Give anybody a computer and access to the internet and they can set themselves up as an expert. This is true in all aspects of life. With a few clicks you can read a thousand blogs on health, food, sex, politics, the future, the past and everything in between. There are no rules. In this new world, everyone is an expert and facts become a rare commodity. See Trump. See Brexit. See many things in the last couple of years.
Did you know that the moon landing was made up? Did you know there’s been a cure for cancer for the last ten years but no one is letting us know? Did you know that eating avocados can give you the body of a twenty-year old? Conspiracy upon conspiracy upon conspiracy. It comes in so many layers its hard for the truth to come out.
The food critic Jay Rayner has recently been railing against idiotic food blogs. You know, the ones who advocate a certain way of eating, the ones who claim that by following their advice you’ll be healthier and fitter than ever before. The ones who completely ignore scientific fact and make stuff up. For that is what a lot of this stuff is – made up garbage. No matter what we might feel, the only way to test these things is by checking them on a scientific basis. You put forward an idea and then research it. You test your idea to see if it works. If it does, you test it again. And again. And again. You may need to do some long term testing too. You are always suspicious of your methods and try to refine them time and time again. This is a rigorous technique and ensures that what we declare to be a scientific fact at the end is as near to being proven as it is possible to get. It takes time and energy and resources. It is certainly a lot more rigorous than just writing a blog with a few half-baked ideas.
Now, I do realise the irony of me being a man with a computer and access to the internet but I would never call myself an expert. If my ramblings about moderation last year were anything, they were a rejection of faddy diets and a return to sensible eating. Don’t overindulge. Take it steady. eat lots of fruit and vegetables. Cut back on red meat. Take more exercise. Nothing complex or faddy about this advice.
It would be lovely if dropping gluten from our diets made us feel young again. Well, for the vast, vast majority of us, that’s not going to happen. We just need to be moderate in our consumption. It would be great if eating raw food protects us from disease. It doesn’t. We’re looking for a quick fix and often there isn’t one.
Horizon recently aired a show about the current trend for ‘clean eating’ (whatever that may be). Here’s a link to it. Its worth watching.
I was reading about a journalist who was interviewing a lifestyle guru once. The journalist asked about the scientific basis for the man’s viewpoint . ‘I don’t believe in science and facts,’ said the guru without a hint of irony. The journalist ended the interview there and then. There was no point carrying on.