Frozen food manufacturer Birds Eye has started a wave of panic buying on the UK's high streets after revealing that it was embarking on a £4m exercise to remove all additives from its products.
Shoppers are loading up their freezers with E-packed burgers and fish fingers in sheer terror at going ‘cold turkey' and facing additive free meals.
While the company is committing £25m to persuade shoppers, at a time when the nation is struggling against declining health and expanding waistlines, that this is a sensible and healthy move, it seems Britain just loves its additives.
"They say they are replacing all these things with Rosemary extract," said mum-of-two Rhona Harrison, of Dagenham. "That's disgusting. Who the hell is Rosemary?"
"We've got e-mail, why can't we have E-burgers?"
Mrs Harrison, like hundreds of other housewives, snapped up every Birds Eye product available at her local supermarket. And with sell-by dates well into the next decade, she just hopes she has enough to keep her children satisfied.
"I don't know how the kids will react when they come off the E numbers," she said. "It's all they've ever known."
If the health benefits are proved, police have confirmed that ‘Captain Birdseye' could face prosecution for years of enticing healthy children out to sea and to eat additive-laden fish fingers, as well as being party to one of the most annoying advertising jingles in living memory.
Footnote: White fish is free from all food-additives when it is landed at UK ports and only contains natural traces of oil pollution, radiation and human sewage.