Friday, 18 January 2013

Stuffing Your Face -The British Way



The newspapers are all about child obesity nowadays. Somehow, in France, they don't talk about this issue much. That said, I understood more about the problem yesterday when I saw teenage girls in school uniforms queuing at a local restaurant to get a take-away for their lunches. Guess what the lunch was: a huge portion of fries, with dollops of mayonnaise or ketchup on top of it. I couldn't believe it. The owner had a special deal for them and was calling them sweetheart and darling. They were clearly regulars. My lunch never ever consisted of a huge portion of fries. It is just something that a French person wouldn't do, I think. If you are in a rush, you have a salad or a sandwich, or even a kebab. Never just fries. It wouldn't cross my mind. If the worst comes to the worst, I would simply skip lunch.


Don't get me wrong, I don't think that it is my place to judge their choice of food. They just ordered what they usually have. It was cheap and easily available. No wonder that they gain weight with such a diet. I couldn't believe it. And I am not talking about a couple of girls here, it was half a class. I was gobsmacked.

Mind you, fries may be a safer option than hamburgers. Apparently, some hamburgers had a good proportion of horse meat in them (read here if you don't believe me). Despite the fact that I don't remember eating any horse meat, we French have the reputation of eating a lot of it.  People are shocked. That said, what did we expect? Prices were getting cheaper and cheaper, at some point the quality was probably compromised. But I digress.

Would you stuff your face with fries? Really? I hope that my daughter isn't sneaking out of school for fries. It is not a eating habit that I would encourage. If you are used to eating junk food, maybe them you just keep having it. I am glad that I didn't grow up in an environment that encouraged such choice of food.

17 comments:

  1. My son enjoys an 'Americain' sandwich when he's starving and penniless - a baguette stuffed with chips. Fills him up and costs little.


    Teenagers get very hungry, especially boys, and carbohydrate fills them up for the cheapest cost. However, his normal lunch at lycée is a large sandwich filled with chicken and salad (and chips on the side) from the caff opposite.



    He refuses to eat the crap they serve at the school so I give him €5 per day to eat at the caff.



    I'm not surprised those girls were eating a portion of chips, but I'm surprised they had nothing else with it.


    As for horsemeat in burgers, I'd be surprised if it was a cost thing as horsemeat isn't exactly a cheap option. However, a beef burger is supposed to contain only beef, otherwise it's a meatburger. These fraudulent practices have to be stamped out!

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  2. By all account horsemeat in frozen burgers was healthier than the rest of the contents. The real issue was the much vaunted traceability of meat products
    back to source which was to protect us from BSE, surely one of the greatest
    unpunished public health scandals in Britain where over 60 people were killed
    in the most horrible way possible by the food industry? This has been swept
    under the carpet with no effective accountability for what was in reality
    murder by the food industry to facilitate their greed by feeding animal matter
    to herbivores.

    The industrialisation of food with all that implies is a backward step for humanity. We need to get closer to the earth with vegetables and grains and simple nutritious food and meat / fish as an occasional treat. After all, that is how humans have evolved as a species over thousands of years.

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  3. I have been living here for over 11 years now and there are still some diet habits I totally don't get. I am definitely not a food snob or similar but it stills shocks me to see a plate full of a quiche with jacket potato, or a meat pie served with mash. I certainly wouldn't imagine queuing for a portion of chips at lunch time. This said there are many things I like in the British food.

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  4. Oh yes I forgot to say, I remember eating horse steak hachés when I was growing up :)

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  5. Ah, the advantage of having a religiously stipulated diet. No horsemeat is possible. (And, since most french fries are cooked in bacon fat or animal fat, they are off limits, as well.)

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  6. I don't eat horse meat. I follow the Halal procedure so its off limits for me. Though I love fries, I don't indulge in them often. And I don't see why they make lunch material for anyone.

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  7. I have to confess that as an American I eat fries, just fries. Yes, it's a habit I (and my doctor) want me to break. But they taste so good when they just are out of the fryer. And thus is the story of obesity in America (that, and the bottomless glass of soda at restaurants).

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  8. Maybe it is an anglo saxon thing then? I can't have just fries. I have to have meat as well, or fish. It must be a cultural thing!

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  9. Fries are not food for us women Hajra. In French they say something like 20 seconds in the mouth, 20 mins in the stomach, 20 years in the thighs...

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  10. That's great! At least you are not tempted. I have come to the conclusion that it is a cultural thing. French don't eat just fries, but most anglo saxons do. Go figure!

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  11. How did you like them?

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  12. A moment on the lips, forever on the hips!

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  13. Same here. I especially love the sunday roast. Just like you, I have given up on other things. I am still learning I suppose!

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  14. You have a point here. That said, it is a bit scary to find out that there is horse meat in what is supposed to be a beef burger. Where does it come from?

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  15. Maybe they will grow out of it. Maybe, after all, it is just a teenage thing. I really hope they will, because otherwise they will look like the back of a bus!

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  16. You're French and yet you're not a fan of French Fries???? What????!!! (just joking). Truth be told, I'm a huge fan of GOOD fries (thin, crispy, flavorful) and unlike most Americans, I do love dipping it in mayo which makes it even more sinful. However, I do understand the dangers of eating too much of it, too much of anything actually. But then if we're talking of fries fried in duck fat, hmmm, that's another story. Have you had any of those? There's a bunch of restaurants in Chicago serving that and I do miss it now that I'm in TN. And yes, you are lucky that you are programmed to prefer healthier choices (or have trained yourself to do so). I have much work to do on my end ;-)

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  17. I love good food. Having said that, I wouldn't have just French fries as a lunch. Don't get me wrong, it is perfectly OK from time to time. Just like you, I think that quality is better than quantity. As for fries fried in duck fat, well, Joy, I think that you might be French without even knowing it!

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