Friday, November 26, 2010

A double portion of American pie

How a pact between the food lobby and the US government has made two-thirds of the country’s adults overweight or obese.

Alice Miles
New Statesman

"....It is not as if Americans are unaware that they have a weight problem. They eat grotesquely unhealthy food - too much of it - and get fat and diabetic; everyone knows it. But they do not seem able to confront it.....

Vegetables? You must be joking. On the rare occasions when you do find a vegetable in a restaurant or diner, it invariably comes smothered in gloop or pulverised with butter and dubbed "creamed". It is as if anything remotely healthy has to be disguised as gunk to get it down an American throat. Even the plain fresh fruit in supermarkets is vile, tasting of plastic and tin and chemicals. All this would barely be worthy of comment were it not for the sad tale it tells about the US today.

I refuse to believe that all of these people do not care that they are fat - it must be making them miserable and it is certainly making them sick. And the reason behind it is staring you in the face in every overpackaged piece of chemically enhanced, mass-produced corporate gunk. Like the Pop-Tart.

Do the mashed potatoes

A really good book by the American author Michael Pollan, In Defence of Food, shows how the idea of what constitutes "food" in the US has become hijacked by the food industry and nutritional lobbies, whose influence stretches right up to government advisory boards, so that what is sold as food bears less and less re­lation to anything naturally grown. Result: a food industry as fat as its consumers and a health industry that then feeds off them. It is gross, it is corrupt and, when you see these people, it is tragic.

And it is very hard to fight. The effect is insidious. After a few weeks in America, I find myself thinking that pancakes and maple syrup are a perfectly reasonable breakfast (it's what everybody else has) or that a "chilli sausage and egg breakfast burrito" is healthy because it has a bit of chilli in it! Suddenly, I crave sugar all the time. I think mashed potato is healthy because it's not chips...."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You Are Wrong.