Wednesday, 4 November 2015

They can take our freedom, but they can never take my bacon

Last week was all about bacon and sausages now being labelled carcinogenic by the UN. Seriously, there was no news there; it's not like we did not know processed meats are full of nasty chemicals, nor wasn't it like we were unaware of the dangers of cooking barbecue style.
The UN's message itself, talking about research now indicating a very strong link between these foods and cancer, got mostly misinterpreted too. But hey, mass media was never particularly good at communicating science to the masses, and through the ongoing failures of our education systems the masses are largely incapable of interpreting the nuances of a complicated message. This is not the first time science had a problem communicating with the public, nor would it be the last.

With that out of the way, I would like to focus on what this post wants to focus on.
Time Magazine dedicated a lot of pages to the latest gastronomic revelations. Amongst others, it published the following counter - as in, enough telling us what we shouldn't eat, tell us what we should eat instead!
Here's what Time had to say about that:

Item #4 was the one that attracted my attention the most. Eggs.
It wasn't long ago that we were told, probably over the pages of Time, too, that eggs are to be avoided due to their high concentration of fats and cholesterol. So, what gives?
Don't get me wrong, I'm all for changing one's mind in the face of new evidence. My point, however, is that the particular area of "the recommended diet" seems particularly susceptible to such changes of the mind. We routinely hear different messages about different food items, and those messages are often contradictory. A year ago, did anyone even know this thing called kale even existed?
It's a similar story with sugar. We hear some people saying it's bad, while on the other hand the mainstream authorities are still pumping the good old line of "fat is thy enemy". But the latter seems awfully silent about their recent egg u-turn...
So, again, what gives? What should Ms & Mr Average do? What should they eat?
Maybe we will get to find the answer to this question once enough commercial self interest is removed from the equation. Till then, a lot of us are going to suffer unnecessarily though this cloud of misinformation.

Image copyrights: Time Magazine, used under the fair use assumption

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