Thursday 22 March 2018

The Fat Of The Land

As it is half way between meals my thoughts naturally turn to food. During my time on this planet I have consumed a lot of what it has to offer. The weight has gone up and down according to life style, preferences and needs at different times.

But so has the expert advice on which foods are best for me and should be eating. If I went in to this less than tasty subject it would be a long post of which you probably already know the most of it.

In Britain today the male population has grown not just in numbers, but in size. The Brit's are getting bigger but not necessarily better. Being among the biggest in the world wins no prizes. There are health implications and others. But this is now "normal".

The picture above it what was once considered the ideal for the male population of Britain. It is John Bull and in today's world what in the past may have been taken to be a desirable state of manhood are now indications of bad eating and serious medical problems to come.

In the late 18th Century he would have been consuming almost all home grown food and much of it local. Imported foods had the expense of transport which was a great deal and the limited amount of processed foods, e.g. sugar were in the realm of luxury.

By the late 19th Century this had changed as major inflows of food began to arrive from other places and at home factories were being built to make food for the ordinary household table in mass production. Synthetic chemicals were coming into use.

Skipping the 20th Century and into the 21st and it has moved on to an astonishing situation where the old streets of shops have gone, the supermarkets that replaced them have become larger and more extensive but are under challenge from mass IT delivery systems.

A lot of food today comes ready packaged for a few minutes in an microwave oven at most and has bewildering listings of contents that show distant sources and complex chemical content to make them look and taste what the marketing experts dictate will suit the mass of the public.

So our John Bull today is not so much a prosperous peasant but a miracle of chemistry.

For as long as he lasts.


  1. Many years ago my father had to visit a jam factory. He saw a vat of what looked like green goo and wondered what it was.

    Then a chap came up with a little bottle of red dye and added it to the vat of green goo which suddenly became strawberry jam.

  2. I used to visit an elderly lady who used to run a B&B during WWII and one of her guests was a man who made wooden pips to go into synthetic jam. Peritonitis hazard?

  3. yet people are living longer

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