demonising the simple slice of bread that it is time for me to speak out!
Let me just say that I eat meat, vegetables and dairy too. I stuck with butter throughout the many years that Flora reigned supreme. I use cream in my cooking and sometimes buy whole fat milk as well as low fat, so I don’t only love carbs, my devotion is shared between all the major food groups.
The ‘paleo’ diet sounds great for those who can afford to buy good quality meat and dairy products in decent quantities; and for those who really do have medical reasons to go low carb, such as diabetes. I’ve heard from several friends, whose opinions I respect, that going paleo has really made a difference to them. But why does a food trend have to swing so violently one way or the other. Suddenly all the information I’m bombarded with says carbs are bad, carbs are poison. Can’t we have some sensible middle ground here?
Moderation, middle ground, middle of the road sounds so dull... it’s not as interesting, dramatic or colourful as being at one of the extremes, but I really believe that when it comes to food it makes sense. Too much or too little of anything can be bad for you. All those claims for thirty years that low fat diets were the answer for a healthy heart now seem to be being refuted. I’m vindicated in my championing of butter. Who knows what research will find out about carbs in thirty years? That they actually are essential after all?
I want my children to enjoy food, to eat sensibly and not get stuck on the latest food fad. I’d like them to be able to travel the world when they’re older and eat with their local hosts without having to cross reference the menu against a long list of foods that they don’t eat. I’d love it if they ate more vegetables. I’d love to be able to afford ethically raised meat to feed them several times every week. But as long as they are eating a fairly broad spectrum of home-cooked foods, I think that they are getting adequate nutrition.
If we are going to have any food issues in the house, I’d rather banish processed foods and focus on home-cooked. But even that I can’t take to extremes; I still feed our son on baked beans, which he loves, and eat bought peanut butter with marmalade myself as a lunchtime snack.
So my idea of a culinary utopia would be us all sitting down together and dining off a laden table of organic fruits and vegetables, cheeses and cream, organic pasture-reared meat and breads made from organic stoneground flour, without counting a single calorie, and living healthily ever after... with a generous serving of organic fair trade chocolate to finish off with.
But until that day dawns I will just do the best I can with the freshest and most ethical foods I can source and afford on a variable budget. I will bake bread, crunchies, cakes and pastries without feeling guilty about it, and I will happily cook for paleo friends, vegetarian friends, vegan friends and gluten intolerant friends (although perhaps secretly hoping that they are not all present at the same meal!)
How about you... are you finding that paleo is right for you? Or are you an unrepentant carboholic like me!