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Transcript: The post-Brexit burger
I’m off to the theatre this month to see Oklahoma! — one of those wonderful Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals. They may seem datedüberholt, veraltetdated, but with their dramatic stories and unforgettable songs, they’re still popular. Two years ago, London had a revivalWiederaufführungrevival of Carousel; last year, it was The King and I.
As it happens, McDonald’s has been using a song from Oklahoma! in one of its latest TV ads. It shows British farmers starting their working day, with a cheerful American voice in the background singing “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’”. It’s a little curious; the ad stresses that here in the UK, McDonald’s buys from farms that are nowhere near the American Midwest — they’re British.
Will that change? Those who supported Brexit have often to claimbehauptenclaimed that we’d get a new trade deal with the US as a prize for leaving the EU. It’s clear, though, that in any new deal, the US would insist on selling us food. So after Brexit, we could expect to see delicacyKöstlichkeit, Delikatessedelicacies from America in supermarkets that couldn’t be imported previously because of EU rules about pesticides, growth hormones and genetically modified organisms. Will the British be so worried about the quality of American meat that they’ll eat fewer burgers? Or will they eat more because they’ll be cheaper? I’m no fan of burgers. I can’t get enthusiastic about something that looks like the sole of a sandal. The bunBrötchenbun it’s served in doesn’t help either: it looks like a tea towelGeschirrtuchtea towel that’s been too near the oven.
During my first visit to the US, I worked in a children’s summer camp, where you might think everyone lived on burgers. Yet all the food was home-made and delicious. Burgers did appear on the menu once or twice to stop the children rebelling, but they were all freshly cooked (the burgers, not the children). If we don’t want to eat beef from the US, we could always eat its chlorinatedgechlort, chloriertchlorinated chicken. American chicken farmers use chlorinated water to wash their animals after slaughterSchlachtungslaughter. Not everyone agrees that this makes them safer to eat, but at least they’ve been washed. Can the same be said of a sandal?
You do wonder whether chlorine to affectbeeinflussen, beeinträchtigenaffects the taste. It will certainly affect restaurant menus. Expensive ones generally have different sections for meat and fish, labelled “from the land” and “from the sea”. They’ll presumablyvermutlich, voraussichtlichpresumably need a new label: “from the swimming pool”.
I don’t imagine American chickens actually have webbedmit Schwimmhäutenwebbed feet and swim in chlorinated water. If they did, the traditional question in families where Sunday lunch is a roastBratroast chicken might have to change from “Would you prefer breast or leg?” to “Would you prefer breast or flipperFlosse; hier: Schwimmfußflipper?” Even if imported meat is cheaper, we may need more ads to to persuadeüberzeugenpersuade us to eat it. Perhaps with a song from another classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. Is there one called The Burger King and I?
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