The Big Eye, November 3, 2015

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I am reaching the point where I feel it is necessary to view every plate of food as a potentially life-threatening biohazard.

Over the years we have been told by successive governments and Departments of Health that almost everything we eat, drink or inhale is slowly (or quickly) doing us in.

Salt, smoked food, preserved food,salmonella, sugar, pesticide laden vegetables, waxy lemons, CJD-ridden beef, even the lead shot in game birds has been ‘named and shamed’ and I’m totally hacked off with it all.

This morning I burnt some toast slightly and now I’m concerned about the carcinogenic effects of the carbonated bread, the butter looks like some sort of yellow cholesterol laden suicide pill and don’t get me started on the filthy ‘s’ word lurking inside my spoonful of thick cut marmalade.

My cup of decaffeinated coffee has been subject to so many chemical processes in the factory it has become potentially unhealthy and the water used to make it wasn’t de-chlorinated and still contained some allegedly harmful nitrates.

Scouting round for advice is a minefield. Meat Councils, Tea Merchants, the Sugar Industry, the drinks trade and even the National Association of Scotch Egg Manufacturers all provide you with sane and what appear to be reasonable arguments in favour of their particular allegedly harmful foodstuff and you find yourself going round in circles trying to decipher the percentages of this or that on every label.

Nothing appears to be safe or without risk in some way or another unless you decide to adopt vegan, macrobiotic or organic sources of food and even then you cannot be sure that your 100% organic beefburger doesn’t contain too much unhealthy fat or salt or your 100% organic juice drink isn’t still awash with sugars or tainted with nasty chemicals emanating from the plastic container.

The latest culinary bogey-man to frogmarched to the food-police’s gallows is sugar and his crimes, apparently, are many and conclusive, and calls for this food additive to be taxed to hell are shrill and persistent although our PM, in a rare moment of lucidity, chucked out the proposal without even reading the first paragraph.

I have no idea what his real reason was but I would suggest that singling out this naturally-occurring product would open the flood gates for dozens of other single-issue groups looking to ban or discourage the sale of everything from pork scratchings to Marmite.

So, The Big Eye’s poorly researched advice is to enjoy the ride and remember that totally discredited phrase “a little of what you fancy does you good” still holds true for many. They say that vegetarians don’t actually live any longer…….it just feels like it and I believe moderation is the key to eating healthily and carefully. It is important to enjoy what you eat and drink and consume it responsibly, walk more, get outside more, sleep more and worry less and the chances are you’ll live to collect your bus pass and still take four sugars in your tea.