Almost everything most people think about food, and what we are told, is completely wrong.
Fact – Fat doesn’t make you fat. Butter is good for you. So is cream. And skimmed milk is a way of making ourselves needlessly miserable.
Sugar, not fat, is the menace to our lives. And this has been known since 1972 when a brave scientist, John Yudkin, wrote a book – Pure, White And Deadly – showing it was so. He and his unfashionable message were buried in abuse.
Even now, people are getting needlessly fat and dying of horrible diseases because the anti-fat (and pro-sugar) myth still hasn’t been completely dispelled. It will be, but these things take time. I mention this not just because it’s true, but because it’s an example of how thoughtless worship of scientists gets us repeatedly into trouble.
But scientists disagree among themselves and are often wrong. The obvious argument against skimmed-milk is that decades of this policy have left us with more fat people than ever. But we should not have had to wait so long.
There is powerful evidence against many other things now accepted as true, and often very weak evidence for them. I’d name ‘antidepressant’ pills, ‘dyslexia’, ‘ADHD’ and ‘man-made climate change’.
Those who criticise these things are angrily hushed, with righteous cries of ‘How dare you!’ Yet I believe in all these cases the critics will be proved right, as Professor Yudkin was. The miserable thing is that so much damage will be done while we wait for the truth to get the upper hand.
Be less trusting of all fashionable ideas, is my advice.
Sarah is a British expat living in Bahrain. This is her first article for Bahrain Confidential.