Five a day was hard enough. But now it’s been doubled. TEN portions of fruit and vegetables which must be eaten, every day, in order to live longer, be healthy and cost the NHS less. So – very important to adhere to. But is not everyone – apart from the MD at Innocent Smoothies, who must feel he has died and gone to Payola Heaven – greeting this latest diktat with a sinking heart?
How on earth are these 10 portions going to appear, and in what guise? Let’s look at the average day. Bar the obligatory orange juice, breakfast is a pretty barren zone, unless you are going to spend hours fiddling around with grapefruit. And unless Special K Raspberry Choc Bars count, which I suspect they don’t.
Lunch? If you are a sandwich person, not much joy there either. Save the tooth-cloying hummus route, in which case good luck to you, most decent sandwiches are effectively solid slabs of protein stuck between two slices of carbs. You could finish off with a banana or an apple, I suppose.
Which leaves you munching through at least seven different portions of fruit and veg at night, which is great for vegans but pretty grim for the rest of us, who rely on those simple staples such as chicken, spag bol, chilli con carne, fish fingers, cottage pie, stew, and pepperoni pizza to feed themselves and their families. The traditional supper menu, in other words.
Quick, simple to cook, easy to freeze, no problem to heat up, everyone likes them, vaguely nutritious, curiously calming, easily recognisable, won’t terrify the very old and the very young. Now? Off limits unless laced with industrial quantities of kale, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, swede and other things that we know everyone hates. Spinach curry, anyone?