Instead of using butter, my wife currently insists on coating her toast with some industrial spread that promises to make her live to 120 by lowering her cholesterol or blood pressure or weight or some such. And maybe it will. And maybe you think that’s a good thing. However, it seems to fall into the category of the old joke: If I give up smoking, drinking and going out with women, will I live to be 100? No, but it’ll seem like it.
It may not seem that politically correct but surely life’s too short to give up on the good things. I love life and attempt to enjoy as much as it has to offer as I can. That means trying all sorts of food and going to lots of different countries and having a go at video games and having a bash at some extreme sports. Some of these things may be brilliant. If I’d never learnt a bit about wine I’d never have discovered the wonders of the complexity of what the combination of nature and the creativeness of man has to offer. But if I were of a particular belief I may have forced myself to abstain from any alcohol and I’d have missed such wonders. And why would my belief force me to abstain? I can only assume that the fear is that I’d drink too much and start stealing, fighting and having my way with women without permission. Well I don’t. Usually.
It’s the same with these naughty fats and sugars and salt. They’re all going to kill you, you know. Which is a shame. Because I’d rather not eat just a bowl of raw carrots when I know that some carrots peeled and chopped into chunks and boiled in a little water with a knob of butter and a little sugar and salt are divine. The salt lifts the carrot flavour and the sugar makes them even more acceptable to the palate while the butter adds some more flavour while carrying and holding the overall combination in your mouth. And you still get to eat carrots that extend your life. Sounds perfect to me. If I were forced to eat just the carrots without the salt and the fat and the sugar would I live longer? Maybe. But I may shoot myself.
It’s important that we should use our common sense rather than just slavishly following the latest advice from on high. After all, isn’t it our leaders who governed us into the almighty financial mess in which we currently find ourselves? Haven’t we had government dieticians and education ministers in place as we’ve happily allowed ourselves to forget how to cook and gorge on low fat, high sugar products from the shelves of supermarkets?
The experts have always been there giving us advice on how to live our lives but why should we trust them any more than our own judgement?
It was only last week or month or year that we were told that an aspirin a day was the wonder solution to strokes and heart attacks. But more recently we’ve been told that it’s probably better if we don’t take this drug on a regular basis due to the risk of internal bleeding. What should we believe after frequently being told that drinking red wine will make you live longer while killing you quicker?
So much of this is bonkers. You can’t just give cute little instructions on how to live so that you can do it for longer. Life’s not only too short, it too complicated for such simple solutions as well.
Let’s hear it for our common sense Enjoy the wine but – and here’s some good advice – in moderation. Apples are good for you but try to live on them exclusively and you’d soon die. The same goes for butter: try to live on butter and butter alone and you wouldn’t succeed. In fact, you probably wouldn’t even have time to get fat. But there again, you’d never dream of doing such a thing because you like life.
So, should I join my wife in using her low fat spread? Of course not. I’ll stick to lovely butter, in moderation – of sorts.