It’s not often that I get to make such a statement but the other day I was sat in McDonalds and I was in absolute heaven. Yes, there were children screaming at the next table and we were surrounded by baseball caps and track suits, and yes maybe I was aching from dancing all night and desperately in need of the extra hour of sleep cruelly stolen from me by British Summertime, but still I was in heaven. For after so many disappointments over so many years I’d finally been given the French fries of my teens- hot, salty and terrible for me. On these rare occasions McDonald’s makes the best fries in the world, and yet they are scandalously elusive. I blame those pesky health campaigners. I don’t get why McDonalds is so vilified to be honest. They use free range eggs! They’re one of the best employers to work for in the country! Their 99p cheeseburgers are insanely, addictively delicious! Where’s the love guys? I don’t claim to be an expert on world conquering fast food chains (although I’ve certainly done the research), I admit I don’t know enough about their business workings and food sourcing, and being hugely profitable corporations of course they need to be held up to the light and scrutinised, but when it comes to the ‘healthiness’ of their menus, please bore off. I find myself getting really angry when I hear the blame for obesity being placed at the door of fast food chains and chocolate manufacturers, as if no one had ever heard of free will and self restraint. I know that a meal consisting of a cheeseburger, fries and milkshake is ‘bad’ for me and has no nutritional value, but no one other than me is making me buy it. There are also some days where a cheeseburger may not be good for me physically, but mentally oh man do I need one. I don’t eat McDonalds all that often, it’s a treat and I want it to be as dirty, sinful and calorie loaded as possible. Put as much salt on those fries as is legally possible please! Health campaigners have made that a lot harder and I’m pretty pissed about it. If you want to eat fast food every day you are free to do so but don’t act surprised when you put on weight. That was your decision which you made of your own free will. Health campaigners are also very worried about ‘those poor children’ and how much fast food they eat. Last time I checked, children don’t have access to cash points and driving licences, so if children are eating a lot of fast food then it falls down to the parents.
I’m not defending McDonalds at all, they’re pretty invincible as it is and are more than capable of defending their selves, but we all know that fast food is a delicious guilty pleasure and I just wish the do gooders so concerned about the salt content of fries would just not go to McDonalds instead of tampering with the menu. If you find the idea of an extra value meal being supersized distasteful, all you have to do is say no. It’s not rocket science. I’ve tasted French fry heaven and I’m not giving that up without a fight!
I’ll be honest, I’ve not done a great deal of new cooking recently as I’m completely fed up with my retro throwback of a kitchen but I’ve more than made up for that by getting worked up about food advice and food tampering. These last couple of weeks I’ve become exasperated with the constantly conflicting advice on healthy eating and surely I can’t be alone in this? Things I’ve read about this week that are supposedly bad for you: red meat, brown bread, fruit juice, low fat products, over boiled vegetables, tinned fruit, sugar, smoothies, frozen fruit, fat, butter, margarine. Please tell me I’m not the only one completely confused? Once upon a time we were told eggs could raise our cholesterol and then a few years ago they retracted that advice as it turned out they had absolutely no effect and in fact eggs are packed full of protein and nutrients. We’ve all been told of the dangers of saturated fat and yet only recently have they found changing from a high fat diet to a low fat diet has no impact on our health whatsoever. Butter is actually a natural product and margarine has been pumped full of dodgy chemicals, yet how many people are too scared to use butter on a daily basis? Remember when we were told that fruit juice could count as one of our five a day? Well, now they’re saying its full of sugar and really we should be eating an orange in the morning instead of juicing it. Fuck. This. Does anyone know what the hell they are talking about? I’m fed up of being told what food is best for me and then after two years of incorporating it into my diet the advice suddenly changes and has turned into the devil incarnate. I’m now completely ignoring any advice about food and just eating what makes me feel good and puts a smile on my face. I drink juice in the morning, eat a variety of fruit and vegetables, snack on chocolate and crisps, eat fish twice a week, load my meals up with spices, chilli and garlic, choose brown bread over white, eat the odd takeaway, order dessert in a restaurant, and try to cook homemade meals from scratch as often as possible. That’s what makes me happy, makes me feel good and can turn a terrible day into just a rough one. It’s probably not the secret to receiving a telegram from the Queen and definitely isn’t the key to becoming a size 8, but to me that’s not what life is about. Use your common sense, vary what you eat and treat yourself. As someone who lives to eat rather than the other way around, I’ve made peace with not having a perfect diet, and like to constantly question what exactly would a perfect diet look like anyway. Life’s too short to blindly follow terrible advice on something so important as the food we put into our bodies and what makes us as individuals happy.