Tuesday, 22 April 2014

This post contains one swear-word (right at the end)


This may be an old trick for all you gastronauts out there, but eating a bit of Parmesan cheese really does improve the flavour of everything else thereafter. I've just had a tiny Parmesan sandwich (big slice of the real thing from Liddl - £2.45) and the coffee I drank afterwards tasted like it used to in the old days.

I was haughtily explaining to H.I. last night, that those crunchy crystals you find in mature cheese are really a concentration of naturally occurring monosodium glutamate, and she looked at me with horror at the thought.

"Isn't MsG really bad for you?" she asked with a genuine inflection of fear in her voice - she is addicted to all cheeses.

"Depends whether or not you are a macro-biotic fanatic."

'They' have been trying to boost sales of various food items recently by snitching a word from the Japanese and using it to claim that they have found 'the third taste' - umami, or something that sounds a bit like it. All of a sudden, all sorts of things have come full circle again, and are to be encouraged.

The latest is the revelation that - despite what they have been telling us for over 50 years - saturated fats have no adverse effect on your heart at all, other than the tendency to become over-weight if you eat too much of them.

I have spent years eating just what I wanted to, on the grounds that you actually know when you are doing yourself harm by eating certain things in large quantities, but I have to admit that this conflicting advice which comes in the form of health-scares has had an insidious and subtle effect on the enjoyment of food since I have become an adult and cooked for myself. It's a bit like being tricked by a subtle advertising campaign - in fact that is exactly what it is like.

Selling surpluses of certain berries during times of a glut in the market (cranberries and the US cranberry marketing-board spring to mind) becomes much easier if you pronounce them as falling into the category of 'super-foods'. There are people out there just itching to have their particular product deemed a 'super-food', and there are plenty of out-of-work scientists who will - for the research fee - find just the evidence they are looking for.

The Daily Mail increases their circulation tremendously by putting out either scares or promotions about how your diet can 'add twenty years to your life*/deduct twenty years from your life*' (* delete as appropriate), so food advice sells newspapers too, as well as the food-porn magazines and TV programs which are so popular right now.

Yesterday, there was a program on the radio which spent half an hour trying to tell us that sitting in a chair is bad for you, and about two people who work in their office standing up were interviewed, saying that they thought they had noticed some beneficial results from having stood up for a few months at work, once they had got used to it.

The presenter softened us all up to the extent that by the time he got around to saying that 'sitting down has the same effect on you as smoking 15 cigarettes a day', we almost believed him.

Why 15? Because everything sounds so much more plausible if you attach a number to it. The influence of a barmy bit of speculation becomes so much more pervasive if you cans say - with confidence - that it's beneficial*/detrimental* (*delete as appropriate) effects were documented by 72% of a randomly selected group of 3*/10,000* (*delete as appropriate) people.

I have just one question: Why don't they all fuck off and leave us alone?

49 comments:

  1. As a lard eater and a one a week piece of fruit person if I really have to you preach to the converted. I never eat cheese or drink milk.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Why not cheese and milk, just out of interest?

      Delete
    2. (that was the only question I could formulate to make any sense of the rest of it)

      Delete
    3. I was about to give you a sensible answer about the milk and cheese but I am not so sure I'll bother now.

      Delete
    4. Oh well, it was the "...if I really have to you preach to the converted" bit that I couldn't understand, the weekly fruit part was sort of understandable.

      Delete
    5. I think you misunderstood, perhaps my punctuation was a trifle amiss. I was trying to be amenable and nice. I became a vegan for seven months in response to my doctor telling me I had to take statins. I said I would change my diet and became a vegan. I now cant stand the taste of milk, cheese or butter. Otherwise I have fallen back into all my old ways. But I proved to the doctor that I didn't need his fucking stupid statins. He wasn't interested.

      Delete
    6. There's only one 'd' in Lidl.

      Delete
    7. I was talking about the Welsh branch of Llidl, which uses more saliva to pronounce than I can muster at the moment. Ask John.

      Delete
    8. Oh fuck, my speeling's gone wrong now as well.

      Delete
    9. I think you'll find that's spelt, 'Ffuck', as in Ffion, or however you spell the Fforeign Secretary's bit of ffluff.

      Delete
  2. More useless information. The word feckless is not always a swear-word beside the water of the Liffey*.

    *A brand of porter or stout commonly known as Guinness.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Tom, I don't know if I mentioned this before.In Austria there is a town called Bad Fucking. Visitors keep stealing the signs. There's a film called Bad Fucking on general release in the Kinos. Not far from Bad Fucking there is a town called Wank. I've never heard of people stealing the signs of Wank.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You can watch some Bad Fucking teasers on YouTube. Just enter the words: Austrian Film Bad Fucking in the search box. It's not porno. It's supposed to be a comedy-thriller.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe it's you who spends all day drinking, Gwil?

      Delete
    2. Not all day, Tom. I have to sleep as well you know. And do other stuff.

      Delete
  5. Getting back to food scares, here is a case in point: A friend who was diagnosed as suffering from a gluten allergy, got this diagnosis by the 'expert' telling him to try and raise his arm against a slight downward pressure before and after he ate a small piece of bread. After he had eaten the bread, he found himself as weak as a kitten.

    They now say there is no evidence to support the notion of gluten allergy.

    So how did my friend become so debilitated within seconds of eating a tiny amount?

    Easy. The 'expert' was an expert at hypnosis.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I get so tired of hearing and reading about people and their g*ddamn imaginary "gluten allergies". A few years ago everybody was lactose intolerant. Wonder what it will be next?

      Delete
    2. I once knew a man who was allergic to his own sweat. Needless to say that he was a lazy bastard who justified himself by never working one up.

      Delete
  6. If you pinch your left ear lobe, whilst hopping on your right foot, you can eat as much cat vomit as you can manage, without gaining a single ounce. The Daily Mail will be featuring this next week.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's right, Cro. (I'm humouring him now, everyone else).

      Delete
  7. I had to google the town in Austria. lol

    I helped my neighbour yesterday with cutting back some of her trees, it helps us also with light in the garden. Anyways she made us sandwiches. I said something like Cor this tastes lovely. And she said ohhh I was a little worried you wouldn't like lunch tongue.... Never had it before, I would have been put off by the name. I actually thought it was corned beef. or something similar

    don't people put the rind of parmesan into soup? (if they are rich)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you are helping your neighbour cut back on the trees? She must be losing tons of weight.

      Delete
  8. One of my nicknames (from my mother) when I was a child - (Doubting) Thomasina. In general, I don't believe 'stats'.. You can make numbers look however you want them to. Bring on the cheese!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I won't tell you what my childhood nickname was.

      Delete
    2. Oh, all right. My mother called me 'cunt-face'. Happy now?

      Delete
    3. hahahaa, you are such a bad liar.

      Delete
  9. Everything in moderation is my motto ……. and then a bit of over-indulgence sometimes. XXXX

    ReplyDelete
  10. Agree entirely (especially with that last sentence). Like H I I too adore cheese - has she tried Montagnolo? Delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  11. There are times when it's entirely appropriate to swear and this is definitely one of those times.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What, up there, or after your comment, Broad? I already have a reputation for swearing at Jack@, and I would hate to reinforce it with you.

      Delete
  12. I agree with Jackie: in moderation I eat everything I like. If I eat fat, I always eat butter or olive oil, and each morning an egg, I prefer (a bit) sugar - the new devil after smoking! - sometimes in my tea, and though I normally can't stand fat I indulge in cream (sometimes). I can feel and know what is right for me to eat - and they can advertise what they want - if I like an Amy-Winehouse-eyeliner I'll wear just that, and not a modest beige&brown eyeshadow. It is the profession of advertisers to create Angst - but I give a damn.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Now I know exactly what you want for breakfast if you ever come to Bath again, Britta. I'll order it all in, though I usually have everything except the eyeliner.

      Delete
    2. I have just thought of the next generation of unmanned, robotic cruise ship - the iLiner.

      Delete
    3. Will you be so kind please to add half a grapefruit, Tom? Porridge, I think, is in every English home.

      Delete
    4. Scottish, not English. Here, we eat Ready-Brek. Half a grapefruit? What are we supposed to do with the other half?

      Delete
  13. I believe the butter munching French have a very low incidence of heart disease thereby resting your case. Incidentally, in case you don't revisit my reply to your Wheatear comment, I thought I would cheer your possibly arse-free day with the fact that it actually means 'white arse' as opposed to 'white ear'.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yet another case of not going back to old posts and comments. I'll do that now. I much prefer the arse version in any case.

      'Cheese-eating surrender-monkeys' may have been the description you were searching for?

      Delete
    2. That was it - thanks. It's all saturated fat....they just have greasier shit I suppose.

      Delete
  14. It always makes me laugh when an articles says eating/drinking/doing something "increases your odds of dying". We all the very same odds of dying! ;)

    So screw it, I say have some common sense, be moderate in most things....and after that try to have some laughs, enjoy yourself, and go a little wild now and again. None of us are getting out of here alive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No wonder the Zombie plague is so attractive.

      Delete
    2. Did someone mention zombies?

      Delete
    3. *snort* seriously, I just laughed and beverage expelled from my nose

      Delete
    4. An unspecified beverage. Hmm.

      Delete
    5. hehee it wasn't Cream Soda!

      Delete