Out of 30,000 edible plants thought to exist on earth, just eleven account for 93% of all that humans eat: oats, corn, rice, wheat, potatoes, yucca (also called tapioca or cassava), sorghum, millet, beans, barley, and rye.
This figure (originally quoted in Bill Bryson’s At Home: a short history of private life) just goes to show how narrow-minded we are as a race, and also how difficult we find it to break out of the norm.
As an example at the opposite end of the spectrum, research from Nielsen in 2014 showed that despite having – on average – 189 TV channels to choose from, Americans watch only 17.
What’s even more interesting is that this figure (17) hasn’t barely wavered in 5 years, despite a huge leap in the number of available channels.
When pizzas were first invented as a way of creating a cheap meal, little did they know what they would be turned into by the might of Dominos.
That beacon of fast food has introduced a new tempting feast to its range, called Domino’s Premiere. A pizza of truly epic proportions.
And what, pray, does the Premiere boast as its topping? A little mushroom and asparagus, perhaps? Maybe some tuna, capers and anchovies? Not a bit of it.
The Premiere is a pizza for the truly unreconstructed. A pizza aimed fair and square at the carnivores of this world.
If you order a Dominos Premiere you get the following quartet of toppings: pepperoni, chorizo, steak and pastrami. Meat, a little more meat, ooh some of that meat and, why not a little bit extra meat just to make it up.
Tell me, please, that people out there don’t really want something like this. Surely…
Now on the face of it, this is a perfectly valid story. If you’re buying an obviously Christmas-themed product, you’d expect it to last till the festive season, wouldn’t you?
But then I stopped to think. I know we’re in credit crunch (god, am I fed up with those two words) time and people like to start buying things early, but why would you buy mince pies now – in October – to use on Christmas Day?
I can understand buying crackers or stocking presents. But mince pies?
When I make a batch of mince pies at home, they’re lucky if they last 2 days before starting to be past their best, not 2 months!
What must manufacturers be putting in these pies that allows them to last so long? And more to the point, what are people thinking that makes them decide to buy mince pies in October and expect them to be OK to eat in December.