November 2, 2015 2.30 pm This story is over 101 months old

What doesn’t kill you…

Health warnings: In his latest column, Matt Osborne asks what he can and can’t eat now in the wake of recent health warnings over red meat.

Nietzsche may well have been correct when he uttered the immortal phrase “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”, but would he still impart this wisdom in the face of such conflicting health warnings that we currently face as consumers?

My favourite tipple – red wine – will either prevent me from getting tooth decay; strengthen my heart; lower blood pressure; reduce my risk of contracting cancer and enhance my life expectancy – or it will in fact decrease my life expectancy; kill off my muscles; increase my risk of contracting cancer; hinder weight loss and weaken my heart.

Apparently the key is to drink red wine ‘in moderation’. If only that wasn’t a subjective interpretation.

And now we have the furore over red, processed meat.

If recent ‘findings’ are to be believed, then this culinary offering must surely represent the most lethal cocktail of carcinogens known to man. I’ll start to worry when I see despotic rulers clamouring to import weapon-grade salami.

How can one take these warnings on processed red meat seriously in light of the regularly lauded benefits of a Mediterranean diet (which seems to involve the ingestion of copious amounts of salami and pastrami)?

So are these latest warnings to be heeded? Have we all stopped smoking en masse only to discover that Nick O’Teen wasn’t that evil after all – and who knew that The Hamburgler wasn’t of such benign malevolence?

Shall we expect a mass mobilisation of governmental mandarins to be relentlessly pursuing the greatest producers and film makers in order to hastily arrange the mass roll out of a health advisory film; warning against the evils of this foul produce?

Somehow I just don’t envisage a certain ex-dancer from ‘that 80s film’ to be tempted away from promoting mobile phones to become a pantomimic villain who espouses the vile nature of his namesake #pleasenotthem.

If we are to believe every warning issued of late, and ignore any positives derived from ‘moderate consumption’, then we should all rid ourselves of the curses of:

  • Alcohol
  • Red meat
  • Olive Oil
  • Processed Meat
  • Butter
  • Margarine
  • Bread
  • Sugar (don’t get me started on THAT tax!)
  • Sweeteners
  • Salt
  • Spicy food
  • Liquorice
  • Cow’s milk
  • Caffeine
  • Energy drinks
  • Tinned food
  • Yoghurt
  • Popcorn
  • Pies and Pastries
  • GMO foods
  • Shellfish
  • Tuna
  • Quiches and other egg-based products
  • Salads and berries (if you believe the Americans – and no that isn’t a joke!)

Is there anything left that we CAN eat or drink?

I think I’ll just let this latest hullaballoo die down whilst I enjoy a sausage sandwich.

What are your thoughts on this latest food health warning? Why not let everyone else know in the comments section below.

Matt is a columnist and author on all things freelance, engineering and consultancy – with rants and thought-provoking observations thrown in for good measure. He also runs a freelance consultancy in Lincoln; fulfilling his lifelong ambition to be his own boss after 16 years serving in both the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force. His consultancy attracts and employs high quality engineers alongside the finest defence and business professionals. Matt is a Chartered Engineer, and avid reader and huge football fan.