Today’s Westminster Hall debate on the sugar content of preserves was positively jammed with puns. ‘The minister seems to have found himself in a sticky situation, or in a bit of a jam,’ said Tessa Munt, who was quite set on raising this subject with fellow MPs. ‘Jam today, please, but I would like to see jam tomorrow as well.’
Does anyone give a damn about the sugar content of jam? Well, according to Munt, the government’s plans to allow manufacturers to reduce the concentration below 60% risks ruining jam forever. It will mean jams that apparently are darker, duller, and muddier. According to Munt, consumer confidence in jam could be shattered forever. It would be sham jam.
Sitting in the public gallery in Westminster Hall, I was terrified. Forget the muddy appearance of these new jams that Munt was frightening us all about. What about the sweetness? Who eats jam for the health benefits anyway? We seek sweet jam. Surely it would be miserable with less sugar in it.
It was left to new agriculture minister George Eustice to confect some calm in Westminster. He argued that the change would in fact help small businesses by making the jam market more flexible (presumably it is currently too sticky and set in its ways). He even argued that it might help traditional jam makers sell their products as ‘niche’ originals that follow classic recipes. Perhaps there’s even a market for niche ‘muddy’ jams out there, too.Tags: jam, Liberal Democrats, Tessa Munt, UK politics