ShowUsYourPeanuts – How’s your sugar rush?
When the world goes on a massive drug frenzy.
I am not referring to some wild Columbian free-for-all, but to one of our many sugar-fests.
Today is Halloween, and as I write this, children across the country will be on a massive sugar rush. In several senses of the word.
Traditionally, the carved pumpkin was a symbol to children that a house was safe to visit and not the lair of a pervert or murderer. Nowadays, it gives a different type of warning. Indeed, what better symbol for children in search of sugar than a fat face with bad teeth.
It is incredibly effective too, luring children from all around the neighbourhood like moths to a flame. A sugar dealer only needs to put his pumpkin lantern outside for a few minutes before kids will be veritably banging the door down to get their sugary fix. “Treacle treat!” they will shout in excited sugar craving anticipation. The phrase ‘treacle treat’ has its origins in an old Anglo Saxon cry of ‘trick or treat’ which apparently meant, give us some sugar or we’ll piss through your letterbox.
But, they are not all sugar crazed animals. Yet. Some treacle treaters are oblivious to what is going on and have no idea why their parents have dressed them as Spider-Man and told them to go and talk to strangers.
The worst group of individuals taking part in the tradition are teenaged boys. Having put no effort in to the theme of the night, their attempt at fancy dress is limited to putting up the hood of their hoodie and grunting at the dealer who answers the door. These are greedy bastards, and they can empty a bowl of boiled sweets with a single scoop of a hand that opens to the size of a baseball glove. Although, to be fair, with their limited vocabulary, poor complexion and slumped posture, they are probably the closest thing to the living dead on the streets tonight.
It’s not all sweetness and light
But, it is not necessarily sweets that they need it is just sugar. We are all being turned into sugar zombies. If you look around your kitchen, you will be hard pushed to find things that don’t contain sugar. It is even deemed an essential ingredient in the most savoury of items. Go on, have a look, I’ll wait. What did you find? Soups, crisps, corned beef? Yes, for some reason, industrial chefs think that corned beef salad, corned beef hash or a corned beef sandwich will benefit from a bit of sweetener. And yet, corned beef is not generally thought of as a sweet ingredient. I have yet to see a recipe for corned beef trifle, corned beef ice-cream or corned beef roly-poly pudding and custard, (although, I have not yet read Heston Blumenthal’s latest book).
Not only is it shocking where you find it, but it is a revelation to see the quantities in which it occurs. So, the next time you offer your builder a cup of tea and he says “six sugars” don’t look down on him until you have added up what was in your corned beef and pickle sandwich, packet of crisps and can of fizzy drink for lunch.
And that is why John Oliver has started his #ShowUsYourPeanuts campaign. He is suggesting that all food packaging should clearly indicate how much added sugar it contains. This is to be quantified by relating it to the amount of sugar found in the marshmallow sweets called Circus Peanuts. Apparently, the food industry does not like the idea of using teaspoons as an indicator because a teaspoon could be level, heaped or rounded. Teaspoons are deceptive little blighters. Additionally, the public do not like to see it listed in grams because they don’t know whether 5g of sugar is a teaspoon or a bucketful. Fortunately, each Circus Peanut has 5g of sugar, so it is a simple visual scale that even food industry executives can understand.
If you want to find out more, check out the John Oliver video.
Another eye opener about the food industry is the film ‘Fed Up’.
So, go and watch the John Oliver video and start spreading the word. #ShowUsYourPeanuts