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What happened to choice?

(76 Posts)
helshea Sun 07-Aug-11 19:43:18

Am I being unreasonable in thinking we are losing our right to decide what we want? It's as though we are not able to make correct choices. I've noticed that quite a few restaurants now do not even have salt and pepper on the tables, you have to ask for it. What is all that about? I know salt is bad for me.... but hey, sometimes I want it sometimes I don't but I want the choice!

Baggy Sun 07-Aug-11 19:48:01

We do actually need some salt. So it's not right to say that salt is bad for one. In excess, yes, but that applies to everything. Nanny state has gone a bit OTT, I think.

helshea Sun 07-Aug-11 19:56:25

I think they are taking up on the bandwagon of saying things are for our own good, or good for the environment etc. when really they are just saving themselves money.

pompa Sun 07-Aug-11 21:36:29

I totally agree with not having condiments on restaurant tables. If the chef is worth his salt (pun intended) he will have correctly seasoned the dishes. It is an insult to the chef to add seasoning to food without tasting it first. This has nothing to do with the health issues regarding salt.

grannyactivist Sun 07-Aug-11 23:25:23

Choice is an odd thing isn't it? Some years ago I came close to a having a panic attack in a supermarket and needed to be rescued by my husband. I wanted some tinned tomatoes, that's all. There were so many varieties and so much choice that I was literally unable to process what I actually needed to buy. I had just been reading about children starving for want of basic commodities such as flour and then was presented with a gazillion types of tinned tomato and my poor psyche just went into overload. I was literally unable to cope with large supermarkets for months afterwards. (I was quite unwell at the time I confess.) I think in some things we have too much choice, but accept that governments treat us sometimes as if we're imbeciles and don't deserve to make our own choices.

Joan Sun 07-Aug-11 23:42:34

The ridiculous amount of choices in a supermarket is one thing, but having food choices thrust upon you is another. Here in Australia we need salt because it has iodine put in it, which is deficient here.

My sister went beserk in a bed n breakfast in Belgium when they gave her sachets of margerine instead of butter. When she asked for butter they said they did not supply it as it was unhealthy. She explained as calmly as she could that this is old science, and natural fats are health; unnatural, factory-made products are not. She is highly educated, a trained researcher, the waitress was not, but nevertheless defended their stance in a most patronising way.

They walked out and bought breakfast elsewhere.

Joan Sun 07-Aug-11 23:43:22

PS I meant natural fats are healthY

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 06:43:22

Glad someone else agrees that natural fats are healthy. Sometimes I think I'm the only person on the planet who thinks that! Well, DH thinks it too, but he isn't doing the cooking.

pompa, I would agree with you when the chef is "worth his salt", but most of one's eating out is not done in places that can afford a salt-worthy chef so they have no business telling us how much salt is good or bad for us. Besides, the customer, who is paying, is always right.

Faye Mon 08-Aug-11 07:18:50

You are not alone there Baggy. I know a man whose doctor told him not to eat avacados. Not eat avacados, they are a super food!!!! confused

ElseG Mon 08-Aug-11 07:31:37

I had a similar situation in Tescos grannyactivist, it was some time ago now but I still can't go inside a supermarket when it is very crowded. Nearly knocked over two ladies who were chatting in my panic to get out.

I loathe avocados; like eating cotton wool. Isn't it a good job I can choose whether to eat them or not smile

JessM Mon 08-Aug-11 07:47:42

Not eaten avocados in the right place ElseG... in places they come from a nice fresh one more like butter than cotton wool. I guess we get them picked way too soon and weeks in storage/transit.
I fondly remember the Lenny Henry series "Chef" and the scene where he had a mega rant at restaurant customers who had the temerity to ask for salt.
There is research on excessive choice (as in your tomatoes GA). In the research people bought less jam if there were more kinds to choose from and more jam if there were just a few kinds. I don't think our brains evolved to make so many complex choices between loads of options e.g. supermarket

GillieB Mon 08-Aug-11 09:37:53

I must admit that I have to bite my tongue when people automatically put salt on their food without tasting it - particularly when I have made it. I don't put salt and pepper on the table normally (but on the rare occasion I have chips, I do love some salt on them).

I don't like large supermarkets as I find it extremely irritating to have to wonder round for ages looking for what I want (I think I must be their worst nightmare as I am a grab and run kind of person!).

goldengirl Mon 08-Aug-11 09:44:44

I also think we have too much choice and I find it difficult to choose when confronted with so much of it. Hence I avoid our gi-normous Tescos and equally huge Asda [though I go into Asda from time to time for clothes] and shop at a much smaller Waitrose where the staff know the stock and are really helpful. The only item I think is a bit over done in there is the selection of oil.

susiecb Mon 08-Aug-11 10:00:30

I too find large supermarkets overwhelming so do my big shop on line with a list by my side and then if I am feeling like it have a short browse in one of the smaller supermarkets for special treats. I dont need to look at the massive varieties of toilet roll and loo cleaner every week.

I recenlty saw a programme about drink and they showed a russian supermarket with a huge variety of vodka on sale - perhaps i could cope with thatsmile

As to salt in restaurants I dont take addtional salt as I have hypertension but I would defend to the death someone else's right to have it. The chef hasnt got their tastebuds has he- I often find the food too salty in restaurants and would rather have fresh herbs and spices to season my food.

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 10:01:04

I hate shopping but I cope with our relatively small supermarket once a week by knowing exactly what I want (e.g. with tinned tomatoes I go for chopped, organic or, if that option isn't available, for the closest. If they don't have that I don't buy tinned tomatoes) and not really looking at all the other options. Every now and then someone might suggest something new and I'll go and read all the small print and decide whether it fits my criteria, but I couldn't be doing that all the time. Things like bread flour I buy by the sack and have delivered.

Some weeks I don't shop but just root around to see what meals I can make out of what's in the house. I call it feeding my creativity. wink

Oldgreymare Mon 08-Aug-11 10:44:29

My choice is limited as I react badly to citric acid (migraine headaches... YUK!) and it's in everything even shampoo ( which I don't eat, before you all guffaw). Shopping takes ages as labels have to be read!
TG for organic tinned chopped tomatoes, Baggy. Like you I enjoy creating combos a) from what is in the freezer, fridge or store cupboard,
b) from 'in-store' special offers.
P.S. citric acid in shampoo causes heatbumps, in skin products itching or a rash.... in case you wanted to know!

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 11:12:41

Gosh, OGM, what a pain! I was going to recommend my shampoo from Essential Care, but that contains citric acid too. I just checked. Cor lummy! What a nuisance for you!

kittylester Mon 08-Aug-11 11:21:33

Following on from another thread, my Dad used to say "A little of what you fancy does you good" Surely that's the point - apart from a very large icy white wine of course which, despite government health warnings, does me the power of good at the end of the day! And I seem to remember another old saying - you can never have too much of a good thing!

Nanban Mon 08-Aug-11 11:29:29

You are all so funny! Go out there and eat the things you like - you're all grannies so you must have got it right so far. As for shopping and supermarkets - send a man to do it - they come back with all the things we stand and ponder over - should I/shouldn't I.

And of course, in the dim and distant people would have their own little salt cellar in their pocket - now there's a thought.

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 12:00:04

Don't tell any of the control freaks, but I know a school cook who takes salt in her pocket because she thinks it's ridiculous to expect kids to eat mashed potatoes without any salt. She is a very fit and active middle-aged lady who, unlike the control freaks, knows what she's doing!

Anyway, she doesn't add the salt. It just slips in.

riclorian Mon 08-Aug-11 13:24:11

I stand for ages in the supermarket choosing soap powder/liquid . Do we really need all these choices ?They all seem the same to me !!

jangly Mon 08-Aug-11 14:01:59

riclorian - I was just going to say about wash powders! Great minds eh?

You need a degree to work out which to use for what!

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 14:59:47

Don't use any wash powder except ecover laundry bleach. Works a treat and no nasties for sensitive skins (or environments for that matter).

'Course, if you want your washing to smell of something other than fresh air .....

Baggy Mon 08-Aug-11 15:01:00

But then I'm one of those toerags who think that it's the hot water that gets things clean with only a little help needed from 'soap'.

Oxon70 Mon 08-Aug-11 15:41:27

Did anyone see Ruth Goodman doing washing on the Victorian Farm? The idea was to use stain removers on the stains, and not use soap on everything....but what she said online - and not on the programme - was that at home she doesn't use washing powder at all, and the things still come clean. I think the wash powder makers had a hand in here....
So when I found this I started using half the amount I used to - works fine.

My dad worked on the pollution in the rivers when detergents first came out, and he always said we were told to use far too much. Okay for the makers, we buy more....