Junkfood Science: A refreshing reminder: food is good

October 12, 2007

A refreshing reminder: food is good

Remember when newspaper and magazines shared the joys of delicious foods without all of the baggage of health scares, dietary prescriptions and politicalization of our food choices? Remember when we were regularly reminded that food is one of life’s greatest pleasures? How long has it been since we’ve heard good news about the food we love and been encouraged to enjoy food without guilt and worry?

As Rob Lyons writes in Spiked, “today’s foodie miserabilists treat [food] as a potential poison.” In an article, “A trolley load of food fears,” he talks about today’s information overload and all of the complex decision-making that confronts us today while simply buying groceries:

….[T]oday we also treat food with the same level of mistrust as an unexploded hand grenade. All that information on the packet is just to reassure that the contents of our shopping trolley aren’t, in fact, a ticking timebomb of ill-health or environmental destruction. Over the last few years, the risks associated with food have become as important in assessing what we eat as the joy we might have in eating it. But food isn’t a toxin. Food is highly unlikely to make your children hyperactive; there’s no ADD in additives. Food won’t make you sick — despite the non-stop hysteria about obesity. Food won’t cost the Earth or save the planet. Placing so much importance on what we eat can only destroy the simple pleasure we experience when satisfying our hunger while tantalising our tastebuds.

We should just chill out at the chilled cabinets, feel free at the freezers and proceed at peace to the processed produce. If you want to be a food slob, or a food snob, that’s your choice — or at least, it should be. Let’s tell the government, the health ‘experts’ and the green campaigners where they can shove their … ideas. If we allow our pleasure to be ruined by their obsessions, we’ll definitely be off our trolleys.

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