Eat With a Relish that Needs No Sauce | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Eat With a Relish that Needs No Sauce

Tim Abington laments how can food lose its essence to calorie counting and nutritional statistics, in opposition to Public Health England’s new guidelines

Succulent are the plump potato dumplings, emulsified in a rich, garlicky, buttery sauce lifted by parmesan, smothered in a warm panini crust.  Sharp is the peppery skin of the brisket; the richness of the deep brown gravy; the collective enjoyment of the atmospheric throb of the kitchen.  Sombre, the smell of lukewarm sandwiches, snatched from the supermarket aisle closest to the exit, eaten hurriedly amidst the clattering of keyboards and the silence of the lonesome individual.

our food is to now satisfy only the numerical figures and nutritional agreements of state and industry
Yet, only the latter meal conforms to the boundaries of the calorie count and so, in achieving this statistical target, it fulfills the only requirement of our food. Derived of fulfillment or pleasure, it appears that our food is to now satisfy only the numerical figures and nutritional agreements of state and industry.

In the latest of a series of publications, Public Health England has announced further measures to reduce calorie consumption in the continued march on the obesity crisis. In the triad of resolutions, the institution is to establish quantitative targets for the calorie consumption of adults and children whilst encouraging the industry to reduce calories by twenty per cent.

Ensuring that the output of cooking is suited to a graph and stripping it of all notions of pleasure is not means by which to re-establish the passion for quality food
Ultimately the agency has the right intention, though it has adopted an incorrect approach. Single issue solutions are not the means by which society is to avert this crisis. Thought and discussion are already limited to tweetable 280 characters, and international relations have suffered as a result. Limiting our food to a quantifiable figure is not the solution to an issue that spans the breadth of society. Ensuring that the output of cooking is suited to a graph and stripping it of all notions of pleasure is not means by which to re-establish the passion for quality food that is needed to avert this social crisis.

If, as a society, our meals are dictated by grams of protein and vitamin percentiles then we have lost all notions of what it is to eat. The pleasure of food, evocative mouthfuls of fulfillment, the company kept whilst breaking bread amidst family and friends. All of this is to be burnt before the altar of statistics.

All of this is to be burnt before the altar of statistics.
The reduction of what we eat to nutritional intakes is as disastrous for the quality of food as the industrialisation of food production that it is attempting to alter. The reformulation of products is a unsustainable antidote that allows the commercial sector to continue to compromise on quality whilst retaining control of fiscal margins.

Cholesterol, fats, and carbohydrates have all previously been targeted, before a change in times disproved the factual inaccuracies that bred them. Meals have become cold as lobbyists seek to banish entire cuisines and rid food of all fulfilment.

Do not attempt to reduce food to the depressive state where one spends more time antagonising over the nutritional value of a meal then eating it
A prepackaged meal, devoid of the care and emotion that one should contain, can be reformulated to reflect statistical trends; yet it will remain just that. A combination of macronutrients, consumed to fulfill the quota necessary for participation in the dulgerdy of the rat race of life.

Do not attempt to reduce food to the depressive state where one spends more time antagonising over the nutritional value of a meal then eating it. Instead, to paraphrase Bewick, eat it with a relish that needs no sauce.

(@TimAbington)



Published

12th March 2018 at 9:00 am



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