Shoppers were dismayed to find that their favorite brands of yogurt, cheese and party dips were unavailable for days, then weeks at a time.
When the shortages spread to crackers, instant soups and processed meats, the situation became serious for those who are responsible for the gustatory happiness of their families. Mothers, and the new age guys who now and then adopt that thankless role, were being abused to the extent that a new category of domestic violence seemed imminent. Supermarket shelves were packed with low fat varieties of nearly any sort of comestibles, while shoppers sadly eyed the empty slots between them where the ordinary products once sat. Finally, the gaps began to close and the little tags that reminded us of our mealtime satisfaction disappeared. The third horseman of the Apocalypse seemed ready to gallop through the supermarkets of a nation.
At first it was suspected that the food facists, their gruesome tales of untimely death from consuming fat having failed to achieve control over the dietary habits of the populace, had finally found a way to blackmail the producers of processed foods into suspending production of anything that contained more fat than the average pebble. However, while the FFs were not dismayed at the fat shortage, it was soon clear that they were no wiser than the terminally depressed former consumers of Eskimo Nellie's Blubber Blobs.
The breakthrough was made by Horace P. Tucker, veteran reporter for the Okra County Gossiper newspaper. Horace describes his moment of enlightenment thus: "I was driving over to North Wencham for a little relaxation, y'know, heh heh, well anyway I come up behind this big ole' truck on Sagbutt Hill and I had this funny feelin' but I jest couldn't work it out until I realized that truck smelled like that Grandma Fulsome's Double Creamy Peanut Delight Ice Cream that y'can't get no more in the stores, so I followed that truck all the way across the state line to Watamope Junction where he pulled into a gas station. I kind of struck up a conversation while he was fillin' up, and that smelled like Ol' Bear Breath Cave Matured Cream Cheese and that ain't been around for near on six months. That trucker, real nice guy, he told me that all the diesel smells funny now and it's got somethin' to do with a subsidy."
Horace's fine detective work soon came to the attention of the recently formed citizen's investigative group Where's The Fat? (WTF) who turned it into a nationwide effort and traced it to its source. A clandestine cartel of food manufacturers have taken advantage of the biofuel subsidies to sell the fat extracted from their products to petroleum refiners. They in turn crack it down to "biodiesel" and earn another subsidy. The distributors rake in yet another subsidy when they finally sell it. An unnamed informant informed us, "Fat is just too valuable to eat. When the accountants realized that we were literally giving it away with the corn flakes, they went berserk. You won't see fat in the supermarkets as long as there are internal combustion engines."
So, shoppers, it looks like a big dietary change, and don't think that this is as bad as it gets. The fast food chains are holding out for the moment, but if those subsidies get any fatter, you'll be looking at branburgers with salad for lunch.