Thursday, 8 July 2010

Junk food and cabbages - why what I eat is none of the Government's business

Junk food is the secret of our success – since we started on this non-stop cycle of eating, we’ve grown taller, started living longer and generally had a much better life than our poor ancestors denied the delights of burgers, pizzas and fried chicken. Look out onto the rosy-faced, cheery young folk clutching their Big Macs and ask yourself this – why are we getting quite so fussed about the supposed problems that come from being an ounce or two overweight? And why do (rather overweight if you ask me) celebrity cooking folk take a break from making loads of money promoting supermarkets or selling overpriced pizza and lecture us on how we’re making our kids ill by giving them a bit of stodge?

Instead of junk food these bossy folk want us to eat more green stuff. You know those smelly sprouts, cabbages and spring greens you hated as a kid but eat now under sufferance because some self-appointed expert on the telly tells us it’s good for us. In fact many folk wonder what all the fuss is about with brassicas – other than how one plant can produce such an array of annoying vegetables (although it was always a disappointment to me that sprouts didn’t turn into big cabbages if you left them on the stem, in fact that big cabbages are in fact just giant sprouts – which explains a great deal). As a small relative of mine once observed, ‘if God had meant us to eat cabbage, he would’ve made it taste nice.’

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not a big consumer of so-called junk food (in the case of Big Macs not a consumer at all under any circumstances other than near death from starvation) but I really don’t see that what other folk eat is any concern of mine – or, more importantly, any concern of the Government. If people want to stuff their faces with fattening food and wash it down with fizzy-pop or cheap lager (while smoking bootleg Lambert & Butlers) that’s their business. And, if as a result such folk die a terrible painful death at 55 (as appears to be the case with half Glasgow’s population if the figures are right) that’s their problem not mine.

If you like eating cabbage – eat cabbage (or how about deep fried sprouts – might they address the Glasgow diet problem?). If you enjoy a juicy venison steak pan-fried with a red wine jus that’s great too. And if you want pizza, chips and a deep-fried mars bar, go for it. And when you’ve digested all that get out a pen and paper (or fire up the old laptop) and tell the government to butt out.


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