DALE Carnegie once famously said ‘When life hands you a lemon, make lemonade’.
Dale was obviously a glass half full kind of guy.
I wish I could share his optimism, as I lament the current state of food paranoia/food fads in this country and the forgotten, simple pastime of eating.
Remember taste and eating for the sheer, simple joy of eating.
We seem to constantly forget that we are blessed to live in a country where we have limitless, safe food options – a first world problem if ever there was one.
But this good fortune is not enough for many Australians, and it seems to have turned into a competition for some to deny themselves the pleasure of eating - to the extent that is becomes a tortured daily ritual – just to prove to their friends and themselves that they are more ‘evolved’ than their peers.
I often wonder that if smugness could be condensed into a tapenade, jus or foam, there would be queues of food hipsters a mile deep around the block, keen to partake in this new morsel.
A perfect example of the how perverse our collective eating habits have become is best illustrated by the proliferation of ‘gluten-free’ consumers.
There is no doubt that coeliac disease is a serious issue, as it affects approximately 1 per cent of all Australians.
However, ‘gluten-free’ is becoming such a part of the zeitgeist, that those marketing the increasing range of gluten-free products would be deriving the majority of their profits from ‘impressionable’ members of the public, rather than actual sufferers of coeliac disease.
One of the groups that has created a fair degree of hysteria relating to food consumption would have to be the World Health Organization (WHO) – the quango to end all quangos – whose recent report on the causes of cancers in humans, would put Chicken Little to shame.
It is getting to the stage that if you stub your toe or look at a hover board the wrong way, you are doomed to get cancer.
A spokesperson for the North American Meat Institute best summarised a recent WHO report: ‘Red and processed meat are among 940 agents reviewed by the WHO and found to pose some level of theoretical ‘hazard’. Only one substance, a chemical in yoga pants, has been declared by the IARC not to cause cancer. The WHO says you can enjoy your yoga class, but don’t breathe air, sit near a sun-filled window, apply aloe vera if you get a sunburn, drink wine or coffee, or eat grilled food. And if you are a hairdresser or do shift work, you should seek a new career.’
Sugar is now firmly in the spotlight of the eternally outraged (the Irritati), as the latest food to be cast in the role of Satan. We are now being told that sugar is as bad as tobacco, an addictive drug and akin to poison. The hysteria is almost getting to the stage that the media must surely be pondering whether it is worthy of ‘-gate’ status.
In breaking news, sugar is also seemingly responsible for Zayn exiting One Direction, the Lindbergh kidnapping and Putin’s annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.
Well, revolutions need to start somewhere and I am taking a stand.
From this day forward, I am operating on the assumption that if I keep eating turduckens, mutton flaps and deep-fried Mars™ bars, at some stage these items will all get a tick of approval from the medical fraternity.
Further, at the risk of not getting a Christmas card from the Dietitians Association of Australia, I suggest that we all adopt the following bold concepts – ones that I have no doubt will cause furrowed brows amongst the Irritati:
Eat what tastes good and hang the consequences;
Life is too short to eat brown rice; and
‘White foods’ are the new black.
As long as you are not dusting your cupcakes (sooo 2014) with asbestos tailings from Wittenoom, I say good luck to you.
Oh, and Krispy Kreme donuts will henceforth be deemed a super food – everything else seems to be worthy of the ‘super food’ moniker, so lock it in I say.
As for the paleo fad, you can absolutely keep your bone broth, asparagus water, kale chips, activated almonds and quinoa gruel. Let’s just hope that this nonsensical hokum also goes the way of the mammoth in 2016.
All of which brings me back to Dale and his lemons.
Whilst his optimism is to be admired, his mantra misses the mark today. I reckon what he should have said is ‘Try to find someone whose life has given them Coronas, as this is a much better use for lemons.’
Now, I will definitely drink to that.