When Michael Gove declared that the people of this country had “enough experts,” his political opponents were at odds with him. Looking back, though, I think he might have had a point. Because there is a certain breed of expert that I can’t stand.
Nutrition experts. I’m sure they are just trying to help. But their findings can be very confusing. No sooner has one piece of advanced nutritional research been published than another piece of advanced nutritional research comes along to contradict it.
Take the eggs. In 2018, it was reported that eating six eggs per week could reduce the risk of early death. But then in 2021, it was reported that eating an egg a day — that’s seven eggs a week — could increase the risk of an early death. How can six eggs extend your life, but seven reduce it? I don’t know. Maybe that’s why they sell eggs in cartons of six. The seventh will tip you over the edge. Then there is red wine. Is it good for you or bad? I have no idea. In January 2021, a study claimed that drinking a glass of red wine a day could cause you to have heart problems. However, just three months later, a different study claimed that drinking a glass of red wine daily can help you avoid heart problems.
And the confusion does not end there. In 2008, one study found that wine is bad for your memory — while another study found it good for your memory. At least, I think that’s what the studies said. It’s hard to remember. Maybe I drink too much wine. or not enough. Still, there’s at least one thing all experts agree on. Ultra-processed foods — like potato chips, ham and sugary breakfast cereals — are bad for us. According to scientists at Imperial College London, eating too many of these foods may increase your risk of developing cancer. I do not dispute the findings of scientists. But what I’m arguing about is the solution. And they argue that the government should discourage us from buying ultra-processed foods — with a slap big taxes on them. What an awful suggestion. And if conservatives are foolish enough to go along with it, they are more lost than we thought. For one thing, it would show that ministers know absolutely nothing about the lives of busy working parents. Some nights, highly processed food is all that many of us have time to cook. And even if we had time to cook something healthier, our kids would still prefer junk meals.
My son’s favorite foods are chicken nuggets, Peperami, and Cheerios. If he had what he wanted, he would eat all three at every meal. In fact, he says he’s going home when he leaves home. How am I going to get him to eat greens when he’s an adult, I don’t know. Wandering around his apartment and pushing steamed broccoli through his mailbox?
However, there is another, more important point. Imagine adding taxes on affordable foods during a cost-of-living crisis that has already seen grocery prices rise by 16.7 percent. I don’t know if those scientists at Imperial ever tried to raise a 21st century British kid on a diet of kale and beans. Maybe they can try it as their next experiment. I think they will regret it. In any case, even if the rate of inflation does not triple every second, we still have to get rid of the scrap tax. It is the most bleak, breathtaking, and tyrannical Nanny State. Conservatives are supposed to believe in personal responsibility, rather than government intervention. So if we want to lose weight, we must rely on ancient willpower.
Instead of nutritionists, our politicians seem to have gotten themselves into a desperate mess. One moment, they worry that our rapidly aging society is unsustainable. Next time, they fear our unhealthy diet will lead us to an early grave. Surely those poor idiots can join the dots. Obviously, the first problem can be solved with the second. Instead of encouraging us to eat less junk food, the government should encourage us to eat more of it.
Distribute free packets of Frosties in schools. Get GPs to prescribe Turkey Twizzlers on the NHS. Replace the fluoride in your tap water with EarnPro. Then the government would no longer need to raise the state retirement age to 68. Because none of us would actually live that long.