Friday 12 October 2012

Food revolution

We are on the verge of a food revolution.

How many 'fat kids' (excuse the crudity) were there in your school class as a child?  We had one.  She wasn't known as the fat kid, mainly because all those years ago 'fat' didn't seem to be as much of an insult as it is now, but she stood out from the rest of us due to her size.  It was...unusual.  I always remembered thinking there was something 'different' about her.  But I liked her nonetheless.  She always wore a smile, had a welcoming way about her and tried her very best at sports, usually coming in last (with me at her side).

Today, the slender if not a little too skinny girl I once was, is gone.  I am now the fat girl, just like my friend was.  The difference is now, the number of people who would once have been considered 'unusual' due to their size, has increased.  Significantly.  Dramatically.  Frighteningly.  I am not alone in this category as my friend once was.

I have paid hundreds if not thousands of pounds to belong to slimming clubs like Slimming World and Weight Watchers for the 'benefit' of their food education.  And guess what; I am the heaviest I have ever been.  I have the ingrained 'low-fat/high-carb' principle burned in my mind because since I was 10 years old this is what everyone - the media, the doctors, the television, the slimming clubs - have told me I should do.

Now, go back 60 years, when 'margerine' didn't exist and meat was the primarily dish on the plate (the meat and two veg rule, remember?) and tell me, have you seen photos of your grandparents?  Were they fat?  I doubt it.  They didn't need any of our none-of-the-fat-but-all-of-the-taste products to keep them slender.  No.  They rubbed their meat in lard, joyfully bought butter for their morning slice of toast, ate pork dripping on home-made bread and ate small, handful sized portions of REAL FOOD. They also didn't need drug after drug to keep healthy.  They just lived.

I have made my feelings on low-carb clear over the years.  But whether or not you buy into the principles of low-carb one thing is true; clean eating is undeniably the best for our bodies.  We know this because we are still gasping for breath in the wake of the processed food revolution that brought us microwave meals, instant gravy and mashed potato brands that have to advise on the back of the packet what percentage of the contents are actually potato.

But just as the revolution of the 70s and 80s taught our predecessors that we don't need to slave over a hot stove for hours, so too are we now learning that this convenience comes at a cost.  Ill health.

So much of our media is now telling us to eat clean, avoid processed and simple carbohydrates and try, for the love of God TRY, to only include ingredients you can pronounce.  Just as the 70s discovered instant meals, so too are we now discovered what 'clean' really can do.

This is the start of our food revolution.

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