Waiting for a friend at a pub in the shadow of Canary Wharf on Thursday I took great interest in an article in the Independent detailing the British love affair with convenience food. So what's for TV dinner tonight? Sales of convenience food are up 63% on 1994.
I am very happy (read smug) to discover I'm apparently in the 30% of the population who don't admit to eating convenience food, the 20% who don't eat chips that are "pre-sliced and frozen" and the much larger majority who don't consume pot noodles - wonderfully described as "that toxic aberration...No other race in Europe joins in our enthusiaism for chicken and noodle dust irrigated by boiling water".
Convenience food may be just that convenient and quick but it also tastes false, bland and plastic-like. No, I don't have children but yes, I do work relatively long hours and yes, I do cook 'from scratch' most evenings. A decent pasta dish or stir fry needn't take long.
I really do think this goes back to the culture of food - the British have long seen food and cooking as necessities rather than pleasures. Until that changes those sales will continue to rocket.