This time around, the bleating of the doomsayers is well up to speed: the British public should eat only as instructed, and those rotters, the food producers, should be similarly forced to come up with only what some expert has decided is good for us.
Yet doctors, dieticians, scientists and every deranged health-food guru have been at odds about what exactly is good for us since people could afford to be worried about what the next meal was going to be, rather than if there was going to be one.In Spain, I was regularly presented with a chunk of country bread, grilled on an open fire, on which I was invited to spread liberal amounts of lard, until my stomach thought my hand had gone mad. I know, I know. The “experts” will tell me that this is “good” fat, far better for the children of Britain than an oven-baked chip, or a cheap pizza.
In the tranquil area of France from which I write at present, the diet of the man in the street with the beret and baguette is one of wine, duck in all its forms (including the fat), lots of bread, and Armagnac to wash it all down. Heart attack on a plate, the rocky road to obesity? The inhabitants of this département live longer than any others in France.
Maybe, but what is certain is that nobody, however qualified, has the right to tell anybody else what they should be eating. Or drinking. President Sarkozy of France, a great man for jumping on a bandwagon, is proposing a tax on fizzy drinks. What about human rights? The idea that tax should be levied on “wrong” food and drinks smacks too closely of dictatorship. It is the inalienable right of every man and woman in a free society to go to hell in their own handcart, as long as nobody else gets hurt.
Obesity is not catching, it’s up to you. And only you.
Well said, sir.