Tuesday, November 29, 2005

In Praise of Olive Oil

Recent research has discovered that olive oil does more to reduce the risk of cardio-vascular diseases than even wholemeal bread.
Although I approve of the outcome of this study, and I hope that the ban on fat will finally be lifted, I believe that isolated research cannot tell us about the whole functioning of a human body; that it cannot tell what is good and what is not; that it cannot replace human instinct.
Isn’t it obvious that anything that is produced naturally must be better for you than such amorphous blobs as “chicken nuggets”, or nondescript sauces from a bottle? That bread, in which you can taste the grains, must be healthier than foam rubber Wonderbread from the supermarket? I do not need expensive research to prove that!
Oil used to be unhealthy, because fattening. Nonsense! By the same token science outlawed breastfeeding for a while, because it was unhygienic, later to bring it back in with flying colours for the healthy babies it produced.
And more devastating was this command: crying babies should not be picked up and cuddled, because that would “spoil” them. Generations of poor mothers fought against their instinct to comfort their children. Until research found out that touch is essential for the growth of children.
Yet human instinct is still not permitted to be a gauge of what is right and what is wrong. Thus, many of us have stopped listening to our inner voice.

I doubt that science will ever look at the whole of life’s aspects in a commonsensical way, but at least olive oil is allowed back on our menus!

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