I very rarely have the time, or more importantly mental energy, to visit and read other blogs much as I would love to (and I do genuinely mean I would love to) but every now and again I’ll click on the link of an article I’m interested in which takes me to someone’s blog. I’m always gobsmacked (and a little jealous 😉 ) to see how many ‘likes’ some blog posts get and they’re nearly always food related. The more deprived the diet, the more earth shatteringly boring, the more ‘clean’ (whatever the hell that is supposed to mean), the more lacking in any taste or more importantly fun, the more ‘likes’ it seems to get. I find it fascinating. And, if I’m honest, fucking nuts.
My best friend has Coeliac disease and can’t eat gluten. It could give her stomach cancer and the last time she inadvertently ate something with gluten in she threw up for six hours straight. Eating out is a bloody nightmare. Even though cafes and restaurants have to legally declare the most common allergens in their foods you still can’t trust that they’re going to be gluten free – in fact, the meal which caused her to throw up for six hours was from a cafe which specializes in gluten-free food! My mate would like nothing more than to be able to eat regular bread, pasta, porridge oats and proper doughnuts and not have to examine every label in the supermarket like some kind of obsessive stalker, and thinks people who don’t have Coaeliac disease but who still don’t eat gluten need to be sectioned.
I myself would kill to be able to eat whatever I like. You have no idea how much I miss chocolate, tinned tuna, chopped tomatoes/passata, aubergines, orange juice, baby spinach and most of all creamy, melted, cheddar cheese (I swear I’m drooling just thinking about it). But if I do I’m liable to have anaphylaxis and pass out before coming to and puking my guts up.
My friend and I are totally and utterly baffled by the current fad of cutting out major food groups like gluten/grains and dairy for no bloody good reason. It’s one thing if you have lactose intolerance or Coeliac Disease and quite another to deprive yourself of these wonderful, filling, nutritious foods if you do not. And don’t get me started on ridiculous fads like medjool dates, chia seeds and raw cacao. If you’re going to have a dessert have a goddamn dessert – one that makes you feel warm and satiated and adds 2lbs to your hips 😉
I mean, who in their right mind would choose ice cream made from mashed up coconut when you can have delicious jersey cow ice cream, preferably laden with mint choc chips?
Who would choose pretend couscous made from cauliflower when you can have lovely soft, doughy, pasta instead?
And who, pray tell me, would choose to eat a cacao protein ball when you can have chocolate fudge cake with lashings of double cream?!
Life is too fucking short my friends. Way, way too short.
If I had a tenner for every time someone’s written in to my blog and told me to cut out gluten and dairy I’d be rich. Quite how cutting out these 2 important food groups is going to help my incurable, genetic diseases, or my brain injury, I’m not sure but there seems to be a ludicrous myth going around that diet is the cause and cure of all disease. Got a brain tumour, eat these 3 foods and watch it disappear! Got bowel cancer – well, you shouldn’t have eaten that doughnut back in 1992! It’s so unbelievably stupid I have no idea why it’s so popular. Actually, I think I do know. It has nothing to do with food and everything to do with control.
We control very little in our lives these days. Jobs are scarce and no longer for life. Nearly half of marriages end in divorce. Many of us can’t afford our own homes so have to rent, meaning we can be kicked out at any time. Cancer affects 1 in 3 of us yet no-one knows the cause. The world can be a chaotic and scary place and one over which we appear to have very little control. Is it any wonder, then, that we are obsessed by the one thing we can control – the food we put in our mouths.
I can only write from my own experience and my own experience is that life is a game of Russian Roulette. My mum started smoking aged 14, made an art form out of eating processed foods and is now a raging alcoholic. We were told 5 years ago she was terminally ill yet she is still here. Her sister never smoked, didn’t drink and made every single thing she ate from scratch (her seeded bread was ridiculously good), yet she died of ovarian cancer five years ago. One of my good friends didn’t smoke, practiced yoga, rarely drank, was slim, fit……and died from Colitis at the age of 60. My next door neighbour smokes like a chimney, eats sweets all day and is 90 this month. My Nanna hasn’t exercised a day in her life for over 40 years, has been diabetic for 20 years yet eats cakes and biscuits like they’re going out of fashion…….and she’s just turned 104 and aside from being confused.com doesn’t ail a thing. I haven’t eaten meat since 1991, don’t drink, have eaten organic foods for over two decades…….yet I’m as sick as a dog. There’s no rhyme or reason to any of it, and if I had a choice I’d eat whatever the hell I fancied. I’d drink cider. Stuff my face with sour cream ‘n chive Pringles and binge on Jelly Babies and white Toblerone. Ahhhh, the good old days 😉
I know nearly all the people who read my blog have either HIT, MCAD, ME or EDS all of which can mean a restricted diet with no choice in the matter, so please don’t think I’m aiming my blog post at you all. It’s everyone else! Annoying people like Gwyneth bloody Paltrow who should be shot at dawn, and all the other money making food bloggers, usually under 35, female, slim and pretty who are making a small fortune out of not having a single nutritional qualification (Gwyneth’s only qualification for writing books on food, for example, is that she’s eaten since the day she was born).
I’m not alone in my cynicism either as this brilliant post demonstrates. Obviously eating a healthy, *balanced*, diet is good for you and eating too much crap makes you overweight and prone to diabetes but as for food causing or curing disease it’s nonsense. For a start people in different countries eat very different diets, yet we all get the same diseases – how does that work if food is the cause or the cure? I do wish people weren’t quite so gullible and happy to believe everything they read on t’internet like it’s some kind of fact, when it’s nothing of the kind. Whatever happened to common sense?
I’m ill and I do understand the need to be in control of something, anything but I swear to God if I could still eat Aubergine Parmigiano washed down with a cold glass of Australian Chardonnay I bloody well would and I’d cherish every mouthful 🙂 I hate every second of being on a restricted diet and it baffles me why anyone would choose it if they didn’t have to.