience too far when plans are announced to sell us pre-boiled, ready-shelled eggs.
Apparently, they are aimed at people who "don't have the time or knack" to boil an egg....
I'll say that again - they don't have the time or knack to boil an egg.
Apparently, there are people out there who's lives are so full with watching reality TV, texting badly spelled and ungrammatical messages, and following the antics of the latest celebrity nonentities to get off their backsides and waddle to the kitchen, put some water in a saucepan, wait for it to boil, drop an egg in it and wait for ANOTHER THREE WHOLE MINUTES. And then, they have to peel the darned thing!
Is it any wonder the marketing gurus spotted a gap in the market? And they're Free Range too, so I expect they'll be flogged as healthy eating.
Writing in today's Guardian, Oliver Thring of 'Thring for Your Supper' thinks it's the beginning of the end, and I'm inclined to agree.
The rot set in with the appearance of the first ready soup mixes and jars of pasta sauce (most of which are still largely inedible) on our supermarket shelves. Despite the fact that soups and sauces are among some of this quickest, easiest, cheapest and tastiest things to rustle up in the kitchen, there are legions of folk who have never experienced the real thing.
I wonder if their lives come pre-packaged too?
It didn't take long for fruit and veg to come in convenient sanitised form: string beans topped and tailed; salad greens cut, washed (how well I wonder?) and ready to chuck in a bowl with a splash of ready-made monosodium glutomate dressing; apples peeled, cored and quartered; grapefruit cut into bite-sized portions; ready-chopped garlic and onions. Do people realise that the food they eat actually originally came from the ground, caked in mud, fed by horse manure and not cut the size of our gobs?
No, it seems that we prefer the ready-to-eat version which has about as much to do with the vegetable garden as a saveloy does with a thoroughbred racehorse.
And the food industry happily obliges with an array of convenience foods for us to hoover up into our digestive tracts - so long as we have had our taste buds surgically removed (maybe at the same time as that lobotomy and tummy tuck) and don't mind paying through the nose for the priviledge of not wasting ten minutes of our precious time to boil, cut, wash or chop something real....
The ready-boiled egg is currently at the top of my list of ridiculous foodstuffs, but I'm sure there are plenty more - answers on a postcard please, folks.