Yesterday I exploded with rage when I heard my other half had given my son a sprinkle of hot chocolate on his Weetabix for breakfast . What on earth was he doing?! There was porridge and stewed fruit in the fridge. Organic yoghurt and dried fruit!
Then I caught my breath and took a good long look at what I was doing and realised I had gone beyond worrying about Arthur eating healthily and had bought into the ridiculous new cult - I will name it the White Bread Mafia.
It started with Hugh Furry Knitting Socks of the River Cottage Garden and continues through the echelons of all middle-class Britain. It starts with a little guilt at not cooking every night and for me exploded on BBC2 when hugely wealthy Jean Michelle Roux Junior told us all that white sliced bread was the food of the devil and we should all be doing what the French do and buying our bread fresh at least once a day.
To be quite frank, while on holiday in France this year I saw more white brioche with chocolate than I ever have over here and I'm sure the quantity of salami on offer is possibly on nutritional par with a Big Mac. Food snobbery is being confused with what's really good for us -anyone know how much salt is in a tin of anchovies? Hmmm, less than a packet of Walkers.
Therein lies the problem - actually therein lie all the problems. Just like when Hugh told us all to buy free-range chickens, telling us to buy fresh bread twice a day is basically another stick with which to beat us. Free-range is better for the chicken, possibly better for us but if you've got £3 left in your purse then that's not even in the equation - and quite right too.
People are not, in general stupid, but they are busy, poor, frantic and far too engrossed in other things. What all these wonderfully helpful chefs and nutritional do-gooders have done is create a sense of guilt. I'm afraid I'm on the side of the woman who buys a massive chicken for £5 because that's what she can afford and she knows, with what little time she has, that will feed her family.
I don't think white bread is the devil's food - I rather like a bacon buttie, to be honest.
So, to all members of the White Bread Mafia hear me now. Credit us with a little intellect. don't patronise and imply we are less because you earn more. Don't make any more films of you cooking one meal in a 'working-class' kitchen' to 'prove' it can be done. Stop telling people to use all the chicken and not just the white bits.
Yes, we can all cook good healthy meals from scratch and save money and for the most part I do. I spend far more than I should on organic yoghurt and free-range chicken because I presume it's better but mainly because you've made me feel so darn guilty. I am a middle-class sucker who has bought the hype but I'm not going down without a fight.
Chicken nugget anyone?
A lazy girl in a working woman's body. Bringing up my beautiful boy and blogging about the short-cuts and shenannigans that make life as a working mum easier.
Blogs at: Work it Mamma