Sunday, June 27, 2010

Beyond Stupid: No eggs by the dozen

Like Michael Ruhlman who has argued incessantly and persuasively for using scales rather than volumetrics and counting pieces, I believe that weighing ingredients is the most accurate method of measurement. Shoppers also benefit when they know the exact weight of a food purchase. But what is the point of banning the selling of eggs or any food item  by "number, requiring that foods be sold by weight, and NOT allowing the number of pieces to be displayed?

According to this article from The Daily Mail  protesting Britain's adoption of EU standards for food package labeling 

"The rules will not allow both the weight and the quantity to be displayed."

Brussels is everyday looking more and more like the mind-bending warren of rules and bureaucratic stonewalls in "The Castle"  by Franz Kafka (The author whose short story "The Hunger Artist" was the inspiration for the title of this blog.). 

EU to ban selling eggs by the dozen: Shopkeepers' fury as they are told all food must be weighed and sold by the kilo | Mail Online: "


Jessika said...

Sweden is a EU-member. Here eggs are sold (in the supermarket) by 6, 12, 15, 18 or 24, at a set price. They are sorted according to size. All but the eco-eggs but they tend to be the same size. They are smallish, middle and large. Weight of the egg is on the packet, a median weight anyway. Eggs i buy are 53 - 63 grams.

As annoying as this is, and I don't agree with EU agricultural policies at large, there are ways to go around the size measurements of bananas and cucumbers.
The initial controversy was not bananas but cucumbers. You find them anyway.

Chris said...

The Daily Mail has an anti-EU political bias and a VERY long history of mis-representing stories about it. I bet anything you like that this story is simply untrue - as is made clear in the comments on the original story.

Jessika said...

It is basically effective here already. I cook alot, haven't noticed. In any EU-legislation there are always holes in the patchworks. As far as it goes, it is for supermarkets. A single breadroll will not be sold for weight.
I, too, agree with alot of the comments to the original story, as Chris pointed out above. It is really a non-kind-of news.

Tags said...

When "shopkeepers" means big supermarket chains, this is a good thing. This is the karmic boomerang for all the tricks they used to squeeze out smaller shops.

Not so much for increasingly rare and tiny independent stores.

nhallfreelance said...

I generally agree that this is a ridiculous example of over-legislation. I think the idea is at least kind of along the lines of American labeling on packaged goods requiring the indication that they are sold by weight, not volume, so at least you know that the gigantic box of cereal only contains a few bowls of food, and many more of air. Here, though, it doesn't make any practical sense, as the number of eggs in a carton is pretty apparent. However, that same notion makes the predominant argument against the new requirement look just as inane as the rule itself. Namely, that critics are arguing that the weight labeling will unfairly confuse consumers. Really? The british are too stupid to tell that there are six eggs in a carton, simply because the label says 167 grams? The reason this law is a bad idea is exactly the one you give, BdG: it doesn't serve any practical purpose.

Ray Miller said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ray Miller said...

It's said you shouldn't believe everything you read in the newspaper. This is especially true when it comes to the Daily Mail. Indeed, the story you quote has been refuted by the European Parliament itself.

Bob del Grosso said...

Mea culpa, I let credulity get in the way of reason.