24th July, 2004 The advertisement suggested that we are what we eat. How could this be? View large

Dear Sir,

I was puzzled by your recent advertisement for Dolmio sauces that said:

“Modern, Fresh, tasty. Well, you are what you eat.”

It seems to me that you are creating some enormous identity crises. If you are what you eat then what on earth are you? If I were to eat sheep's brains, would I become smarter? Or, as they are unused, dumber? Too close to call?

Lions eat gazelles, does that make them a gazelle? But gazelles eat grass. Does that make a Lion grass? Guinea pigs eat grass too. How can I tell them apart?

Chicken eat worms, so it follows that they must be worms. Surfers eat take-away chicken so they must be a chicken, but by dietary transmogrification they must really be a worm. Sharks eat surfers, therefore a shark is a surfer but we have already established that a surfer is really a worm doing chicken impressions so does that mean that a shark is worm?

I think I am getting the hang of your theory but it does give me some difficulties. For example, there are a couple of nagging questions:

How can I really be what I eat if I don't eat tripe?

And what on earth have our political leaders been eating?

Yours anxiously,

J Cosmo Newbery.

A few weeks later a box of Dolmio sauces arrived with a 'With Compliments' slip...but no letter.

Two days later a letter arrives:

Dear Mr/Ms Cosmo Newbery

...May we assure you that all Masterfoods products are manufactured to the highest standards. All the ingredients and packaging materials we use must comply with our quality specifications. Inspection is carried out during all stages of the manufacturing process to ensure that our exacting standards are met.

Quality in our products is of the highest importance and your continued interest in our products is our aim. Your comments regarding these products have been passed on to the people responsible for developing and marketing our products....