This was intended as satire, but it was remarkably prescient and carries more than a hint of truth. In recent years, there have been many reports demonstrating the health, and mental health, benefits of chocolate, although muesli, strangely, is still, so far as I am aware, considered food fit for a human being. However, there is a serious message, which is that the recommendations as to what we can and cannot eat seem to change with the seasons. The latest, perhaps you have seen, is dairy. Some researchers carried out a “meta-analysis” of research on dairy products and concluded that there were no health risks attached to them for normal people. A meta-analysis means they put together the results of several other separate research projects using statistical jiggery-pokery in order to obtain, if done correctly, results that are more likely to be meaningful than any of the original research. In this case, the combined analysis was equivalent to a single experiment with almost a million patients, something no single research group could ever achieve.
So, we can now eat our Devonshire cream teas with a clear conscience.
In the end, the only sensible thing to do is to eat a balanced diet, ignore all the newspaper stories that this or that is good or bad for you and be moderate in all things, including moderation.
Or, just follow Andy & Jenny’s motto at the St James Tea Rooms:
You may have noticed that there is another election coming up. A bit difficult to ignore, really. If you have not yet received a polling card, you are probably not registered to vote. If so, please register. The last day to do so is Monday 22nd May. The simplest way is on-line, if you can, at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. (or click on the image below)
In my opinion, this may well be the most important election for many years. For the first time in a very long time, there is a clear distinction between, not merely the policies, but the very philosophies of the two major parties. One the one hand, one party stands for minimising the impact of government on individuals and business, encouraging people to seek work using financial penalties. On the other, the party stands for renationalising many important institutions, and what is probably seen as a more benevolent approach to those unable to work. Meanwhile, the smaller parties, if they win enough seats, could mitigate some of the extremes of policy of the larger parties.
In North Devon, barring a miracle, the choice is going to be between Peter Heaton-Jones, our MP for the last 2 years:
In view of Tony Olsson’s comment on my last blog, I should like to make my position clear. In this blog (as well as my column in the Journal), I try to be impartial as far as political parties are concerned, although I will continue to comment on individual policies, such as the NHS, even if that policy is identified with one political party. At the moment, this is particularly easy for me, as there is no party with all of whose policies I feel totally comfortable. However, I do not ask those of you who comment to do the same. By all means be as partisan as you wish. All I ask is that you are polite (or, at least, not offensive) about political opponents.
Tony Olsson was unable to post the picture of a chocolate train in his comment. For those of you interested, here it is:
I recently read in The Guardian:
“The number of strokes in the UK is expected to increase by almost half over the next 20 years owing to the ageing population, according to a study. Over the same period, the number of stroke survivors is predicted to rise by a third, raising questions about how the already stretched NHS and social care services will cope.”
Well, if the STP manage to implement certain proposals in their draft plan (still not finalised), especially closing the stroke unit in NDDH Barnstaple, this will not be a problem in North Devon. The journey from here to Exeter or Plymouth will kill off enough of us to more than counteract the effect The Guardian worries about.
If you have not seen it, may I recommend that you read the latest issue of Redlines, the newsletter of the SOHS campaign - http://www.sohs.org.uk/documents/SOHS-newsletter-34-13-May.pdf. There is an article in there about Dr Chris Day, which I urge you to read.