Just Eat It

So much has been written on the subject of diet that i hesitate... Still, there are three things – well, four if you count the revolutionary fat-busting cancer-zapping melatonin-rich cabbage and kumquat diet.

First. With so many conflicting dietary ideas around, you know some of them just have to be out to lunch. Still, even the wildest ones probably work for some, or at least for a time-limited specific purpose. That they get overhyped may say more about our appetite for fanaticism than the merits of the diet.

Now, i have the same breakfast every morning. Is that fanatical? [rhetorical question, not for you to answer] My answer is no: it does have its internal balance and variety, and it is not based on any principle except vegetarianism, so i won't push it on you. Its main attraction, besides the usual health considerations, is simply that it is totally yummy, almost a religious experience.

Second. There are many strains of vegism and it is not my intention here to flog more than the mainstream bread and butter – or if you prefer, tofu and potatoes – variety. Many people have said many things about it, a lot of it contradictory. One fact that comes through them all which is not usually emphasized is that eating grains is a whole lot more ecologically sensible than meat. It takes ten pounds of plant protein as feed to create one pound of meat. That seems almost criminally wasteful, never mind killing those poor guys and feeding the unmarketable parts to others of their kind, now involuntary cannibals.

Third. In the course of extensive research, i have discovered an important new vitamin. Shunned by health faddists, sugar, fat and salt turn out to have essential functions in maintaining a properly balanced life. In excess, they lead of course to the heart disease, diabetes and cancers we are all familiar with. But the costs of dispensing altogether with this so-called junk food, which i hereby dub Vitamin J, are high. Anorexia and seriousness are but two conditions arising from a vitamin J deficiency, and that's no joke. Besides, as evolutionary psychologists are now suggesting, we wouldn't have evolved taste receptors and deep pleasure responses for these foods if they didn't serve an important function.

Much research remains to be done. In my own investigations, i have found that my consumption of certain highly chocolated ice cream sandwiches, about two a week, was contributing to joint and bone debilities, so evidently this was a bit too much. Minimum daily requirements (MDRs), especially of chocolate, may be fairly small. Grants to study this matter further are now being entertained.

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