If so much of what I eat is dangerous, how am I still alive?

In the last week alone, medical experts discovered there’s a link between something called 'ultra-processed' foods and cancer and that using a non-stick frying pan might lead to high blood pressure and obesity

Janet Street-Porter
Friday 16 February 2018 15:21
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Apparently both the bacon AND the non-stick pan are out to get us
Apparently both the bacon AND the non-stick pan are out to get us

I don’t know how I am still alive – it must be a miracle, considering all the dangers my body is exposed to on a daily basis. Danger lurks in the fridge where a packet of Taste the Difference salami sits so invitingly, in the cupboard under the sink where the cleaning products live, and on top of my hob, where I’ve just fried an egg and bacon.

Sometimes there’s what can only be described as a “clusterf**k” of negative, doom-laden stories about our health, so no wonder a think tank has found that two thirds of us put off a visit to the GP in case we’re going to be told we have a serious illness.

In the last week alone, medical experts discovered there’s a link between something called “ultra-processed” foods and cancer, that using a non-stick frying pan might lead to high blood pressure and obesity, and that a humble cleaning spray can result in a higher risk of asthma. Unfortunately, I’d just sprayed my filthy computer keyboard with a product containing “power action bleach” so if I can’t complete this sentence, you’ll know why.

Researchers in the USA have found a link between something found in water-repellent clothing, stain-resistant fabrics, food wrapping and cosmetics, and a slower metabolism, which means we should be eating less to maintain a healthy weight and avoid heart attacks. I can’t see the link between my anorak and flab, especially as I am wearing it to tramp through the snow and mud and burn calories, but I’m just a normal superfit pensioner, not a highly trained medico.

In more worrying news, scientists reckon that air pollution resulting from the use of products like deodorants, cleaners, shampoo and even perfumes could be as damaging for our health as toxic fumes from vehicles. These products contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds), pollutants that can leak into the environment. New public health advice recommends we avoid buying any product with a strong perfume. I think I’ll have a short lie down, and check my pulse to see if I’m still breathing in an hour’s time.

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