Hung, drawn and quartered, the abolished penalty for high treason, is the perfect making of a tenderloin or more shockingly can word for word define the rather steep demands of becoming a true all round healthy eater. For the tenderloin, the hanging contributes to its flavour, known as dry ageing, it is the principle practice of a well accounted for butcher. The meat (typically beef) is hung to dry for several weeks, allowing the natural enzymes to work their magic and produce an all round more tender and tastier cut of flesh. The ‘drawn and quartered’; the cutting of the meat, obviously takes place once the fortnight has served its sentence. ‘Will it be a rump or could I tempt you with an avant-garde chuck steak?’ Unfortunately, as with everything in this ill-fated world, dry aged meat comes with a price and a more cost effective wet aged meat is what can predominantly be found on the supermarket shelf. Wet ageing retains the moisture hence its name, as the meat is vacuum packed, and can be achieved in as little as 4 days. Dry or wet? That’s down to your pocket now on with the more pressing engagement of healthy eating. How does the demonic slaughtering of an accused, the very prolonging of death, mirror the efforts needed to pass the bar of foodie law? Brace yourself the reasoning is long and entirely based on an opinion formed after much home-made wine.

Hung, Drawn and Quartered - people with dog eating chips, editorial photograph | Pic-nik: A conversation of food

Hung; the hanging of the said guilty, is easily paralleled with that tight noose one must tether their temptations with, as all guilty snacks should rightly be surrendered.

Drawn, which is slightly more confusing as it’s meaning is still up for debate and not wanting to favour one academic’s definition over another’s we’ll deal with both. Drawn one; drawing as a form of transport to the unsavoury quartering, is easily likened to the ghastly draw of the unwholesome hunting grounds, the allure of the patisserie, the sweet shop, the ice cream van and supermarket, all that in the search of becoming a world renowned healthy eater one must resist. Drawn two; the disembowelment, an act parodied by our gut daily if we have successfully managed ‘hung’, as it mutilates, gurgles and churns it’s unrest and need for something unruly.

Finally, quartered; the dismembering of said accused, in our inebriated mind is quite simply the turmoil of being morally pulled apart, as the world of food makes up its mind as to what is or is not healthy, what is or is not the diet of choice.

Dissected and aligned with William Wallace’s unholy execution the struggle to be recognised as a worthy foodie suddenly becomes very apparent, it is understandable why so few would confidently profess themselves an all round healthy eater, I mean truly stake a claim on the word healthy and wear the t-shirt. We like to think we do our bit to keep ourselves off the sordid mat of unhealthy but a branded ‘healthy eater’ is a far cry for the majority, after all, let’s face it a foodies journal if properly read is torturous. Enter growling guitars, barked lyrics, torn jeans and a rebellion towards any given direction. Fuck it! Wind up the middle finger, cough up your worst and cast it at your neighbour, food is fuel and we eat to survive. The luxury of brands and fads fall by the wayside when the piggy is nearing empty and the sour loaf don’t cut it when the tooth is in need of sweet. The reality of eating shouldn’t follow form but anarchy. If the room was full of lambs we’d applaud a tiger and when dulled by the reoccurring avocado at lunch, doesn’t the seeping fat of pig taste good!?

Hung, Drawn and Quartered - editorial photograph female model crouching on table | Pic-nik: A conversation of food photograph

Food has become a lifestyle, a badge you eat to denote the person you are, so roll on Punk to add a little pepper. Just as in the 70’s when life got all too cute and the deep pile carpets were rolled back to uncover the undercurrent of discontent, food too has become a little quaint and needs teasing. We have become accustomed to healthy desirables starring back at us from magazine racks talking of their locally sourced home cooked celeriac spaghetti. Fuck them! My time pressured supermarket outing will no longer be ladened with guilt, it’s called getting the job done. If somebody wants to tell me what is good and bad for me then they’d better make their mind up. I’ve grown up with a diet steeped in sugar, sugar was a treat when I was good, it accompanied the A-Team on a Saturday afternoon. Now, what’s my prize? Should I just suck on a rusk!? Within reason we need to hear the breaking science behind our diets, the risks we run eating and drinking the ‘wrong stuff’, but hit me once and hard, I’d prefer a tsunami to this constant lapping at my feet. The ongoing conversation of what we should and shouldn’t consume at times grows a little weary, we need to tip the balance, hang the idyllic, allow ourselves to be drawn to wherever we choose to shop, refute the disembowelment of our hungry stomach and cast aside others ideas of what we should eat.

Hung, Drawn and Quartered - editorial photograph - topless male model eating candy floss | Pic-nik: A conversation of food photograph

Where’s the Sid and Nancy? Where’s the anarchic chef telling us to eat what the fuck we want? Health obviously does raise its head, toothpaste spread on a flip flop is no answer to cheese on toast, but since when does cheese on toast have to be artisan? It’s a snack people, it’s a desirable filler, a nasty slap of cheap cheese on a cheap white slice… mmm… growl! Meat, guiltless meat! Yes, I bought the cheap cow that was more than likely inhumanly killed. I accept it may have witnessed the severing of its own leg, then again I am eating it, ‘poor thing!’ Move aside well wishers, I want a tinned sausage, I want to suck it through my teeth letting the slightly more resilient skin buckle before tipping back my head and swallowing. A noodle in a pot, ha! ‘Idiots and worms give me wings!’ I’m alive, I’m dirty and I’m momentarily fuelled, then it’s gone and I’m empty but highs and lows rebels!

Hung, Drawn and Quartered - editorial photograph - Nude female model covered in custard | Pic-nik: A conversation of food photograph

Freedom fuckers! Are we sold? Should we turn our back on foodie law for good? It’s always nice to hear the muted voice, to hear ‘eat what the hell’, but when the grim reaper waves his scythe looking for his next victim we collectively turn and look out the unhealthiest Jo in the room. ‘Not me, take that one!’ Food, after all, is our battery and cheap ones run low fast. The conversation of food is relentless just like a certain bunny and for a reason, not because it’s furry but because it matters. Strip to your bare necessities and ask the question, ‘could one live off a diet of custard?’ Perhaps for a while, but for all its sustenance you might as well spread it on the wall. So, by all means, throw a little caution to the wind but at the same time allow at least one ear to be bent, for food is the foundation of our existence, yes it should be enjoyed and celebrated but it still remains a necessity for survival. We need to strike a balance, have a conscience, a sense of responsibility to both our body and environment, yet at the same time, our knee-jerk shouldn’t be ‘no because…’ it should be ‘hell yes…’ with a consideration. ‘… but that would be my second desert.’

Hung, Drawn and Quartered - editorial photograph - Nude male and female models covered in custard | Pic-nik: A conversation of food photograph

Model: @amanitastorm