Cybersphere #1 - TASTY & The Rise of Online Sugar

29/04/2016 11:10

Now, I'm no adonis and my diet is certainly not fit for a king-unless that king was a fan of Yo-yoing like some 90's Blue Peter segment.

My eating is primarily a difficult balancing act: Peppermint tea, organic salad, bolstered by those cricket ball profiteroles and £2 chicken dinners, the kind so steeped in fat that they can only be named by their corresponding letter and oversaturated photo.

For the last year or so I have been slaving away in an attempt to change my eating habits for the better. Sugar was the first to go, though it never truly leaves the soul. I felt the difference the moment I stopped drinking fizzy drinks (Or 'Sugary Drinks' as the government keep insisting)
Quite rapidly, everything felt tighter; waist, brainpower and sexual prowess.
However, for me, it is a constant battle to keep the cravings at bay. Despite a reasonably healthy diet of as of late, my heart still palpitates if I stumble upon a kebab shop.
The simple act of revelling in the infantile delight of annihilating one's own body image? Or the plea of a bloated heart, crying 'Please! Just let me rest!' in the only language it knows?
Either way, what I am saying is that eating healthily is hard enough without the constant reminders that plague modern life.

To me, the walk to the tube has become more like a sprint down Amsterdam's Rossebuurt;nothing but a hive of guttural temptation and desire. At least they are more honest about the services on offer, whereas we seem to be content with being fed well illustrated lies about the source of our food and the quality of it's content.
Thinking about Amsterdam, perhaps the workers should roast donner blocks in the famous red windows? It might just be a welcome tipping point for those men too repressed to follow their own penis.

Anyway, It is for this reason alone that I am appalled at a particular series of viral videos that keep popping up through my social media pages. Clearly the brainchild of one of those strange online media/content companies, the kind that have table tennis in the office - their ping pong balls simply furled up interns on less than minimum wage.
The videos themselves show recipes being created in super fast time by an army of seemingly severed hands. The prime enabler of such saccharine tripe is a brand called TASTY, who seem to be publishing around five of these things a day, and making a fortune in the interim.

I wouldn't mind but the treats they concoct in these bitesize films are almost entirely made of sugar or fat. Not to mention that they seem to be able to pop up from anywhere on the internet, like a lawn of cyber moles fabricated from my own languid muffin top. As TASTY's views climb into the millions, the recipes plunge further and further down the health chart. The last one I watched showed me how to make something called a Creme Egg Scotch Egg.
Even the dissonance of the name makes me sick to the stomach; the position of those four words is enough to crumble anyone's metabolism.

For those of you interested, The Cream Egg Scotch Egg - or Scotch Egg Cream Egg depending on your outlook-consists of a Cadbury's Cream Egg nucleus, insulated by several layers of melted chocolate ganache, which is then coated in a blanket of chocolate sprinkles.
I believe all of us have a moment in our lives when we realise that we are no longer enslaved to chocolate, which I consider to be the opiate of the juvenile. The advent of The Cream Egg Scotch Egg was, for me, this moment.

In addition to this, the filming style does little to sooth the viewer's surely angry bowel. An overhead camera gifts us a birds eye view of the action. This, along with the wooden chopping board, lends the video a slightly strange aesthetic; from a distance you could easily be watching some drone strike in a subsaharan militia village. Peering down on the army of detached hands, scrabbling around at super speed, deploying ten different types of sweetener. Honey, golden syrup, treacle, caster sugar....raw cane sugar...Red Bull....Speed...Statins, whatever they feel like, there's no stopping the hands of the lord!

Interestingly, the speed is so frenetic that it does, in fact, give you a slight rush simply by watching it. So that's what I did, I kept on watching:

A Rocky Road three layered cake that looked like something reclaimed from a ravine; a Strawberry Lemon Bar that held more cornstarch than an M & S oxford shirt; Finally, a deconstructed Tiger Loaf, Its core removed and replaced with an entire wheel of camembert. It was like watching time lapse of civil engineers assembling a nuclear submarine.
In one sweep of the newsfeed my cravings returned and I wanted them all. Now and forever. I took a brisk walk to the chicken shop, where they didn't even need me to speak my order aloud.