As You Were

Oh, how nice:

There is no reason to cut back on red meat for health reasons, according to a controversial claim by a group of leading scientists.
Researchers in Canada, Spain and Poland have cast a shadow over eating advice adopted by health organisations around the world.
In a landmark paper, the academics analysed past studies of how eating meat affected the health of more than four million people.
They found no evidence that eating beef, pork and lamb could increase the rates of heart disease, cancer, stroke or type 2 diabetes – despite fears.
And the team also said they found nothing strong enough to signal that people should cut down on red meat, adding that the quality of evidence was too low for findings to be concerning.

And here’s where you can almost taste the tears:

The medical community is torn over the research, describing it as ‘very good quality’ but hesitating to agree with stop telling people to cut back on meat.

Yeah, they’re so stuck on stupid, and they believe in  their own bullshit so strongly that when someone points out they’ve been wrong all this time, all they can say is, “We can’t refute this data — but we’re still  not going to allow people to eat meat because we’d look like a right bunch of idiots.”

Even though they are.

Never mind;  next week there’ll be an even greater-quality study which says, “Oh no no no eating meat is doubleplusungood for you, promise!”  and the International Vegan Set will be able to continue with their religion as before, smug in the knowledge that Meat Kills.

Until the study after  that one.

Me, having had a tasty lamb vindaloo for dinner last night and a piece of boerewors for breakfast, I’m debating whether to go Full Carnivore tonight:

with the usual accompaniment:

…or else just have a light snack:

…with a couple-three snorts of this:

Mind you, I would have been thinking about doing all this anyway, because as Longtime Readers know full well, I don’t believe anything  that so-called “health science” tells us anymore.

Gag Reflex

This article sparked my interest simply because I have a personal “worst dish” (one I will never eat, under any circumstances):

Irish Stew

Seriously, just looking at the pic makes me gag.

It’s a strange thing because lamb is one of my favorite meats of all — if roasted or barbecued — but I think it’s the lamb fat released in the cooking of the stew which revolts me — after eating it, one’s mouth and teeth are coated in a furry slime which

Ugh, I can’t write anymore or I’ll puke.

So, Gentle Readers:  what’s your  won’t-eat-at-any-cost dish?

Of Course It Does

For all those fools people who have been eating white meat instead of red meat because Studies Show That Red Meat Will Kill You Dead, here’s the latest study:

Eating chicken puts consumers at a higher risk of a rare form of blood cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, as well as prostate cancer in men, according to researchers from Oxford University.

Of course, my skepticism about all these “studies” has been well-documented, and no doubt the next study will say that in fact, eating chicken will cure  cancer, not cause it.

Red meat stops your heart, poultry gives you cancer, cannibalism seems to be illegal, and no  meat causes your brain to shrink.  So basically, we’re fucked.  To quote a well-known sage (Joe Jackson):  everything  gives you cancer.

Next thing they’ll be telling us that it’s not the full English breakfast that will kill you, it’s the pint of gin you wash it down with.

Like that’s going to stop me.

Quote Of The Day

“I’ve not drunk instant coffee since 1972. And even then, it was under duress.” — Liz Jones

My date was 1992 — because like Liz, I came from an instant-coffee culture.  And it took emigration to break the ghastly spell.   Now, I can’t even stand the smell  of the swill.

 

Working Class Food

I was reminded of this the other day.

Back in Sith Efrika, city streets are full of little snack bars, fish ‘n chip shops and cafés (called “caffies” by the locals, and these places bear absolutely no relation to the French establishment).  All serve the usual stuff:  hot dogs (“horrogs”), burgers, and of course fish ‘n chips.

Most of them, especially in working-class areas, serve something else.  It’s called (inexplicably) “bunny chow”, and it’s the simplest of all dishes:  a half-loaf of regular white- or brown bread, hollowed out and filled with either chicken/beef/lamb curry, or else beef/mutton stew.  It’s a budget-prized take on the “soup-in-a-French-boule” thing beloved of snooty Californian and Midwestern restaurants.

Here are a couple pics of bunny chow, to give you an idea:

 

You can eat it with your bare hands:  scoop the top part out with your fingers until there’s enough crust to break off and use as a scoop;  or if you’re feeling flush, order a side of fries and use those in twos as your delivery device.  (I said  it was a working-class food.)  Or, if you’re squeamish, use a fork for the stew, and when it’s all gone, eat the saturated bread up afterwards.  Either way, you have to eat it quickly or else the loaf will collapse — literally, it’s a portable meal to be eaten on the run.

You can go upscale with it:

…but that’s like putting caviar on a hot dog.  “Bunny chow” means cheap bread, cheap meat, a cheap meal.

Served properly, it’s delicious.  Sadly, bunny chow is often used for yesterday’s leftover stew (not that there’s anything wrong with that) or else last week’s  leftover stew (not so good).  Rule of thumb:  never order bunny chow early on a Monday morning.

When I was a starving student back in the early 1970s, I lived on bunny chow.  There was a greasy snack bar just around the corner from campus which served both curried chicken or -lamb chow, but you had to be careful eating either because there were often pieces of bone left in the stew — let’s just say that the food prep tended towards the hasty side in these establishments.

Later, as a starving musician, my tastes had become more sophisticated, and I’d moved on to shawarmas, that spicy and tasty Mediterranean dish of lamb, chicken or beef carved off a rotating vertical skewer:and served inside a soft, thin pita-bread pocket.

After almost every gig, I’d head off to Paradise Foods in Hillbrow (greasy spoons, greasy floor, greasy walls  FFS), get two shawarmas (meat and sauce only, none of that veg crap), and somehow I’d manage to eat both of them on the run before I got back to my car.  Man, it was a highlight of the week.

But if I was on the road to or from a gig and feeling hungry, there was always a roadside “caffie” somewhere to sell me bunny chow.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the kitchen.

The Problem With Bread

All my life, I’ve loved bread.  As a kid I ate bread with every meal, mostly the commercial white- or brown loaves (called “government bread” in South Africa because the price was kept low by a combination of both subsidy and quota production).  The nearest equivalent today would be the Wonderbread/ Hostess/ generic breads found in supermarkets (U.K. equivalent:  Hovis/ Warburtons/ store brands).

Gradually as I got older and my taste buds matured, I discovered bakery breads, my taste for which became exacerbated by visits to Europe and exposure to wares of the boulangerie  and bäckerei… oy, my mouth waters just thinking  about the Viennese brötchen  I’d gobble down with my morning coffee.

All went well, until my doctor told me that I needed to change my diet (his exact words:  “If you don’t lose weight, you’re going to die, you fat bastard”).  There were other words related to my extreme paucity of exercise (“Get up off your fat ass and start exercising, too.”)

I know that diets don’t work;  only permanent changes in lifestyle and eating habits do.  And the only change that seems to work without being too much work is getting rid of the bad things which cause you to gain weight, chief offenders being starches (grains) and sugars.

Sugars were not too difficult, as long as I cut out stuff like Coke and fruit jams [moan];  but I was never going to eliminate sugar from my diet altogether because I can’t drink coffee without at least a little sugar to cut the bitterness — and I’ll never  give up coffee.

The grains were not altogether difficult to cut back on.  I’ve never cared much for pasta — whatever it’s called, it’s all the same stuff — so Italian dishes like lasagna and macaroni went into the trashcan.  Ditto rice, which I’ve always liked but found easy to drop.

But then comes the worst offender:  bread.  Oh… fuck.  Wait:  you mean no more baguettes?

Non.

What about challah?

Nah.

Croissants?

Pas du tout.

Brötchen?

Bestimmt nicht.

So my all-time favorite, crusty French batard loaf?

Mais non (mon gros cochon).

As I said… fuck.

So here’s what I do.  I limit myself to two slices of toast (or one croissant) on Saturday mornings, and occasionally a toasted sandwich (cheese, or chicken mayonnaise) on Friday nights.  Those are my “cheats” (without which I’d never do any of it).

And I hit the gym — treadmill and stationary bicycle for half an hour — every weekday, religiously.  (When I was still at Doc Russia’s house, I walked about two miles per day, including a quarter-mile up and down Thrombosis Hill*.)  The results have been quite pleasing:  270 lbs in Jan 2017, somewhat south of 230 lbs today, with a goal weight of 205, which was my weight at age 23 in the Army, right after boot camp.  (Some asswipe once suggested that at my height, my goal should be 175, whereupon I chastised him sorely, saying that I hadn’t weighed 175 since 1969 at age 15.  When he got his breath back, he agreed.)

But I still miss — I mean, constantly — my daily bread.  Were it not for that “death” bullshit, I’d dump the whole stupid diet/ fitness lark in an instant and go back to my four slices a day.  I mean, FFS:


*the road up the hill behind Doc’s house, which requires cars to shift into low gear at the base.