Food & Drink - Other

Food Myths

Food Myths

‘Go to work on an egg’ was a hugely popular advertising campaign a few decades ago in England, sending the message that an egg was a good way to start the day. Then along came the health minister Edwina Currie, nannying the nation into believing eggs were some conspiracy to kill off the population. This left the egg industry reeling in dismay as eggs became mini time bombs waiting to explode. It became a common food myth that eggs were bad for you.

The egg myth has certainly done the rounds more than most, making it a fashion statement to only order egg white omelettes as the fat laden yolk was discarded. The reality is an egg is a healthy little thing and the yolk is packed with protein. Naturally an egg tastes better if it comes from a chicken wandering round getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and eating real chicken food as opposed to its relatives.

The ‘Go to work on an egg’ campaign was in the days when older people recalled rationing and had terrible memories of egg powder substitute of course. Everyone ate a standard 3 meals a day, the main one comprising meat and two vegetables. There were no  food police around telling everyone not what to eat. Butter was piled onto white bread, food was fried in lard and a small bottle of olive oil was kept in the medicine chest as a cure all rather than a condiment.

It may not have been the healthiest diet in the world but diet sodas weren’t invented then and a Big Mac was only a gleam in a McDonald’s eye. Things changed though and eggs became the evil carriers of salmonella, cows were fed on their neighbors sheep, and vitamin supplements replaced vegetables as a nutrition source. Actual food was replaced with processed packet food, ready meals and frozen dinners, and a few bars of Cadbury’s chocolate lurking by the check out graduated into a choice of a million different snacks, hooking the sweet toothed.

The egg myth has certainly done the rounds more than most, making it a fashion statement to only order egg white omelettes as the fat laden yolk was discarded. The reality is an egg is a healthy little thing and the yolk is packed with protein. Naturally an egg tastes better if it comes from a chicken wandering round getting a healthy dose of vitamin D and eating real chicken food as opposed to its relatives.

The margarine myth was perpetuated for years as being healthier than butter, whilst all along they were as bad as each other. The reality is that those in Mediterranean countries were right to ignore both options and stick with their traditional olive oils, leading to lower instances of heart disease.

The diet soda myth is the worst one of all, and even some so called nutritionists and diet gurus advocate drinking it as it has no calories. The fact is that diet soda is laden with aspartame, a noxious artificial sweetener which makes the body crave more sweet things. It would probably be a banned substance if the food industry didn’t have so much invested in it. The soda itself is nothing more than chemical colored carbonated water and is completely pointless unless you want to rot your teeth.

Diet foods which proclaim low fat, and other wonderful things, are most often a con as they have extra sugar in to compensate. Replacement diet shakes which cost so much are nothing more than fortified flavored skimmed milk powder.  The diet industry doesn’t make the same kind of profit by advising you to drink a glass of skimmed milk with an apple, or to simply blend some fresh fruit into your milk to make a fresh shake.

Vitamin supplements are another myth which have slipped into reality. The fact is that a healthy balanced diet doesn’t need topping up with miracle antioxidants packaged up into neat capsules and sold for inflated prices. There are so many to choose from it’s a wonder that supplement fans don’t rattle as they walk. Of course that’s not to say they aren’t necessary sometimes, such as calcium for those who don’t like milk.  Evidence is now pointing to the reality that supplements are not absorbed by the body nearly as well as the real thing so we should be looking to obtain essential nutrients from fresh food.

Those who laugh at how people used to eat in such an unhealthy way should have a rethink. The reality is a modern society snacking endlessly, and eating processed foods washed down with sodas, has led to the increase in obesity. The food industry has certainly helped to promote food myths as it endeavours to sell processed over fresh foods. However the consumer has been happy enough to go along with it, whilst having the facts distorted as foods alternate between being the friend and the enemy. Whilst not advocating the return of lard it is perfectly clear that people need to start returning to fresh food, and leave the fast and processed food behind

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