Monday, January 21, 2008

Baby Parsnip

I have been pondering the meaning of "organic" as used by supermarkets. The first thing you notice is that the packaging of your Baby Parsnip, or whatever, is much prettier. The second thing you notice is that they are more expensive than their inorganic (?) cousins. But what I didn't realise until this evening is the material difference between the two. It is this: organic baby parsnips are dirtier and have lots of exciting black "eyes" that you need to gouge out with your gouging knife. So, with organic, in addition to superior packaging and elevated price, you get earth and exercise. Taste? I can't tell the difference.
My pondering has also extended to the naming of children. In Catholic countries, you have to give your children Catholic names. Similarly in Muslim countries, only Koranic names are halal. Given the paucity of available names in the Koran, it is not surprising that most Muslims have a name based on the triliteral root h-m-d - Mohammed, Ahmed, Abdulhamid, etc.
But in the good old godless (or at best lapsed Protestant) Anglo-Saxon countries, you can call a baby whatever takes your fancy: Dale, Clint, Chipolata, Yggdrasil or whatever. It's very fashionable in our dumbed-down soap-opera pop-celeb age to name your bairns after "stars". Pity today's Kylies, who will be tomorrow's laughing stock. I am just grateful that my parents stuck to a simple name like "Jack", although they might have called me Cary (after Grant) or Orson (after Welles) or Veronica (after Lake) if they'd been cinema buffs. And drunk.
And if you can make a link between organic vegetables and decent names for our children, please let me have it, because I am really stuck for a succinct way to finish this piece. The thought has just struck me, though: surely Parsnip is not a suitable name for a baby, organic or not.

1 comment:

Nea said...

John T Parsnip might disagree with you.
This is where I found him.

I also read of a baby being named Drew Peacock, but as we call our youngest "Strawberry", which is rather organic, I shall try and refrain from sniggering.

It's not her real name, though... ;( said with a smirk.