Thursday, 19 August 2010

Slow news day?

My first act as world leader will be to ban infantile surveys dreamed up by PR companies during the silly season when the nation’s newspapers are even more devoid of meaningful copy than usual.

The latest piece of statistical nonsense to be published comes to us courtesy of Polo Mints. For some reason, the mighty Nestlé decided to commission a study of Britons’ eating habits in the post-dining room age.

And what did these geniuses discover? That a third of us think it’s acceptable to feed ourselves without the aid of a knife and fork. In fact, women are the worst culprits, choosing to eat with their fingers rather than using implements or ‘eating irons’ as one old colonel I used to know called them.

Not only do Britons use their fingers to eat, but a sixth of the population lick their plates clean. Why they can’t use hot water and washing up liquid, I really don’t know. However, the mind-numbingly banal survey goes on to reveal that 35 per cent of us save our favourite part of the meal until last. Thank goodness for that; you have no idea how long I’ve been searching for that particular statistic.

According to Judi James, Nestlé’s resident body-language guru, you can tell a lot about someone by the way they eat. “The way we eat and how we treat food can often give away more about us than a ten-minute conversation. Our subconscious food habits reveal our attitudes to everything from relationships to work, and define us as a nation.”

To round off this dissertation in digestion, the survey says that we are also a nation of quirky eaters with half of us choosing to lick our ice creams in a circular motion and preferring to suck our boiled sweets instead of crunching them between our molars. Two-thirds of us eat crisps one at a time instead of ramming them in our mouth by the handful… using fingers, presumably.

This behaviour, according to the buffoons behind this exercise in the bleeding obvious claim that these discoveries show that we are a nation that takes a delayed gratification approach to eating, prolonging the experience for as long as we can. Finally, the boffins claim that food is the way to our hearts because three per cent of those surveyed (yes… a whopping three per cent) said that their idea of a perfect date would be a candlelit dinner.

Apparently, Nestlé’s next survey will investigate the toilet habits of bears dwelling in woods and other heavily forested areas.  Goodnight!


  1. Someone hasn't got enough to doooo....

    They must have been an NHS manager in their previous job.

  2. Goodness knows all food manufacturers need a body language guru.

  3. you know you don't have to read these articles if they bother you so much.

  4. I have met Judi James a number of times and at every occasion I found she had some worthwhile things to say. She is witty and perceptive. And no, I am not affiliated with her company in any way.

    Whether surveys stating the bleeding obvious should be conducted at all is another matter...


  5. I'm just jealous that I'm not Nestlé's body-language guru.

  6. I had a form tutor who refered to people who chose to eat with there fingers as "gastronomic connoisseurs" .... to some extent I agree with him... good to see you back TM.

  7. hmmm maybe it is a leftover vestige of my British heritage but I for one do not use a fork with my potato chips (crisps in Brit-speak)...they kept breaking. Nor do I stuff them in like Cookie Monster eating cookies...nomnomnom. Actually even the Ukrainians and Polish descendants eat them one at a time so I would say that their survey results cannot be considered particular to Britain.

    While I find surveys as a concept helpful, but really now, HOW people eat? Is Nestle getting into the "eating irons" business and this was really a market research survey?

    I'm between paid working gigs, I'll be their body-language guru.

    I see you still have your spunk! Good to hear from you again.

    Libby (Canada)

  8. glad you are back - bit like the survey that stated that most of us hate unsolicited phone calls - talk about stating the bleeding obvious!


    This is an article about Alberta's hospital food that I thought you'd be interested in. Apparently a consultant is changing the menu.
    Stelmach is our provincial premier. Alberta Health Services is our version of NHS.

    Hope your rehab is still progressing.


  10. Good afternoon ETM - long time no speak which I hope means that you are out and about ??? Fingers crossed that everything is going OK for you and yours.
    Hope that you might get back into blogging - you surely can't expect me to go cold turkey without warning!

    Best wishes from Cats' Mother and the Chelsea Gang x

  11. HI Sarah

    I've been so bad about blogging but I've had quite a few health problems of late and haven't been up to it. My leg is healing but I think the rest of me is crumbling. Such is life.

    Best wishes to the cats.


  12. Come on TM, pull yourself together. You do not have to produce a "full piece" with photos every day, but a a couple of sentences to satisfy your followers would be much apprecciated.

    Hope that your general health is improving.

  13. Getting a wee bit worried, hope you're on the mend. For some bizarre reason Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" is riffling through my brain--the rah rah bit...I suppose it is to encourage you to keep up the "get healthy fight". soo, "rah rah ah ah ah" you go ETM!

  14. Hey everyone my Dad is ok hes just off on his first holiday in about 2 years. Gone to Portugal! Should be back next week!


  15. Dear Traction Daughter

    That is brilliant news! We know how much he was missing his favourite place!

    Best wishes to you and your family

    love Cats' Mother x

  16. Yes it's great news I think he is very relaxed from all reports!!

    Thanks v much

  17. Good to hear he is ok :o)


  18. Chris in Melbourne28 September 2010 at 19:52

    I hope Dad Traction has a great break. Is the home of Ronaldo nice at this time of year?

    Thanks for the heads-up, so pleased that TM is ok.

    Melbourne OZ.

  19. What lovely news. Hope he likes the Portuguese food! Look forward to him coming back all fired up with piri-piri and ready to give our National Fiddle and related bodies a hard time.

  20. Pleased to hear this; I live in Portugal (the Algarve) and the weather is fantastic at the moment.

  21. Have a good time out there TM!!. Damned warmer then GB at the mo.....


  22. Thank god for that...the silence was very worrying. Hope he has a fabulous time

  23. Chris from Melbourne...slip of the tongue? "have a good break"....hehe

    Great to hear he is getting some sun to help the mending. Nothing like a change of scenery, especially to a beloved place.

    Libby in semi-warm Alberta

  24. Chris in Melbourne7 October 2010 at 18:31

    @ Libby.
    OOps! How do you do RED in these posts!

    Regards from Chris in spring Melbourne (also known as the place with four seasons in day)hot one minute, hail and freezing the next.