My title is taken from the song from Oliver, the musical by Lionel Bart based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens , sung by half-starved orphan boys entering the enormous dining room to be fed only gruel.
I recently noted that being a vegetarian, unlike the rest of my household, I found it difficult to feed my hunger except with bread and ice cream, hardly gruel but, nonetheless not a healthy diet. Since then, it seems that every article aimed at ‘foodies’ I’ve come across leads me to a secondary title: (Not) Pleased To Meat You.
Having moved out of London, I’m never going to able to move back because wealthy Indonesians, among other non-British millionaires, have bought into the booming property market resulting in increased gentrification of areas hitherto occupied by Londoners on lower or non-existent incomes. These ‘posh’ areas have apparently seen a rise in the number of “high-end independent” butchers, fishmongers and greengrocers.
I look at that image and recall the ‘family butchers’ (fishmongers and greengrocers …) in every high street.
... and bakers – this one is c.100 metres from my childhood home.
Here in Jakarta, butchers still provide a personal service!
But, hey, we – or rather you – are now being told that animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking. It’s all about how much protein you consume a day: too much apparently makes you susceptible to cancer and diabetes – but only until you’re 65, after which the process is reversed.
It’s much worse for mice.
The good news for me in the observational study (which names 16 authors) is that plant-derived proteins are associated with lower mortality than animal-derived proteins. And Indonesia has one of the best sources of all kinds of nutritional goodies, including protein: tempeh, which is part of my daily diet along with an intake of par-boiled vegetables.
So, when you’re lying on your death bed thinking, “Shit, I wish I’d been less of a carnivore,” don’t say I didn’t tell you!
Meanwhile, can you resist these “mouthwatering lamb (but really goat) dishes”?