Is 'lumpy sauce' a vegetable?
January 9, 2002 9:22 PM   Subscribe

Is 'lumpy sauce' a vegetable? EU officials are meeting today to decide this burning question. (more inside)
posted by mr_crash_davis (13 comments total)
Anyone else reminded of the Reagan-era debacle classifying ketchup as a vegetable? How about counting salsa as a veggie?

It's interesting to note that in the EU, "lumpy sauce" is already a vegetable, even if it's fruit-based. The debate is whether or not to increase the lump percentage requirement to 30%.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:24 PM on January 9, 2002

Yeah, this is actually a big thing in Europe. It's an excellent illustration of the EU bureaucracy. Why not just say a vegetable is something you pluck from the earth or can hold in your hand without it dripping all over your fingers, or cannot sprinkle over anything in its original form?

In any case, this article in The Economist is worth it for the last sentence alone.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:32 PM on January 9, 2002

shite! this could have a very negative effect on the imports of country pickle!

ah, my black tar heroin of sandwich spreads and condiment to chips alike.
posted by dorian at 9:56 PM on January 9, 2002

"The World Customs Organisation in Geneva ruled against the EU's lump system two years ago after Unilever complained that its "Chicken Tonight" dish was being treated unfairly."

At last, a corporation speaks out for chickens. But why must they limit their call for fairness to attractive chickens?
posted by colt45 at 10:10 PM on January 9, 2002

lumpy_sauce was my original handle.
posted by dong_resin at 11:53 PM on January 9, 2002

I don't think this is quite as ridiculous as it sounds. Remember, the source (the Daily Telegraph) is well known as a Europe hater.

You need a strict legal definition of what constitutes a vegetable, because somebody will always try and get round the rules to avoid paying tax. Miguel, with your definition, could I get round paying tax by chopping the vegetable up first before I export it? If so, how chopped up can it be? If not, then surely the vegetable lumps in sauce are liable for tax?

Blame human nature for always trying to find a way round the rules. People will go to extreme lengths sometimes to save the most trfling sums of money.
posted by salmacis at 1:26 AM on January 10, 2002

it's the bombay duck syndrome again - we like to spend a lot of time and money in Europe discussing the relative merits of our food!
posted by roobarb at 4:34 AM on January 10, 2002

After they resolve this matter of Earth-shattering import, perhaps they can decide whether pork faggots actually qualify as food.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:03 AM on January 10, 2002

Am I missing something? Why wouldn't they? I'm sure they contain more meat than the average sausage.

BTW - I'm vegetarian.
posted by salmacis at 6:37 AM on January 10, 2002

Well, if you bought a jar of pasta sauce that you know has big chunks of, say, mushrooms and tomatoes and peppers in it, how likely are you to buy vegetables as well, to improve the sauce?

This is a question of protecting EU farmers from cheap foreign imports: cheap, say, US pasta sauce can cost European farmers tons of mushrooms or peppers.

Ridiculous? Sure, it sounds weird, but protections such as these is what make the quality of food here in Europe much higher than what North Americans are used to. Of course, food is also relatively expensive here as well (wrt cost of living) and one can argue that that is not fair as consumers are not given the choice between cheaper, lower-quality food and the real stuff...
posted by costas at 7:20 AM on January 10, 2002

protections such as these are what make the quality of food...higher

Um, no. Setting rules as to the allowable curvature of a cucumber (actual EU law) does not do anything to improve food quality -- it merely discriminates in favor of French cucumbers, and against British ones.

EU food regulations are chock-full of these trade protections, masquerading as food quality controls.
posted by aramaic at 7:35 AM on January 10, 2002

... does not do anything to improve food quality -- it merely discriminates in favor of French cucumbers, and against British ones.

Err... the Brits grow cucumbers? ;-)

I have farmed cucumbers actually. They need a lot of water and sunlight to get anywhere close to tasty. I think you made my point :-)
posted by costas at 9:56 AM on January 10, 2002

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