The ‘guilt-free snacking’ concept has been kicking around in my head for a while, introduced there by Marks & Spencer. Yes, really. Occasionally, during lunchtimes, I head to M&S for a salad and a small packet of popped crisp type things. I like the popped crisps and I like that they come in small packets. I don’t like that they say ‘Guilt-free snacking’ on the front, and it annoys me every time, so that I wander back to the office gently fuming at the outrageousness of a food retailer thinking it has the right to lecture me about eating habits. I don’t think there should be any relationship between food and guilt, and I think it’s irresponsible and pernicious to suggest that there is. Food is just food, and maybe we should all strive to eat in accordance with this week’s guidance on healthy eating. But if we don’t, then it’s not a moral, ethical or physical infraction that should result in anyone feeling bad about it. And ‘guilt-free’ implies its opposite counterpart. ‘Guilt-full’? ‘Guilt-laden’? ‘Crisps for the self-loathing’? What the hell? Tell you what, M&S, you leave off trying to make me feel guilty about food, and I’ll forget all about that collapsing factory in Bangladesh. Deal?
Oh, and here are a few other guilt-free snacks i enjoy:
Crisps – just, you know, regular crisps. Not low-fat, low-salt baked vegetable chips. Crisps. And Hula Hoops. For a while after I started my new job, my driving home snack was a packet of Hula Hoops and a Bounty, but now that I’ve got a new car I have a ‘no food while driving’ policy. Also, is it illegal? i mean, eating while driving, not eating Hula Hoops and a Bounty together. Although Marks & Spencer’s probably do think that should be illegal. Unless it’s their own brand, ‘guilt-free’ fake Hula Hoops and knock-off chocolate and coconut bar.
Chocolate biscuits – I particularly like chocolate biscuits with my first cup of tea in the morning, when I really have the time to spare to enjoy them. There’s something about the sweetness that gets the day off to an enjoyable, leisurely start and means that however it turns out, there was that good moment early on. This morning’s chocolate biscuits are Jaffa Cakes. However, I think I’d have to say that optimal morning chocolate biscuits are those insanely expensive Leibnitz ones, that we all only buy on special.
Cheese and biscuits – my go to snack of choice. Half a dozen biscuits with cheese, as a way to fend off hunger while I’m cooking dinner. Or sometimes, not cooking dinner. Sometimes, cheese and biscuits is dinner, with chocolate biscuits for dessert.
Potato wedges – I have managed to create a habit for myself that says when I’m getting the train back from Marylebone, I get potato wedges. They aren’t even particularly good, which is sort of one of the things I enjoy about them. I’ll buy them thinking, ‘Oh, I probably won’t need dinner’, but in fact by the time I get off the train I’ve forgotten all about them, until the next time I’m back at Marylebone.
When the food police come knocking, I’ll be guilty as charged.