Too much information ?

I stumbled across an article on trans-fats the other day written by a “food detective” who was arguing the case for eggs and carbs and all that good stuff as actually being healthy and perfectly natural. He explained that certain types of fat burn quickly and can actually help you lose weight, while others sit on your organs and can last a lifetime. The piece covered loads of related topics such as food labeling, hidden health risks, the dangers of mass production, GM crops, etc, and was really just one long advert for his book on the subject.

It did enough to pique my interest and I got thinking about how people used to live in the past, smoking and drinking, eating fried breakfasts, having a pie or pasty for lunch, working in dangerous industries, then coming home to a dinner of roast gristle and lard, followed by another pie, this time loaded with butter and sugar and reaching 97 in the process.
“Not a bad innings!” many would say, as they drank copiously to his health at a wake held – naturally – in a pub …


Sometimes I wonder if the only reason that life expectancy for men was so low during the first half of the twentieth century was because there were two bloody great wars during the fifty years in question. I know there’s lies, damn lies and statistics, and most figures can be massaged one way or the other depending on the desired outcome, but given the advances in medicine and the eradication of diseases like small pox, cholera and polio, wouldn’t life expectancy have significantly increased regardless of what we eat ?
I remember various foods being labelled as hazardous or even evil over the years: potatoes, bread, eggs, chicken, virtually all fish but especially seafood …

As a diabetic, I know the dangers of sugar, but carbs aren’t inherently bad for you, so long as you eat them as part of a balanced diet and take regular exercise. Obviously, sitting around in your pants eating Wotsits all day isn’t great – and having orange fingers is a bit of a social stigma – but nor is just eating spinach. A little of what you fancy … so long as it is just a little.

The trouble is, in the west we don’t know what “a little” is anymore.
It’s not quite as bad in the US, but UK portion sizes are getting bigger and bigger and the introduction of free soda refills and free “salad” bars at major restaurant chains really doesn’t help. We’re beginning to waddle along that same treacherous road our American friends took in the sixties and seventies …

Too much of anything is always a bad thing and right now I feel like I have too much information, especially when it comes to food. I hear one thing from my doctor, another from a dietitian, read different opinions online, in newspapers, magazines and books, and then the TV and radio get in on the action with celebrity chefs peddling whatever they think will sell, while just the other day I saw an article claiming that all of those charlatans tone it down for the telly. In their own restaurants they load every dish with salt and salt to give it all more flavour and then charge you a couple of hundred quid for the privilege … all after making you wait six months for a bloody table.

I don’t know what to believe anymore …

Anyone fancy a bacon and egg sandwich ?


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