Big Bad Burger Bar

I am watching at this very moment (yes, this VERY MOMENT) a Swedish documentary about working conditions in McDonalds.

They show the usual horror stories, in the usual horror-story fashion. How for example “old” food is kept longer than it should, how employees are paid less than they work, and how worker’s rights are regularly stamped upon. An hour is spent, talking to lots of people, with scary music in the background. All to make us angry or upset or something.

Now, any regular readers of mine will suspect where this is going next. Let’s see now, he describes the situation, he builds it up, he piles on the irony… and oh yes, then he starts swearing. So let’s do it!

Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild. With a faery, hand in hand. For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.

Excuse me, you complete dicks, what exactly do you expect here? You go to a place that offers really cheap bad-quality food, and you complain that they are cheating you? You pay fuck-all for your carbohydrate stodge but you still expect the staff to be buzzing about behind the counter, on gold-plated Segways, wearing goofy smiles from all the free high-quality coke they disperse for free in the staff bathroom?

McDonalds is cheap. It’s their thing. Do people think that this can be accomplished without exploiting somebody along the way? The workers, the suppliers, the growers? Yes, McDonalds simply desires to serve us with cheap, high-quality food while making the world a happy place, and to hell with the profit margins. Sure they do.

Now go bite the other one, it’s got bells on.

These moaners are like the people who complain about glass in their chicken, or meat-glue in their sausages, while at the same time expecting the slop they buy in their supermarkets to be as cheap as possible. You want cheap food, you got it. Tasty, isn’t it?

Seriously, get a fucking grip people. You pay shit, you get shit. What part of this is so difficult to follow? If you want good food and good workers conditions, then don’t go to Mc fucking Donalds just to moan about it. Go to a real restaurant, or make it your fucking self.

Clever, snappy and ironic summing-up line of some sort. You know the drill.

/ paddy

Much Ado About Meat Glue

The Swedish food industry recently won permission to use a new kind of “meat glue”, an enzyme called thrombin that, to put it simply, will allow you to stick scrap pieces of animal flesh together to “build” a larger and more expensive-looking chunk of meat.

The concept of meat glue is hardly a new one: another enzyme, transglutaminase, has been used for years to stick together imitation crabmeat, fish balls, Chicken McNuggets, sausages and hot-dogs, meatballs and even to thicken that healthy low-fat milk and yoghurt (and yes I am basically quoting the Wikipedia article here).

And very probably your Saturday night post-pub kebab too.

So now another glue has come on the market and we have more options for making clumps of cheap protein. And strangely consumers and consumer organisations are now flipping out, even though they have been happily consuming meat glues for years.

Um, why, dare I ask? Don’t those aforementioned groups all go on about getting meat for less? And if you demand low meat prices, and low prices in general, isn’t this sort of thing bound to happen eventually?

It’s amazing too how everybody gets so upset when some factory farm is discovered where animals are being misstreated. As if people didn’t realise this was happening, as if it’s some sort of news to them.

It’s a simple equation folks – if something is extremely cheap for you, then somebody or something else is paying for it in some nasty way, be it clothes, coffee, chemicals or food.

And why is this new meat glue worse than eating any of the processed meat we eat today? I’ll tell you why – because it’s being highlighted by the media this week and people are trained to get excited and upset by what the press tells them to get excited and upset about.

In a month this “scare” will have joined the glass in chicken scandal, the acrylamide in crisps scandal, the trans fats scandal and all the other “scares” that the public has forgotten about because the media has stopped going on about them.

If you want good quality meat, then read the fucking label, or find a supplier that you trust, or hunt it yourself. And stop going on about being “deceived” when you demand cheap meat and then get just that – cheap meat.

And one more thing: the Swedish word for “meat glue” is “köttklister”, pronounced “shutt-klis-ter”, and I think it’s just such a fat and delicious word and I had to mention it.

And, oh yeah – new layout! Well it’s been like 3 years, so I figure why not. Just bear with me while I poke around and get it all the way I like it. Getting the damn column to be wider, for one thing. And if you have any suggestions, or hate something immensely, please let me know.

/ paddy