21 December 2008

The PEC's battle against "pointless and meaningless waffle"

A link to this article about Obama's environmental policies (bless him) brought me to the Independent this morning. One might wonder why an anglophile such as myself has been perusing the New York Times when the Independent lurks but a URL away. I too, wondered at this phenomenon when I found this headline on my visit to the latter: 

Call to end 'Gobbledegook' language on food

It seems that the Plain English Campaign (PEC) (THE PLAIN ENGLISH CAMPAIGN. GLEE! ) says that  too much food is dressed up with "pointless and meaningless waffle".

(and I quote:)
"We've found 'all butter mince pies', chickens which lived in 'small mobile arks' or 'spacious barns with windows to allow ample daylight and straw bales to perch on'," said the spokeswoman "What does any of it mean and how does it help people make decisions about which food to buy for Christmas? What on earth is a 'small mobile ark' and how can a mince pie be 'all butter'?"

Other snippits found on packaging in the UK include:

:: Fresh British Whole Duck: "Ducks have access to water in order to preen themselves."
:: Organic Fresh British Chicken: "(Farmer Albert) cares about his chickens" and "(Farmer Tom) is particularly welfare conscious".

Personally, I would be very happy to read on my food labels that what I was about to eat had had an opportunity for a good preening before it's fate was sealed by Christmas packaging. Would that tofu had the same lease on life.

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