DUNCAN BARKES It’s all a matter of taste when it comes to foods of the devil...

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Never mind the fact we are bombing Libya in a conflict we can ill afford, or that FIFA appears to be as bent as a boomerang, or that Barry Obama has now secured the Irish US vote following his trip to the Emerald Isle to sup Guinness. No, the big world news is the Danes have banned Marmite. People who don’t like Marmite fall into the same category as those who always order a Korma in an Indian restaurant, or who refuse kippers for breakfast: bland, boring and frankly not worth the effort, which you could argue is Denmark all over.

Denmark has previous when it comes to banning certain foods. Marmite joins a growing list that includes Rice Crispies, Shreddies, Horlicks and Ovaltine.

It all stems from a piece of legislation that came into force in 2004 which restricts the sale of foods fortified with extra vitamins or minerals. I say we should flush the UK’s stock of Carlsberg down the loo in retaliation.

Marmite has been made in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire since 1902.

It is one of the few surviving British foodstuffs we should fight for.

The spread people either love or hate – this got me thinking about food that truly deserves to be hated and banned; devilish stuff that should never see the light of day again.

For me beetroot has to be a prime contender.

In the summer months between my GCSEs and A-levels I took a job in a farm shop near Ferring.

One of my main tasks was boiling beetroot. I can still smell the foul stench, and I am convinced I still have purple stains on my fingers. If anything should be banned, beetroot is a strong contender.

Then there is spam. That vile processed meat pretender that comes in cans and looks like the rotting flesh of a diseased pig. Yuk.

At school on Thursdays it was served up as a fritter. I can still see rows of them, glistening in a dented steel tray, ready to be flung on your plate by the dinner lady with a moustache.

Also worthy of a ban, in my book, is semolina, the most offensive pudding known to man.

I actually despise the person who decided a form of purified coarse wheat would make a decent dessert. Semolina is the work of the devil.

There are far greater food criminals that deserve to be banned before Marmite is even on the radar.

Denmark has concerns about the additional vitamins in Marmite, namely vitamin B. Fair enough, but do not ban the product, simply tell the Danes about the additives and let them make a choice.

In the meantime, spare a thought for all the ex-pats now living in Denmark who will soon be denied that simple pleasure of getting their gums around a fat slice of toast and Marmite. If I were them I’d be heading for home.