It’s pretty rare that the British press ever has anything positive to say about anything traditionally English, so this article from 2011 is a rarity. According to this, the ‘English diet could save thousands of Welsh, Scottish and Irish lives.’ Apparently, some think the English diet is healthier than the diet followed by the average Welsh, Scots, or Irish household.
The British media, like the American media, are always scolding and nagging readers about ‘eating healthier’, and if anything, the UK media are worse for their nanny state meddling in people’s diets and health choices. It’s bad enough that the government(s) and their media arm are sticking their noses where they don’t rightfully belong — government is not meant to involve itself in what we eat; at least in the U.S. our government is limited, strictly speaking, to certain functions — at which it is currently derelict (such as enforcing our borders) and it has no business preaching to us about what we eat. But the media does that constantly, and worse, they are behind the times as to the ‘information’ with which they lecture us. Example: their incorrect, and since discredited ideas about the benefits of ‘low-fat’ diets. But they persist in nagging us about eating low-salt diets as well.
Most of us remember that the older generations, our grandparents if not our parents, ate diets that are now condemned by the health establishment as bad and unhealthy — yet those older generations often seemed to live longer, healthier lives than today’s health-obsessed people. My Southern grandparents, of English descent, ate a breakfast that was almost identical to the traditional ‘full English’ breakfast, pictured here. Most people today would be horrified, probably calling it a ‘heart attack waiting to happen’, though my grandmother lived a healthy life, dying at age 94; her brother died at 105. And they ate this kind of diet.
If you read the article I link to above, about the ‘full English breakfast’ you will notice that the writer says, of the obligatory tomato included on the plate,
“Much like the beans, the tomato may seem like an optional garnish; I assure you, it is not. The sweetness and acidity that come from a cooked tomato goes a long way in cutting the fattiness that is inherent in the rest of the plate.”
I was amused by that; the older generations in my family always said that the tomato was there to “cut the grease” in the rest of the meal. Even centuries after our family came to this country, those sayings still persist. But yes, the tomato does seem to ‘cut the grease.’
It is interesting that some of the culinary and dietary habits came to this country, though in this country, at least in the South, other breakfast items like ‘grits’ were added to the breakfast menu. I don’t think that particular food has British antecedents, especially as corn (Indian corn, or maize to some in the old country) was a New World food.
As to whether the English diet is healthier than that eaten elsewhere in the UK, I can’t speak to that; I found, in Ireland, that the people ate similar diets to that of most English people, with some minor variations — like brown bread with breakfast, although the Irish do like their ‘fry’ for breakfast at times too.
It does seem that on both sides of the Atlantic, the nanny state governments want to dictate or control what we eat, and while they claim to be motivated by concern for our health and well-being, at the same time they are feeding us GMO foods, and in this country, removing ‘place of origin’ labeling on some foods, and importing much of our food and medicines (even prescription medications) from third-world countries with very poor safety standards, and histories of adulterated and toxic products. So how concerned are ‘our’ governments, really, about our health and safety?
And it does seem as though they are aiming to make vegans of us all, eventually, and to habituate us to a ‘third-world’ style diet, emphasizing the exotic ethnic foods that the many immigrants have introduced into our Anglosphere countries. Out with the old, and in with the new, regardless of the dubious health benefits of these new foods.
Could it not be that our bodies are genetically programmed to do well on a certain type of diet, a diet which includes meat and dairy and what the questionable ‘experts’ call unhealthy amounts of fat? Our Northern European ancestors seem to have done pretty well on that diet, and yet we are constantly told we should stop eating it. I suppose this article about the relative health benefits of the English diet would not be written in 2017. In the years since it appeared, the health ‘experts’ haven’t shown much sign of revising their ‘low fat, low salt’ dogma.
As for me, I prefer to go with what works, and what was good for the older generations is good enough for me, I think.