Doubtless in honour of Tony’s birthday –
bearing in mind he loves his food – today marks the beginning of Farmhouse Breakfast Week. I invariably go to work each day at the very least, ‘on an egg’ – although believe it or not, the Government recently blocked the relaunch of that classic advertising campaign as an egg a day is no longer deemed part of a healthy diet – despite so much ‘other stuff’ (like sugar-packed kiddies’ breakfast cereals, for example) being given prime-time TV or product placement: which I ask you, is worse?
I recently signed a petition about which I felt impassioned as it ridiculously branded the very stuff of life which we artisans carefully craft into a deliciously perfect package for you appreciative gourmets, ‘junk food’ – that of which we are all so proud, CHEESE. I have to say I was incensed & immediately signed up to the ridiculous suggestion that cheese kills. OK, I admit if that was your sole (rather than soul) food, it wouldn’t be ideal; but as the Buddha & the Ancient Greeks implicitly understood, “Tread the Middle Way”; & indulge “Nothing in Excess” – ergo, a little of what you fancy (cheese, indeed?!) does you good – especially as it contains so many of the essential, natural, nutritional building blocks of Life Itself, if you eat the pure, unchemically-contaminated traditional AOC/PDO varieties, that is. Although of course cheese SHOULD be alchemical rather than grossly chemical, in its’ crafting & composition.
Anyway the results of said ‘Cheese Is Not Junk’ petition, have been published: the original petition lobbied that
“Cheese is clearly a healthy part of our diet, & like many things in life, good for you in moderation. This ban is counterproductive & could put people of eating a food which has many beneficial qualities for healthy living.”
“The Government has endorsed the Food Standards Agency model as forming a proper basis for underpinning regulatory intervention in relation to food advertising on television. The nutrient profiling approach is an objective way in which to distinguish between different foods according to their inherent & individual characteristics….Foods are considered on a case-by-case basis rather than a product classification basis……The Government is looking for a real change in the nature & balance of advertising &, to this end, we are motioring advertising trends across a range of media. Working with partners such as Ofcom, we will undertake a review in 2008 to consider whether further action is necessary. The FSA will conduct a review of the nutrient profile after it has been in operation for 12 months.”
This is all very well; but has led to the banning of staples such as fresh, whole milk, being sold in our schools. In fact children under 6 years of age should not be fed anything OTHER than whole milk – i.e. no skimmed or semi-skimmed – as by doing so they are being deprived of many essential nutrients which will help them grow into strong, robust, healthy adults. It has been proven that children process fat in a different manner to that of adults. But by branding otherwise nutritionally rich foods as ‘junk’ whilst still allowing processed products packed with excess sugars, salts & chemicals onto the shelves & into the home through wanton advertising, this thinking to me seems at best, misguided; & at worst, warped.
We really should be driving towards fresh, healthy, locally-produced food: NOT putting out misleading messages about generic groups of victuals. Meanwhile breakfast is oft said to be the most important meal of the day; yet 10-33% of us regularly skip it. Scientific study has proved that schoolchildren who eat breakfast each day are more alert; less tired; less emotionally distressed & anxious; less likely to suffer from attention & memory span deficits; & less likely to suffer from stomach complaints. So go shopping folks – get yourself some tasty, healthy, local fare & sit down as a family to a good farmhouse breakfast this week – even if it does mean going against the Governmental grain & going to work on an egg!