Selfridges, the department store for those with a slight excess of cash, has been in the news twice in four months for selling the ‘wrong’ sort of foods’ In December, a celebrity butcher was fired because he was selling the ‘top people’s food’ Foie Gras ‘ literally under the counter. Now there is nothing illegal about the sale of this foodstuff, but lots of people get their collective knickers in a twist because of the way it is manufactured. Foie Gras is made by ‘force-feeding’ geese or ducks with a reinforced diet, a practice which ‘animal rights activists’ condemn as being cruel. So Selfridges ruled that Foie Gras was off the menu. The butcher decided otherwise, as he was asked by customers to continue supplying this delicacy, and he was fired for his troubles.
This week, Selfridges was again featured in the headlines, but this time for the practice of selling cartons of unpasteurised milk. Again, there is nothing illegal in this sale, but various sections of our ever-industrious Government’s Nanny Section have decided that raw or unpasteurised milk is ‘not a good thing’, and should only be available in special circumstances and in certain farm shops. You are also ‘allowed’ (how gracious of them) to buy this milk over the internet, and at the farm gates.
Food Standards Agency’s Dr Henrietta Campbell said “I would go further and look for a ban on the sale of raw milk.”
Now I personally have no oar in this water, or milk for that matter, but it seems to me to be purely a matter of being aware of the risks. As Charlie Watson, the hero of my novel ‘Single to Westminster, via Berlin’ stated “If the Heir to the Throne gets up on his soap box and says he likes to drink unpasteurised milk, he should be allowed to do so! If the risks are plainly stated, if someone likes something, they should be able to eat or drink it! People have got to be treated like grown-ups, with common sense; if they can read, they can make their minds up! We are not in the business of treating everyone like a three-year old child!”
We have the facts, and we should be able to make our own minds up whether there are risks attached to certain activities, and whether we should continue with those activities, or cease on the grounds that ‘others know best’!