The end of days

Our current, soi disant, civilisation has had a good run but I feel it is now coming to its inevitable end.  “Where’s your evidence?”, I hear you ask – well, let me explain.

I have railed against the rise of the superfood before in these pages (so many pages), all of which just seem to be food which is entirely lacking in superpowers (not so much as packed in lycra).  Indeed, these foods are almost entirely vegetative in nature, and neither Marvel nor DC has yet (to my admittedly incomplete knowledge) created a vegetable superhero (or villain).  No, they generally seem to be a foodstuff which some sort of study (presumably sponsored by the growers or sellers of said foodstuff) has suggested might be slightly better for you than a diet of neat lard.

I also object to the infantilisation of vegetables – I could just about cope with baby corn, but now rare is the vegetable that is not offered in “baby” form.  I’m pretty sure that the baby form of most vegetables is the seed (or perhaps the cutting?) – but oddly, this is almost the only form of food not described as baby.  Baby pumpkins as an alternative to pumpkin seeds, anyone?  What they usually seem to mean is small and, in the case of leaves, young.  On which basis, bonsai will presumably be re-named baby trees.  I suppose in the case of garlic or the potato (for example), I could make an argument that we do eat the babies – but again, these have entirely escaped this appellation (perhaps because it makes their consumption seem rather sinister – though it does make being (mostly) vegetarian seem a lot more transgressive).

These two strands reached a head yestere’en when I encountered a packet of baby kale.  Not kale for babies you understand, but small, young leaves of kale clearly marked as being a superfood.  Our civilisation has clearly now jumped the shark and it would be kindest to end it now (rather than let it continue to suffer).

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6 thoughts on “The end of days

  1. matathew says:

    This (the baby kale) sounds like the sort of nonsense that Waitrose would sell, and the majority of their customers would eagerly purchase, at even more inflated price than usual — although I expect I’m about to hear that it isn’t a Waitrose offering!

    You are right about superfoods being predominantly vegetable rather than animal, although I would like to suggest that oysters should uprise en masse and demand the right to be called a superfood.

    • Stuart Ffoulkes says:

      You are correct that this particular incident did not involve Waitrose (in fact, they seem slightly less prone to vegetable infantilism than most). Hence my apocalyptic vision.

      Should there be a major oyster rising, walruses and carpenters could be in BIG trouble! They may also find it all too easy to get around London using public transport. I look forward to baby humans extorting sugary treats from the yeomanry dressed as lycra-clad bivalve molluscs tomorrow night!

      • matathew says:

        Thanks for the reply, and the bold statement “in fact, [Waitrose ] seem slightly less prone to vegetable infantilism than most”. I’m only worried that this isn’t, in fact, a fact! (Unless, of course, they specialise in seeming to be something they are not.

        A glance at waitrose.com shows a page of 20 vegetables which they proudly claim to be “baby vegetables”.

        Compare with (for example) tesco.com, where I am offered a mere 16 “babies”!

        • Stuart Ffoulkes says:

          Aha – I don’t use the website so had to really on direct personal experience of vegetables seen in “the store” (I am so old-fashioned). On this, admittedly poorly researched basis, they seemed less bad – but then again, I haven’t bought anything from a Tesco in many years. Not that I have anything specific against Tesco (unlike the SFO), other than their inconvenient siting of stores – at least for this cyclist. Sainsbury’s were the source of the baby kale and M&S seems equally dreadful having introduced me to baby spinach (neither of which have I seen in Waitrose).

          I thought Waitrose were specialising in naming everything Duchy – and this had taken their eye off the baby ball. Still, given how poorly Tesco is doing financially, perhaps baby vegetables are more popular in the general population than they are with us. As a result, I shall be introducing my new line of baby okra and artichoke in the new year.

  2. Stuart Ffoulkes says:

    Arghh! It’s worse than I thought – I have just discovered that I have inadvertently bought a packet of baby leaf wild rocket. Cunningly the words “baby leaf” use different (and poorly contrasting) colours to the “wild rocket” so that I failed to notice them shopping whilst tired and without my glasses. I am consumed by self-loathing. I need some adult leaf, domesticated rocket: stat.

    • matathew says:

      Ah, cuckoo egg mimicry at work. An upsetting experience which highlights the perils of shopping whilst tired and without glasses. I think you need an early night, as any uneaten babies left in the fridge are likely to start screaming and crying at around 5 a.m.

      On a slightly more cheerful note, my casual research into the subject of “baby” vegetables reveals that, due to lack of baby-labelling regulations, baby carrots are frequently manufactured by shaving down adult carrots until they are the size of baby carrots, which are more lucrative!

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