"What your lunch says about you" was hosted by Bug as the second in the series of 37 things you need to know about Modern Britain. Billed to offer fresh and insightful viewpoints on popular culture we'll just say that it delivered this with varying levels of success. The panel was led by Miranda Sawyer, journalist and broadcaster, with Richard Benson, ex editor of the face, Rosie Lovell, self proclaimed middle class Brixtonite cafe owner and author, and Tom Viney, possible lumber jack and editor of Special Request Magazine.
For the most part the event was actually quite interesting and the panel talked their way round the British obsession with class identifiers. They moved onto high street chains and the corporate propaganda surrounding their branding. They gently ambled around the subject of inner city gentrification; especially when fuelled by food culture as seen in Brixton with many other subjects in between.
The panel talked with charm and humour; they all had valid points to discuss, it was just that none of them seemed to really get their teeth into the subject. Were they afraid of offending the audience?
I wanted someone to stand up and just acknowledge the fact that food snobbery, as with all snobbery, is wrong. Odd really when you considered the venue...
The House of St Barnabas is a charity that helps the homeless back into work. The building which is a stones throw from Soho Square is currently being renovated and is due to open as London's first not-for-profit members club. Surely here of all places it would be safe to agree snobbery needs to be snubbed out?
The rest of the audience seemed to enjoy the event thoroughly. They laughed along jovially during the tongue in cheek Q&A section and at the end we all retired to the courtyard for drinks afterwards.
I think I may have been on my own really though leaving feeling frustrated. Amused at points but essentially frustrated...
To answer my questions at the start of this post though the answer of course is yes. Food is a status symbol; it's been that way since humans first started hunting.
The prize piece goes to the strongest and whilst we may not hunt anymore to survive we still want the damned prize. Unfortunately though these days the vagaries of fashion seem to have skewed what we think that may be...
Photo credit Tom Oldham