Coming from someone like myself who has in the past, been a very seriously ill anorexic with some years as a bulimic and some years as a compulsive overeater, this post is going to come across rather oddly, i think. This isn’t to say that i don’t still have some problems with food because i do, but they’re not serious any longer and i’m remarkably healthy, given my history. I want to try and take a lighter approach to the whole subject of food. I’m not talking about nutrition but more about situations where food is involved. May i say, i don’t wish to offend anyone who is still struggling with an eating disorder because that is just such a nightmare to live with.
With all my eating problems, i have had some funny experiences which i will try and relate here. Up until two years ago, i used to be a strict vegetarian; not the type who say “I am a vegetarian but i eat fish and chicken”. That is not being a vegetarian! Some of the time, for short intervals, i decided to become vegan which was quite hard work back then as minorities weren’t catered for in supermarkets. I’m talking about the time when you could only by white, sliced ‘Mother’s Pride’ bread and if you dare ask for a wholemeal loaf, you were regarded as somewhat of a hippie!
As i was saying, i’d been a staunch vegetarian for twenty years (before it was even ‘in fashion’ as it’s sometimes regarded, even now). I’d not eaten any meat, fish, chicken or animal by-products for all that time and then out of the blue, and God’s know why, i suddenly had a real craving for a pork chop! A pork chop, of all things – you couldn’t get much further away from being a veggie than that! And there began my adventures with food a carnivore, or omnivore to be more precise.
After the committing the first sin and devouring my pork chop with apple sauce and thoroughly enjoying it without a thought for the poor little piggie that gave up it’s life for my dinner plate. I progressed to chicken and fish. Beef, in meals, i have occasionally. I can’t bring myself to eat venison as we have deer at the bottom of my garden very occasionally. Similarly, i can’t eat duck because of my childhood memories of taking bread over to the local pond and feeding the ducks. Pigeon is off the menu too for the same reason. I don’t eat lamb very often as i think of the little things cavorting around in the fields nearby, and when i see a sheep or a lamb for real, i am very careful not to shout the words “mint sauce” within earshot of them! Sausages are off the menu as i don’t fancy the nostrils, tail, or nail clippings that they may contain.
Having said all that,i do still like my fruit and veg and make sure i eat at least five portions a day. I love spinach and rocket although they are often considered to be ‘bitter’. And although i think lychees are my very favourite fruit (and apparently very good for you), i do rather have a passion for our rather bent, potassium-packed, yellow-bellied friend, the banana. Now they are talking about doing away with bent bananas and only importing straight ones. I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. It’s bad enough that they ‘doctor’ most of our fruit and veg to be perfectly sized and shaped and coloured. Which is why i choose to buy organic; and no i’m not wealthy, i just make cutbacks in other departments.
I rarely eat chips as i have memories of when i was younger, people having chip pans that were both black on the inside and on the outside. Back then, the oil the chips were cooked in was kept and used over and over again and, nobody knew that the oil became more and more hydrogenated each time it was used. This didn’t do our cholesterol levels any favours at all. And what about the debate now, about whether butter or margarine is better for you? They have said butter is purer…well, i have a friend who switched back the delicious, genuine butter, in moderation, i might add, and her cholesterol levels soared and she got a good telling off from her GP.
So all-in-all, what it is about food, that there is such uproar and contradiction about? Our grandparents were brought up on the likes of ‘bread and dripping’ and many of them are living well into their 80’s and 90’s or further. So, i say ‘”everything in moderation and a little bit of what you fancy, does you good”!