Brit Foods, Saskatoon, as you probably know, sells ‘COAST: An Act Of Burial’ thanks to the kindness of owner Tony Badger, who has become a good friend of mine. He’s a really good fella. He’s been very kind to me in terms of both pushing my spy novel and his generous supply of all kinds of great products. Now, he’s got himself in the news everywhere.
Marmite, that British delicacy at which Canadians turn up their noses, along with a bunch of other products, has been seized from Brit Foods by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. This means that poor old Tony is likely to lose a shedload of money. Irn Bru, for example, contains an ingredient which is bad for Canadians. British folks have been drinking it with impunity for years, of course, but anyone remotely Canadian will instantly drop dead upon glugging down on the famous beverage (“made in Scotland from girders”, the adverts used to say). At least, that’s how the CFIA seems to see it.
Marmite, of course, is being treated the same way. Heck guys, it’s only brewer’s yeast, for goodness’ sake! Whilst pretty much everyone outside the UK and Australia baulks at the idea of eating Marmite, it’s actually pretty good for you, and makes an excellent flavoring in other dishes. If you’re a vegetarian, but the meaty taste of dead animals is a guilty pleasure, the look no further. Marmite can be used to make an excellent vegetarian gravy. But when the CFIA are around, no! It’s poison! Vest-scrapings of the evil one himself.
Brit Foods, anyway, has been the venue for a couple of book signings for me—the last one being called ‘Brit Foods and Brit Heroes’—and I’ve had loads of fun. And, as I said, Tony’s become a good friend, so it really pains me to see him and his store being targeted by the CFIA. It’s not fair at all. What’s more, it opens Pandora’s box to some extent. What about the ethnic aisle in one’s local supermarket? A lot of those products aren’t even labelled in English (or French, in due deference to the rest of the country), never mind having all the ingredients and nutritional information printed on them. What’s going to happen there, I ask you. What about the BRILLIANT ethnic store near the camera shop? Are they going to get the same treatment? Where the heck does it stop?
Anyway, rant over. I promise I’ll get talking about books and writing again soon! Ciao for now. :-)
Roger and out, X.