This afternoon I overheard a conversation about milk that was the straw that broke the nutritionally healthy camels back. I thought about this milk conversation as I cooked dinner for my family. A dinner of common sense real food, some roast veg with passata baked sausage. But let's not talk about a sensible dinner, allow me to tell you about the milk and nutritional information fiasco.
Image 1. Sensible dinner porn
The hot news is that milk is bad. In fact, it seems that all diary is bad of you. 'Everyone' seems to be telling me about the magical properties of cow milk alternatives like almond, soy, and coconut milk and of course the most popular of all, the Choo Choo Berry Milk. Apparently all these milks have God like healing powers. Normal cows milk however is clearly evil, and is the root cause of most illness, including stupidity. How embarrassing that all these years various human cultures have been culturing milk to make cheese and such, which was obviously a whey bad idea. So bad that everyone that has ever consumed dairy products will now go to hell, where they'll be forced to drink diabolical spiced lattes and hell fire smoked cheddar.
Ok so I'm clearly going over the top, but for fucks sake can we just calm down with the nutritional advice? It's getting out of control, to the point that I just don't want to care about food anymore. This is the age of endless information, and the internet is a hot bed for conflicting 'science', irrational opinions and vested interests. The nutritional advice game is played out on every platform. I can't look at Instagram, Facebook or Grinder without someone telling me that Choo Choo berries cure cancer or flax seed oil will give me a harder, longer erection.
I feel for the people beginning the journey of eating healthy food, for it's a veritable mine field of conflicting information. You can imagine someone asking google those big questions; "is milk bad for me?" "can I die from cabbage overdose?" "can I get drunk on Kombucha?" "actually what the fuck is kombucha and why is everyone drinking it?"
Image 2. More sensible dinner porn.
As a bloke that's come from chicken nugget land to roasted home grown veg for dinner, I can relate to how challenging it is to wade through the bullshit information out there. It's almost like it's screaming at the consumer about 'healthy food' options, actually let me rephrase that, 'misleading' the consumer. Examples are everywhere. I see that my favourite processed food company McCains now has a 'healthy grains' pre made meal range, containing the magical properties of ingredients like quinoa and wild rice (wtf is actually wild about wild rice?). But what can we expect from companies like McCains? They even sell a frozen roasted potato product that cooks in an oven in just 30mins, about the same time it takes to actually roast an actual potato. Any meal that comes in a box that has to tell you it's healthy, probably isn't very healthy. An apple doesn't need to tell you it's healthy, neither does a beetroot, not even a roast spud. But thankfully we have the companies to help us time poor people out, they even tell us on their website....."We all know we should be eating healthier, but really, who’s got the time?".
I walk down the 'health food' isle of the local IGA curiously observing all the 'healthy' food. From vegan processed 'food', 'paleo' bread and fermented food that promises to repair my body from the impact of my poor diet and lifestyle choices. Seriously, where the fuck did all this rubbish come from? The majority of it is not very good food, but people keep believing in it, and keep buying it. I feel for the real sufferers of IBS and gluten intolerance that have to go down these isles to buy the gluten free food, to have to wade past the rubbish. And on that subject, why have so many people decided it's a good idea to self diagnose themselves with a gluten intolerance, or to choose to eat gluten free for 'health' reasons. If you do not have an autoimmune disorder involving gluten, then don't go gluten free to improve your health. It's a dumb choice. So many consumers are opting for the gluten free option for the wrong reasons and manufacturers are rubbing their hands together, so much so there are even TV commercials selling gluten free products like pasta. It's just another hot retail item, but it's need and popularity is not comparative with the numbers of people with gluten intolerances.
How can our food and nutritional health have gone from rudimentary just a few decades ago, to Masters Degree level in such a short time period? The answer is the dependable drive for making more money. A few decades ago it was as simple as recommending we eat mostly whole foods and do some exercise for healthy living, now it's as complicated as an episode of Lost. And someone is making a lot of money from it. The more information about the health values of a particular food item, the more confusing and misleading it is to us, and I've had enough. I'm deflated, I obviously need a 'detox'. I can imagine how deflated someone would be if I told them they just needed to real food, like veg, fruit, nuts, grains with a little bit of meat and dairy in order to be healthy. That they didn't have to 'give up' a family of food entirely, instead just to use common sense, and embrace moderation. Common sense, do we even remember it? Let me think on that while I suck on my 700ml protein shake.
Shit food, is shit food. Cheap shit milk will always be cheap shit milk. Good milk from decent dairy, with the cream still on top and as unfucked with as possible is good milk, but also only good in moderation. Shit cheese is shit cheese. Good cheese is ok, but I wouldn't recommend you eat tubs of the stuff, except marinated goats cheese, rub that one all over your body to get that youthful appearance.
I'm old enough to remember the time before food allergies, food intolerances and nutritional information saturation. A time before paleo, raw food, detox, protein shakes, fermented miracle products and choo choo berries. Common sense, please return. We miss you.
1. Yes I have been known to eat some fermented food, not for it's miraculous values but simply for it's taste.
2. I acknowledge that some people do actually have real food allergies and intolerances, to dairy etc
3. There is nothing wrong with people actually diagnosed with gluten intolerance. I'm not hating on them. It is a shit condition to live with.
4. The dairy industry is mostly shit, but that doesn't mean you can't consume dairy products. Just use common sense and avoid the crap where possible and opt for the better stuff (if you care to do so).
5. If anyone defends the pre-made processed food, you're camping in the wrong tent, move along, nothing to see here.
6. I'm also not bagging ALL nutritionalists. Some are good, some are shit, just like cheese.
7. If you want to drink Kombucha do so. But stop telling me how healing it is. I'm happy eating vegetables.
Image 3: OMG is that a d$#k?