Sarah McEvoy – The Shaming of Food

The Shaming of Food

(after Henry Reed)

Today we have shaming of food. Yesterday,
We had crash diets. And tomorrow morning,
We shall have how to detox by juicing. But today,
Today we have shaming of food. (This dessert
Satisfies body and soul with its spicy sweetness,
And today we have shaming of food.)

 

These are saturated fats. And these
Are sugars and starches, which you should not eat.
This is salt, which is bad for high blood pressure,
(Which in my case I have not got. I tell them
How much individual dietary requirements vary,
Which in their case they have not got.)

 

This is gluten, which will certainly kill you
Even if you are not coeliac. And please do not let us
See anyone eating fast food. You can all cook quite easy
If you have any brains in your head. (The timid
Order takeaway by phone, never letting anyone see
Any of them eating fast food.)

 

And this you can see is margarine. The purpose of this
Is to replace butter, as you see. Opinion has shifted
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Vital research. (And rapidly backwards and forwards
I am beating butter and sugar to make a new form of cake;
I call it vital research.)

 

They call it vital research: you can follow it easy
If you have any brains in your head: like the fats,
And the sugars, and the gluten, and the various awful diseases,
Which in our case we have not got; and the food police
Silent in disapproval as my mixer beats backwards and forwards,
For today we have shaming of food.

 

Sarah McEvoy is a Cumbrian poet, writer, translator, proofreader, activist and early music enthusiast. They prefer neutral pronouns, and you can find more of their writing at  http://mongoose-writes.weebly.com.

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