Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Factory food

Tournaments like the World Cup often serve as a reminder that our different languages and cultures across the globe remain distinctive and individual.

But when it comes to what we eat there is growing evidence that traditional diversity is being eroded.

Flicking between TV channels during mundane moments of the Germany versus Algeria World Cup match last evening I came across an interesting documentary on Channel 4.

‘The World’s Best Diet’ was a compelling exploration of the dietary habits of people all over the world, ranking the best and worst diets and asking what we should be eating.

It revealed how eating habits across the globe have transformed over the last 50 years - and how this has affected our health.

For the record England came in at number 34 of the 50 nations surveyed. And top of the diet pops was Iceland, where fresh fish is a staple.

I was surprised to learn that inhabitants of the Marshall Islands in the remote Northern Pacific now have the worst ranked diet - and highest rates of death by diabetes - largely because their traditional farming has been replaced by additive-filled American imports.

Overall, the message of the programme was clear - stay away as much as possible from all kinds of processed food.

But somehow all this talk of healthy eating seems to have the opposite effect and I just can’t resist the urge to pop out and buy a Snickers bar - or should that be a Marathon?

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