Scare-mongerers are grabbing the headlines

20/08/2009 - 00:00
“We've had a month of silly newspaper stories, as scare-mongerers and panic merchants grab the headlines,” says the Guild of Fine Food. They explain more about why the latest food research is simply getting on their nerves.

We've just been told that the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) wants us to limit the amount of processed meat we eat because research has revealed it increases the risk of developing cancer. In particular, the WCRF wants children to be protected from culinary horrors such as ham and salami and encouraged to eat fish, low-fat cheese, hummus and small amounts of lean meat. The charity further wants parents to avoid giving their children high-fat or high-calorie foods and sugary drinks in packed lunchboxes. Marni Craze, the charity's children's education manager, is reported in the Guardian as saying: "If children have processed meat in their lunch box every day then over the course of a school year they will be eating quite a lot of it. It is better if children learn to view processed meat as an occasional treat if it is eaten at all." Bob Farrand hit back saying: "The most charitable thing these people can do is to shut up. They clearly have little or no understanding of food, diet or the impact it has on us. What exactly do they mean by 'processed meat' any way and where's the evidence to support their findings?" Ham and salami have been with us for at least two thousand years. In Mediterranean areas, where almost every meal begins with a plate of so-called 'processed meats,' they also eat stacks of full fat cheese, fish and fresh fruit and vegetables. In many communities, they also quaff the thick end of a litre of red wine a day. Many, if not most, live longer than we do because balanced eating is a habit passed from generation to generation. Ms Craze needs to stop scare mongering and spend a little more time studying complete diets rather than individual foods and encouraging the population at large that the only bad food is cheap, nasty mass produced stuff. Good food costs a little more but in moderation, it's all healthy and we don't need to eat so much of because it satisfies better.

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