Thursday, January 29, 2009

Earl-Grey-At-Large: Fresh & Easy Buzz's Sometime Humor Columnist Drops in For A Bit Of Pre-Super Bowl Musing On 'Carnivores' V. 'Vegetarians'

It's only in the mind of Earl Grey that Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market's fresh meat grill packs, animal welfare group PETA and the Superbowl can all come together in a column. Read what the pond-hopping Earl of Teadom says below.

In the pre-Super Bowl Sunday battle between the "Carnivores" and the "Vegetarians" the score currently is one -to- nothing in favor of the meat lovers.

On the carnivores' side is Tesco's Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market which has brought back it popular multi-meat Grill Pack this week in what the grocer says is "just in time for Super Bowl Sunday. Billed as a special "game day" grill pack the mighty bundle of fresh meats contains close to five pounds of beef patties, pork sausages and pre-seasoned chicken parts, all ready for the grill on Super Bowl Sunday.

To be more precise: "Fresh & Easy's Grill Pack includes a mixture of six to eight chili-seasoned chicken thighs or drumsticks, four Italian pork sausages and four quarter-pound beef patties," according to the grocery and fresh foods chain.

The fresh meat display cases in the 110 Fresh & Easy food markets in Southern California, Nevada and Arizona are stacked high with the carnivore-friendly meat packs, awaiting Super Bowl Sunday shoppers who plan to get their meat-on for the game.

Meanwhile, over on the vegetarian bench things aren't looking so good, although the all-female players on the team look gorgeous -- and seem to be snacking on healthy veggies.

You see, NBC, the network that's televising the Super Bowl, has rejected a Super Bowl Sunday TV ad from the animal rights and pro-veggie, carnivore-disliking non-profit organization PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.) In rejecting the Peta Super Bowl commercial, called "Veggie Love," NBC says the spot is just to sexy, to hot and steamy, for it to show on game day. Bloody fools.

The PETA ad features a number of very attractive woman dressed in lingerie and high heels celebrating the raw and sensual aspects of fresh veggies. The ad, similar to some of the group's previous sexy ads and public service spots, is designed to show how sexy and sensual vegetarianism can be, compared to eating the meat of animals. Both can rather sexy to me though, especially with a cup of good tea.

But meat lovers fear not. The brass at NBC has decided it just can run the PETA ad because it's "way to sexy" to show on Super Bowl Sunday. After all, when was the last time a television network like NBC would allow television programs or commercials that used sex or sensuality as a plot line or premise? Ever watched a soap opera? One doubts the BBC would even blink an eye about such sexy offerings.

There will be no beautiful woman doing things of a non-culinary nature with fresh produce this Super Bowl Sunday; things that might make those of us who do enjoy eating meat think twice about doing so. After all, we all want to be sexy. And it's "Veggie Love" rather than "Love of Meat."

There won't be an ad shown between the grunting, tackling, running, bottom slapping (and passing of the pig skin) this Super Bowl that might convince carnivores to join the other side. (I just realized those words could be considered sexy to some as well.) NBC has ruled against such a mix of football, sensuality and fresh produce on game day this year. So nice we have a TV network to make our decisions for us.

And perhaps that's a good thing for us meat lovers. After all, if that PETA "Veggie Love" commercial played while we were mid-bite into our burger, seasoned chicken thigh or Italian sausage -- the fresh meat from the Fresh & Easy Grill Pack we shall purchase on Saturday while in Gilbert, Arizona doing a tea seminar and then grill-up early Sunday so it will be ready when the game starts -- we might forever more forgo the delights of the flesh (meat) and instead associate all that is sexy and sensual with fresh veggies only, pushing the meat plate aside in favor of the raw carrot, celery, broccoli and cauliflower veggie plate previously sitting completely full on the living room coffee table.

I might even go as far as to return all of the additional fresh meat grill packs we bought for the excellent price of slightly over $1 a pound, exchanging them instead at the local Fresh & Easy market for the equivalent dollar amount of the grocer's new 98-Cent Produce Packs.

But thanks to NBC, this is a dilemma we carnivores will not have to face. We can watch the Super Bowl, a plate filled with burgers, chicken and sausage before us, not fearing that the carnivorous nature of our sexuality will be challenged by a video showing gorgeous and sexy woman demonstrating that not only are veggies delicious and nutritious, but that they also hold the keys to love and sex.

The Super Bowl isn't until Sunday. But the pre-Super Bowl battle between the "Carnivores" and the "Vegetarians" seems to be moving in the direction of a win by the meat eaters.

However, just because the PETA "Veggie Love" commercial won't be shown during the Super Bowl, doesn't mean you can't see it. In fact, with a mere click of your mouse you can view the PETA "Veggie Love" commercial video here. you also can view it by going to the PETA Web site here, where there's also additional information about the video and NBC's decision not to run the advert.

Perhaps if enough meat lovers watch the video between now and Super Bowl Sunday, the pre-game battle between the "Carnivores" and the "Vegetarians" might result in a tie by game time.

Of course, if you are anything like me, you plan on making sure there's plenty of meat and veggies at the table on Super Bowl Sunday, along with plenty of snacks and beverages.

But in case you forget to prepare the fresh veggie tray before the big game, and since I'm providing the link to PETA's sexy, hot and steamy "Veggie Love" video -- the one you won't be able to see in the form of a commercial on Super Bowl Sunday -- you can always take your significant other by the hand during the game's half-time break, head into the kitchen, turn on the laptop computer, click the link to PETA's "Veggie Love" video, and together slice some fresh, raw veggies to go with the Fresh & Easy grill pack meats you already started consuming during the first half of the game.

But if you don't make it out of the kitchen before the second half of the game starts, don't blame Earl Grey -- blame "Veggie Love."

[Editor's Note: Earl Grey, who spent 30 years in a variety of positions in the tea industry in both the United Kingdom and United States, is Fresh & Easy's Buzz's sometime satire/humor correspondent. We call him that for two reasons: He only writes for the Blog sometimes and he is only humorous sometimes.

Earl Grey, who currently works as a freelance tea category specialist and consultant to supermarket chains globally, divides his time between Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, England, where Tesco, which owns and operates Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market USA, is headquartered, and Lake Havasu City, Arizona, which among other things is home to the original London Bridge, which was rescued by the Lake Havasu Conventional and Tourism Bureau and brought to the city a number of years ago.

Although raised playing and enjoying English-style football in the UK, Earl Grey, who has long lived on both sides of the pond, says he prefers the American version of the game, although he offers no reason as to why that is the case.

Earl Grey says he eats meat and vegetables in about equal quantities. But when we take Earl out to lunch on Fresh & Easy Buzz's dime, it's more like 80% meat dishes to 20% veggies at the restaurant. He loves all meats but also says he enjoys nearly every type of fruit and vegetable. Or as he puts it: I love most of the green ones, a few purple ones, more than one orange one, and veggies of some other colors as well.. Most of all though the carnivorous Earl Grey loves his regular spot of tea.]

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