Monday, 31 March 2008

Not A Sausage More

According to the Telegraph (and an awful lot of other media outlets, too), eating just one sausage per day is enough to increase your risk of developing bowel cancer by one fifth. And it's not just sausages, either; any processed meat, including bacon, ham, pastrami, salami and hot dogs, is just as dangerous.

Come to that, ANY cooked red meat increases the risk, but to a lesser degree than processed meat. All of which means that, as far as the World Cancer Research Fund is concerned, we shouldn't be eating any processed meats, and no more than 500 grams of cooked red meat (beef, lamb, pork) in a week.

God help us when Dawn Primarolo and her band of new-age Puritans get hold of this one! Before you know it there will be demands for butchers to take red meat off display, with a pound of sausages to be sold only to over-18s who can prove their age and who specifically ask for sausages - spur of the moment purchases will no doubt be discouraged. Meanwhile, all processed meat products will be required to sport a Government health warning - you know, something like "SAUSAGES KILL" or "BACON SERIOUSLY HARMS YOU AND PIGS AROUND YOU".

Consumption and preparation of these deadly foods will not be permitted in enclosed, or semi-enclosed spaces, leading to a sudden upsurge in winter BBQs which will, in turn, be banned by the environmental lobby on the basis that they encourage the use of patio heaters. Of course, these dire predictions sound impossibly, unbelievably stupid - but you just try to imagine how today's equally dumb anti-smoking legislation would have been viewed in, say, 1988.

The time is coming when, under the stern gaze of the Nanny State, beer, fags and the English breakfast will be things of the past - dangerous curios for our descendants to marvel at as they sip their tasteless boiled water and chomp their nourishing vitamin pills. Yet, if only Gordon Brown-Trousers and his health fascist side-kicks realised it, most people do not like being told what we should do.

Sure, information like this scare-mongering research is useful, particularly if the research is well founded. But we don't want to be forced into following it. Rather, we like to make up our own minds and, having done so, resent the hints and threats and sneers from those around us who have reached a different conclusion.

Let's face it, nobody lives forever. No matter what you do, or how cautious / paranoid you are, you will end up dead sometime in the next 100 years or so. You can either quiver and quake your way to a miserably tedious demise, taking heed of every health fad that comes along, or you can eat, drink and smoke whatever you like, when you like, where you like for as long as you like. The price might be that you die a little younger, but at least you'll have enjoyed getting to that stage, unlike your dull, dreary, credulous colleagues.

To those who are even now scheming to avoid the great British Sausage, Egg, Bacon, Beans + Fried Bread (and very particularly to those scheming to make everyone else avoid it too) I have just one thing to say - get a life and pass the Ketchup!

Billy Seggars.

No comments: