Am I the only one…

I’m sure I can’t be. I’ve just read (or, rather, half read) an article on the Daily Mail newspaper’s website – the link is here if you want to read it yourself – about how we are now supposed to believe that frying food is better for us than boiling it.

Now, I don’t know about you, but isn’t this just another U-turn from the medical profession because they don’t really know what’s good for us and what isn’t?

Personally, I have long believed that the real issues with our food these days is all the so-called industry regulated food additives. These are often chemical substances that can’t possibly have been tested for the long term health implications as they appear in food and beverage products virtually as soon as we discover them.

I was told, some 36 years ago in secondary school, that saccharin was a substance found in Coke that caused cancer. This was, at the time, playground talk but it stuck with me and I have always avoided anything containing saccharin. For me, though, it was very easy. I really don’t like the twangy after-taste it leaves at the back of your tongue. I have discovered I have a very sensitive palate and can detect, for instance, honey in something that has, probably, a midget-sized speck in the entire product. Salt, spices etc, all these things tend to be rather overbearing for me at times.

Take salt as a perfect example. If I go to McDonald’s I have to ask for no salt fries which annoys the hell out of them as they have to do them separately, wipe out the container etc. But I can still tell if there is just one single grain of salt on my fries. Sometimes that’s tolerable, sometimes it makes me feel rather sick and I have to pass them over to someone else to eat. But that may just be me.

Either way, the point I’m trying to make here is that we are told one thing, only to be told a few months later that that’s wrong and the complete opposite is right. I’m pretty sure I’m not the only person who heaves a big sigh and rolls their eyes every time one of these articles is published. I’ve long since come to the conclusion that the true answer to the obesity problem is not taxing our sugary drinks, it’s modifying our consumption. Why should I pay more or suffer the health consequences of Aspartame, Acesulfame-K and all its chemical counterparts just because some greedy person can’t understand how to moderate their own intake of the stuff? Not to mention the disgusting taste of diet drinks… yuck!

And if I want to fry, bake, boil, steam, microwave or grill my food, what difference does it make as long as I don’t choose unhealthy options all the time? If I were the type of person to sit and stuff my face all day with takeaways – as some people have suggested in the past (arseholes – and they couldn’t be more wrong!) – then I would expect to gain weight. Likewise, if I were to consume several litres of full-sugar fizzy drinks every day then I could understand the problem with that. But the simple fact is that I don’t. I do have a weakness for fizzy drinks but that’s because the water that comes out of my tap has more chemicals in it than my toilet bowl and, to me (and my neighbours – see, I’m not alone in this either) it’s totally undrinkable. I don’t like tea or coffee and, even if I did, the rancid water makes it taste… well… rancid. So I drink fizzy but not by the gallon.

There is only really one true way to tackle obesity. Teach people – because they’re too stupid to understand this by themselves – that it’s not necessarily what you eat or how much you eat (and drink) that causes the problem. However, if you are the sort of gluttonous individual that will guzzle 20,000+ calories each and every day, you probably are going to have a short life and no amount of these aforementioned articles is going to make a jot of difference.

I just wish the medical profession and the newspapers would stop giving out conflicting information. And I wish the government would stop authorising food manufacturers to use the cancer-causing chemicals in our foodstuffs. I understand that the pharmaceutical industry is worth billions but, in my world, life is worth a whole lot more than that!

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