In My View

Stuart Barber.
Stuart Barber.

While the row over the dodgy labelling on packets of ready-made meals rages on, one good thing has already come out of it – my food shopping has suddenly become a lot faster.

With the rows of shelves in the major supermarkets having been declared strictly off limits by fussy shoppers fearful of the impact a piece of horse might have on their feeling of well-being in general and digestive system in particular, for those of us not in the least concerned about what our favourite spag bol, burger or meatball might contain, these aisles have become pedestrian-free areas to enjoy at our leisure.

Despite the headlines that saw many popular brand names disappear quicker than snow off a dyke, there was still plenty to chose from when I popped into my local store last week. I have to say I enjoyed the experience which avoided the usual trolley bumping and shoulder charging to get to my favourite quick-and-easy pre-packed meals.

Of course, normal service will be resumed shortly because this issue is costing the retailers and their suppliers lots of money and that won’t be allowed to continue indefinitely.

It might be under a fierce spotlight right now, and probably rightly so, but in my view the popularity and practicality of boil-in-a-bag or microwave grub will survive this test of its credentials and be back.

I remember years ago on a school holiday to Belgium arriving back at the hotel for tea to be met by the most horrendous smell coming from the dining room. The tense atmosphere was only lifted when Mr Kerr, our French teacher and a veteran of Europe, announced to us all: “Enjoy, the horse was perfectly healthy when they shot it!” Sound advice which has stood me in good stead all these years since.