So utterly devoid of real policy solutions, and so helplessly out of touch with what the British public are concerned about, the Labour Party are now turning their hands to banning what they call “high levels of fat, sugar, and salt” in food. Apparently, they launched the policy at an event where they served sugary fruit juice, chocolate brioche, and buttery croissants. You couldn’t make it up.
But beyond Labour’s rank hypocrisy and lack of focus on the key issues of the day, we have to acknowledge that before one vote has been cast in the General Election, Mr Miliband is already planning on a major resurgence of the nanny-state ideals that we saw flourish under Mr Blair and Mr Brown.
“Children will need better protection from the pressures of modern living,” the Labour Shadow Health Secretary, Andy Burnham, has said. I agree, we shouldn’t shovel sweets and fizzy drinks into the mouths of kids – but here I was thinking this was a matter for parents, rather than one for government.
Correct me if I’m wrong, and I’m sure I’ll be lectured on this by some interventionist “do-gooder” – but it’s not really for government to decide what is available to adults on supermarket shelves.
This, by the way, from a Labour Party who not six months ago was telling us that our energy prices should be frozen. More government intervention – and in a market that has seen the price of Brent Crude drop 50 per cent over the last six months. Effectively, Labour wanted to freeze energy prices at their annual peak. It reminds you of Mr Brown’s economic incompetence. Remember, he was the man who sold Britain’s gold reserves at the lowest price he could have possibly obtained.
It’s not like we should be surprised that Labour are so shoddy on these issues. Mr Miliband was Gordon Brown's Energy Secretary. He brought in the swathes of green levies that pushed people’s energy bills up, and now he wants to freeze them there. In short, what people will be voting for if they vote Labour in May, is a return to 2008. I don’t need to remind you what a troublesome time that was for so many people.
The healthy eating trends of 2015
The healthy eating trends of 2015
1/10 Acai bowls are the new green juice
Who ever thought we’d have been ok with adding spinach to our smoothies? Yet even virtuous green juices started to get something of a bad rep, as the ‘juice fast’ backlash grew and it turned out that some shop-bought juices contained as much sugar as a can of fizzy drink. Bring on Acai bowls, the new darlings of Instagram. Like a gloopier smoothie, these are made with antioxidant-rich acai berries (they are hard to come by - search for powdered or dried berries or frozen puree), which are said to aid weight loss. Blend with frozen bananas, berries and a little nut milk and top with whatever you like - seeds, nuts, cacao nibs, goji berries. A picture-perfect purple powerhouse for breakfast.
Ella Grace Denton, www.weneedtolivemore.com
2/10 Bone broth is the new Miso soup
Remember back in the day when the word ‘broth’ would conjure up visions of Dickensian orphanages? Then miso came along, Gwyneth embraced it, and we all followed suit, lauding how filling and protein rich with little wonder broth was. We’ve come full circle now, as bone broth is back on the radar. The glowing-with-health Hemsley sisters seem to use bone broth in most of their recipes, and rave about its nutritional benefits. “Bone broth is a nourishing all rounder packed with vitamins, minerals, collagen and keratin which makes it amazing for skin – including the dreaded cellulite! The healthy fats in the broth help you to assimilate important vitamins including Vit D.” There you go, something to stew over...
Food Loves Writing, Flickr
3/10 Bee pollen is the new Manuka honey
Every health hipster has a jar of manuka honey on their shelves - if they can afford it that is, a jar can cost about £15. But many claim it is worth its weight in gold, due to its unique antibacterial properties. Traditionally it was used on wounds, but many also claim that it performs miracles combatting cholesterol, diabetes, cancer and digestive problems (although the science is limited). Now bee pollen is the latest ‘superfood’ out there - thought to ward off colds, limit food cravings, improve skin tone, ward off allergies like hay fever (although some caution that it may exacerbate them) and, of course, fight cancer. Again, the science behind these claims is dubious - but it certainly adds a nice sweetness to your morning porridge.
4/10 Kelp is the new kale
Last year saw the emergence of an unassuming green leaf that was previously barely used beyond cattle feed. Now, we have kale chips in Pret, kale juices, ‘massaged’ kale salads - it’s even on the menu in fine dining restaurants. Yawn. Introducing kelp. This seaweed is high in iodine, which is said to improve thyroid function and control metabolism. It is also thought to have anti-aging properties for skin and hair. Try it in salads or add to asian-style soups.
5/10 Matcha is the new green tea
Yes, yes, yes, green tea, weightloss, yadda yadda yadda, boosts metabolism, etc etc. For 2015, though, it’s not about just any old green tea - this is matcha green tea. Made from finely milled high-grade matcha leaves, which are grown in the shade, matcha boasts 130 times more anti-oxidants than your bog standard green tea and is supposed to boost energy levels, lower stress, improve your mood and aid metabolism. It can be consumed as a regular tea, added to steamed milk for a matcha latte or even used to add a pleasant green shade and flavour to ice-cream.
6/10 Whole 30 is the new Paleo diet
Thought you were a culinary champ with your caveman-style eating plan? Well, think again, paleo is for wimps! Ok, not quite, but while people on the paleo plan cut out grains, legumes, sugar and processed foods, there is an increasing trend to paleo-fy your treats, with almond-flour pancakes, banana bread and a lot of brownies. The Whole 30 plan is a purer, stricter version of Paleo and really takes you back to basics when it comes to eating natural foods. The 30-day plan bans scales as well as sugar and alcohol, so that you can concentrate on nourishment rather than weight.
7/10 Fermenting is the new sprouting
Just when we thought we were ahead of the game by starting to sprout our own seeds and with sprouted flours creeping on to the market, the health set had to kick it up a notch. Now it’s all about making your own kombucha (fermented tea), sauerkraut or kimchi (both kinds of pickled cabbage). Fermented foods are said to aid digestion thanks to the creation of enzymes and probiotics in the process. Plus they tend to be high in B-vitamins and Omega-3 fatty acids. Think of it as the new jam-making, and break out those mason jars.
8/10 Banana flour is the new coconut flour
Coconut flour was one of the coolest baking ingredients of the year, beloved by Paleo fans. Its highly absorbent qualities mean you only need a tiny bit for baking, keeping your creations low carb but resulting in the odd dry-crumbly-mess baking fail. Banana flour is the next flour to experiment with. Made from green bananas (and no, not banana-flavoured), it is gluten free and light in texture, so ideal for baking. High in resistant starch, which is effective against colon cancer, obesity, and diabetes, it is already being lauded for its nutritional benefits in Africa and South America, and will surely start to become much more visible on health-food shop shelves in the near future.
9/10 Bulletproof coffee is the new soy latte
Nowadays it is possible to walk into almost any cafe and order a soy latte without being eyeballed as a lunatic by the person behind the counter. But would you have the guts to request a stick of butter in your morning brew? Well, some coffee shops are offering exactly that. Bulletproof coffee is a paleo-friendly invention which involves a black coffee with a dollop of coconut oil or butter. Bleurgh. But advocates say it gives you more slow-release energy, sharpens your brain and helps you to focus - and even that it is delicious. Now the theory has been expanded into a whole ‘Bulletproof’ diet plan, rich in fat. Who wants to bet on when Starbucks will give it a shot?
10/10 Tiger nuts are the new almonds
2014 was a good year for almonds. Gym-goers and raw foodists alike carried around a stash for healthy, protein-rich snacking, almond-milk lattes were quaffed, and almond flour featured in so many paleo and gluten-free treats. Now tiger nuts, or ‘earth almonds’ (yes, really), are about to vie for snacking superiority. Tiger nuts are not nuts, but the tubers of the sedge plant. Originally a key food source for Paleolithic Indians, they have until recently been used as animal feed or a side dish in South America, Africa and the Middle East, or in Hispanic companies made into a sweet, milky drink called horchata. But now the hipsters have got their hands on it, drying, roasting and flavouring with the likes of sweet chilli for an on-the-go snack. High in healthy fats, protein and natural sugar, it is rich in energy content, and thought to help prevent heart disease and improve circulation.
They apply this “You can’t look after yourselves” logic to almost every policy proposition they have. Take smoking for example: you can't enjoy a cigarette if you as an adult so choose to, despite the numerous health warnings we’ve had for decades. So Labour banned it indoors. But that wasn’t enough. Now we have graven images on all cigarette packages, and they’ve got to be locked away in cupboards in the supermarkets so that we can’t see them. As if looking at a packet of cigarettes is what drives people to smoke.
But that wasn’t enough either. Now, Labour, along with most Tories, I might add, want to stop cigarette companies having any branding on their packets at all. Plain packaging, they call it. I call it a deliberate and nonsensical imposition on a market worth around £12bn to the Treasury, and which keeps around 66,000 people in jobs.
But forget the financials, or the employment figures, as Labour are so willing to do. Instead, let’s focus on the evidence. Does plain packaging really stop people smoking? The best example we have is in Australia, where since plain packaging was introduced in 2012, household expenditure on tobacco has actually increased. And so has the black market in cigarettes.
These are the effects of banning things that should be readily available to responsible adults in a free society. Not, as the meddlesome politicians will try to tell you, a response that they would like to see. But rather quite the opposite.
I’m not saying we’re about to see a black market in Frosties in the UK. But if we examine the evidence before us, Labour’s plans to interfere in people’s private and hopefully responsible choices can scarcely be thought of as a positive contribution to the country. And what’s next? Regulating the price of a loaf of bread?Reuse content