YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT, LIKE IT OR NOT
Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
― Sophia Loren
First, it was horsemeat. We thought we were eating succulent bits of beef but to our horror, we discovered we were shoving Dobbin into our lasagna. Worse, we have been devouring him topped with cheese, tomato and soupçon of lettuce in our burgers. We were horrified. Tesco, a major seller of deceptive equine products ran full page ads apologizing for misleading their customers, insisting they had no idea that they were mislabeling their products.
The rest of the world scoffs at English fastidiousness. “So what?” they say in at least 358 different languages. The French adore horsemeat…in fact they hint that is why they are so romantic in bed, in contrast to the British who apologize before they even mange to get started. The Irish add a wine sauce to anything and once tasted don’t give a damn.
But horsemeat in our dinners is not the worst of it. Oh, no.
Now that we have managed to come to terms with the brutal fact that the glorious winner of Epsom Downs faces a future in our goulash, we have another gastronomic hurdle to cross. Sixty percent of the tuna we buy to fill our children’s lunch boxes and add flavor to our casseroles is not tuna at all. It is escolar, an oily fish that causes diarrhea. That is why so many of us have that irresistible urge to relieve ourselves after indulging in those cute canapés topped with a pimento. And you thought it was the conversation.
The fact is that most restaurants serve escolar and tell us it is albacore tuna. No wonder we cannot figure out why that delicious Salad Niçoise sent us to the loo within moments of savoring it flavor. It wasn’t that drink you had to wash it down. It was tacky escolar putting on airs.
Everyone knows that we are what we eat. It is now apparent that when we feed our children stew, they could easily be neighing for their supper in a matter of weeks. What is far more frightening, that tuna fish sandwich that every child cannot resist could very well send him swimming in the Atlantic never to return. It has already happened in my family.
My Aunt Gert swears that the reason her daughter Penny became an Olympic swimmer was that she ate nothing but tuna fish for SEVEN years. She stopped eating it that unforgettable day when she cramped up just as she was approaching the finish line in Rome in 1960. She blamed her loss on nerves, but we know better. It wasn’t the pasta either.
My mother’s staple casserole was tuna fish mixed with cream of mushroom soup topped with crumbled crisps. She served it at every party. We never understood why everyone who ate it got the “flu” the next day. We thought it was Ohio weather.
The moral of this shocking tale is that if you want to win the big fight, eat a bull and if you think you are gay, eat fruit.