DUNCAN BARKES: Risking life and limb just to make a sandwich...

You are reading the words of a wounded man.

I am dumbfounded that in this age of speed and technology we are still using some iron-age technique to open a tin.

I am not talking about the nifty ring-pull technique, which is usually hassle-free.

No, it is the peculiar key thingy that you are still required to use to open some corned beef that inflicted the injury.

As a gourmand I consider corned beef from the tin, served with chopped white onion and placed in a bap, to be a delicacy. The meat mixed up with a tin of baked beans (easily decanted because of the ring pull mechanism) is equally sublime.

But opening a corned beef tin with a wretched key can take hours.

It also means you run the risk of losing a digit, hence the scar on my left index finger.

Packaging in the 21st century is one of the greatest challenges of the modern mind.

I am an able-bodied bloke with strong hands so can persevere, but heaven help you if you are frail, disabled or have limited strength.

It is not just the archaic corned beef tins that are problematic.

A pint of milk in one of those ‘tetra pak’ style cartons requires the muscles of Hercules and the brain of Einstein to break into.

I usually end up stabbing at it with a bread knife.

Toys take packaging to new levels.

Not only are you confronted with acres of tough plastic, clearly designed to rip your hands to shreds, but you have to deal with cardboard, wire fasteners and even screws. What sort of sadist dreamed this caper up?

Even jars pose a problem. I am convinced that in factories across the land a special department exists to see how tight a lid can be screwed into place.

You would think the contents were some form of nuclear waste given how tough it can be to access the marmalade these days.

I understand there are concerns surrounding food infection, but producers seem to be doing a perfectly good job of adding unwanted ingredients themselves just now, regardless of tamper-proof packaging.

None of us should be risking losing a limb just because we want a corned beef sandwich.

We need a packaging revolution, and we need one quick.