Tuesday, 10 April 2007

Crap Food Gets Everywhere

The tea bag hides a myriad of sinsRecently the press was full of stories about the poor quality tea drunk in Britain - some of the supermarket own-brands being described as "little more than dust and powder stuffed into a tea bag". Food and drink taster Martin Isark wrote of Asda Smartprice tea: "Cabbage water tastes better. Even 29p for these tea bags is outrageous - 1p would be too much. It is dust and powder which cannot deliver anything that resembles the taste of tea. It is just the waste from the tea process." Well, I've always known that my country of birth was hardly the gastronomic capital of the world and that we Brits are more likely to be taken in by rubbish than most.

No Vitamin C, but plenty of sugar to rot your teethSo it was pleasing (in a perverse sort of way) to discover that we're certainly not the only people on this planet to be mugged by food manufacturers. Because a few days later the press was reporting another food shock story, this time from the country geographically furthest from the UK on the planet - New Zealand. GlaxoSmithKline has just been fined $227,500 for marketing Ribena as containing 44% of recommended daily intake of vitamin C, when in fact it contained no identifiable Vitamin C at all. And who discovered this fact? Trading standards officers? Government food and drink inspectors? No - two 14-year-old girls conducting a school science experiment.

My conclusion is that Kiwis don't have better taste than we Brits. They just have better school science classes.


Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Ah, pour in some milk and a couple of spoons of sugar and noone will ever notice the poor quality! Isn't that how it works over here? :P

Trig said...

Won't the Ribena curdle if you do that?

ros said...

Apparently the better known brands of tea-bags (PG Tips, Typhoo etc) are made from the floor sweepings in tea factories while the proper stuff went into speciality blends. I was told this by the owner of a Sri Lankan tea factory. If this is true then I can't imagine what supermarket value brands must be using.

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