Jack Averty: Through the good times and bad food’s always on the menu
Food glorious food, dum dum dum dum duuumm…
You can guarantee there’ll be someone spontaneously breaking into this song somewhere in the country reliving those school drama days as a nice steaming hot plate of food is plonked in front of them.
The immensely popular tune is one we all know, and yet everyone can only recall about three words of it.
Another classic – ‘It’s the final countdown, do do do do doooo’ – is a big contender for the title of best (and least) known song.
But the rest of the lyrics to the Oliver classic are irrelevant, food glorious food tells you everything you need to know– us Brits simply love our food.
It’s universally popular stuff, more people eat food than listen to Justin Bieber or support Manchester United.
Our relationship with food is almost like that of a best friend. Feeling down and need a pick me up? That family size bar of Cadbury dairy milk will always be waiting for you with open arms (or foil).
It is more comforting than having someone tell you everything is going to be ok – who needs human interaction when food gives you all the comfort you need without even opening its non-existent mouth?
And vice versa – got a friend laying all their problems on you? There is none of that rubbish with food. Just imagine the blissful quiet of a moment alone with a tub of ice cream – it doesn’t sit there whining, telling you about all the horrors it has seen at the ice cream factory or how it’s had a really tough day sat in the sun slowly melting.
Food, like a life partner, also shares the good times with you. When people reminisce about their best days you can guarantee they remember a really good meal they had that day. All these people hailing their wedding day as the best day of their lives, do you think that would have been the case if there wasn’t cake?
What about all the dads saying the birth of their first born is the best day of their lives? Well don’t forget that trip to the canteen Dad had to take for a bacon roll while waiting for baby to make its appearance.
Food is always there, but that is where the problems come in.
Not every day is a euphoric high with a freshly made spaghetti carbonara for dinner, no, in fact, as we are all aware, life can throw some pretty stinking days our way.
We’ve all had stressful days and look forward to shoving a pizza in the oven for a quick, but satisfying meal. However most know the horror of forgetting that meat feast only to make a quick dash to the kitchen, open the oven door and be greeted with a puff of black smoke and your base burnt to a crisp. Suddenly your day goes from poor to awful.
Like a best friend, food can also be your sworn enemy.
Food is what stops the majority of us from having killer model bodies, it’s nothing to do with willpower and laziness, food is simply too damn nice.
How can a good body be possible when mac and cheese exists?
Ever stood in front of the mirror pushing that belly flab out as far as humanly possible and back in again? Then eyeing up the cupboards thinking how you could chuck it all away and just eat celery for the next 40 years? There is no singing of food glorious food at this time.
But what about when you are feeling low and need that pick me up that doesn’t involve someone non-stop talking about the Kardashians?
All these people you see with their ‘great bodies’ haven’t eaten a carb in about a decade, yes they have killed off their sworn enemy but in the same breath they have also got rid of their true best friend. There will be no chocolate when the dark days hit, just feelings of deep despair as they desperately avoid snapping at their human best friend who doesn’t feel or taste like nice food and won’t stop talking.
That is not to say we can go the other way, nice food can pick us up when we are down but it is not something we can binge on. We like to think that our favourite sweets are like a top box set, the more we eat and indulge the better we feel.
But that isn’t true really, regardless of how we try and convince ourselves otherwise. That feeling of a dry throat and an oversized belly in the morning is fair enough evidence that overeating really is not good for us.
The obesity crisis currently gripping the nation shows that a lot of us love our food and indulge that sweet tooth just a tad too much.
Latest figures show that more than 60 per cent of the nation is classed as overweight. Now that could be that two-thirds of the nation have consistently terrible days and always need a pick me up. Or, more realistically, it could be that we love to binge on food that is no good for our long-term health. Like anything, food just needs to be viewed rationally. We need more of the good stuff on balance, but having some of the bad stuff in moderation is not exactly the end of the world.
Best friend or sworn enemy, food is just something we cannot live without.