A British supermarket has introduced plastic packaging which allows consumers to cook and eat meat without ever having to touch the stuff.
It’s called touch-free packaging, otherwise known in the food packing industry as a ‘doypack’, and Sainsbury’s have decided to roll it out to market meat such as chicken breast, for the more squeamish among us.
Of course, the millennials – anyone born after 1980, that is – are being blamed for the capitalist conglomerate’s choice. Because, who else?
A survey showed the prospect of coming into contact with uncooked meat products induced high levels of anxiety among shoppers under the age of 35.
So it’s awfully nice of Sainsbury’s to make all their customers’ lives that little bit easier. Although it does seem to totally disregard the universal and international need to cut down on plastic altogether.
After all, we all know there’s too much of the stuff on our planet:
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A recent report by Mintel, the consumer research firm, found just under 40 per cent of young cooks prefer not to handle raw meat, compared with a little more than a quarter of the broader population.
Although there are clearly quite a few folk out there who’d rather not handle raw meat – perhaps due to the fact it carries potentially harmful bacteria or because they simply opt for faster methods of cooking – the so-called ‘snowflakes’ are getting the blame for this rather silly new food packaging ploy.
It does seem a bit strange to think anyone would be happy to ingest and then digest something cooked they were unhappy to touch raw; but then again, takes all sorts.
There’s even such a thing as chicken sushimi, which is a raw chicken dish certainly invented for millennial consumption… So we can’t all be that squeamish.
However, Ruth Mason of the National Farmers’ Union said it was ‘disconcerting that shoppers are so removed from their food’, especially at a time when the meat and farming industries are facing pressure, financially and socio-politically, from the increased number of consumers adopting vegetarian or vegan diets.
It comes as footage like this incites more people to adopt vegan lifestyles:
Katherine Hall, product development manager for meat, fish and poultry at the retailer, told The Sunday Times some customers are ‘scared’ of raw meat.
Customers, particularly younger ones, are quite scared of touching raw meat. These bags allow people, especially those who are time-poor, to just ‘rip and tip’ the meat straight into the frying pan without touching it.
Sainsbury’s reasoning would appear to be supported by increasingly strong sales of chickens that can be bought and roasted in a bag.
We have seen sales data of those, and we are aware they have done very, very well. We know one of the reasons is because consumers do not have to touch a raw bird.
While it’s totally understandable to be afraid of a dead, raw product of capitalism and the over-arching tyranny of human power, it’s definitely unacceptable to be so unused to preparing your own food – and be so naive about where that food comes from.
Perhaps, just perhaps, the customer isn’t always right. Then again, millennials gotta eat.
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A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you’ve never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.