The six year old grandson was here yesterday.
As usual, he was scrounging for food and drink. I gave him a pack of biscuits which Herself had bought and decided she didn’t like. I don’t blame her – they are like a solidified sample from the bottom of a guinea pig cage.
Anyhows, he helped himself to a fistful and came sidling up to me.
“Which are the healthier?” says he, “These ones or the ones with the cream and strawberries in them?”
In other words, why was I pawning him off with the guinea pig ones when there were others he preferred!
“Does it matter?” says I with a raised eyebrow,
He gave me that look he gives when he’s not sure whether I’m being serious, which in fairness I am usually not.
“I suppose these ones are healthier because they don’t taste as nice?” says he.
“Do you eat biscuits because you are hungry, because they taste nice or because they are healthy?”
He shrugged, which is his usual response, but I knew I had given him something to think about.
But it has come to a sad state of affairs when a six year old actually thinks in terms of health when he is given a biscuit? Six, for fuck’s sake! I suppose I can’t be too surprised as every fucking packet of edibles these days comes with screaming headlines – “The Healthier Option”, “Enriched with Vitamins”, “Low Salt”, “Low sugar”, “part of a Calorie Controlled Diet”! Since when did food become medicine? If I want extra vitamins I’ll go to the chemist and buy some, but the way things are going I wouldn’t be surprised to see the pharmacy stocked with breakfast cereals. Already they are stocking up on sweets. I even saw a pack of fruit pastilles recently that was pure sugar, e-numbers, colourings and flavourings advertising itself as “One of your Five a Day”..
I was raised on a diet of streaky rashers, dripping toast [ and toast with sugar on!] and all the things that are supposed to be Death in a Packet. I never heard the mention of vitamins back in those days and to refuse food because it was “unhealthy” would have meant I starved.
I despair for the modern generation. They seem to be doomed to a life of reading ingredients and worrying themselves into an early grave over what they are eating.
In the meantime I shall continue in my quest to teach the grandkids that sugar and salt aren’t poison and that there’s more to life than health.
And if they become worried about their weight I’ll just encourage them to smoke more.