Sunday, July 08, 2007


Don't look at the 800 grams, it's irrelevent, it'll go eventually but all hail and welcome to the 130's.

I've always had a lot of time for Dr. Rosemary Stanton but she's wigging out a bit these days.
Her latest theory is that we should go back to wartime food rationing as she thinks a 1940's diet could control the epidemic of obesity afflicting Australia.

Now the typical wartime weekly diet was:
Meat: 900g
Butter: 450g
Sugar: 450g
Vegetables: Unlimited

Today's typical weekly diet:
Meat: 1.9kg
Butter: 1.1kg
Sugar: 1kg
Vegetables: less than 600g

I suppose she means 1kg of sugar not just in the sugar bowl but in all the processed foods as well. I would buy 1kg of sugar every 6 months for the pantry.

Dr. Stanton says, "There was very little incidence of heart disease or diabetes during the war years, and obesity was almost unknown."

Probably because people didn't look for heart disease, diabetes killed early and obesity was just called fat and nobody took much notice. There was a war on, don't you know.

It would be nice if we could go back to growing our own vegetables, fruit and kept chooks in the back yard but who's going to look after them. Working mothers in their few spare minutes not being superwomen, working fathers, wearing a light on their heads as they weed in the dark, or maybe use the kids as slave labour as a break from a homework load that would break a professor's back.

Okay maybe a bit exaggerated but people don't have the time available these days nor do some have the ability to grow edible stuff. The fruit trees around me produce without help but everything else I've tried to nurture has withered and crawled away to die in some dark corner. My greatest triumph, six cherry tomatoes in seven years of growing the rotten plants.

Nice try Dr. Rosemary although I'd really like to try the recipe for chocolate cake that substitutes pureed prunes for butter and eggs, reducing the amount of fat to 1gm in a slice compared to 80gms in a normal cake. A pureed prune chocolate cake, sounds so yummy, praise the Imodium and pass the toilet rolls.


Shelley said...

I've never been a fan of Rosemary Stanton, she's always seemed so sad an humourless and I just want to give her some of the nice chocolate that a lovely young American man has given me, along with some nylons, for putting out.

By 'Vegetables: Unlimited' she means..potatoes..? Turnips? I'm guessing it's not red capsicum or bok choy. I'd rather die...that little bit faster...

JahTeh said...

I was thinking the old 'three veg' too, four if you count beans but only green none of those yellow or purple ones. A world without garlic, chillis, asian greens, it doesn't bear thinking about. Hungry now, Swiss mushrooms and eggs from happy chooks on Kangaroo Island.

phil said...

Rememebr Eccles in the Goons: "My mum says licorice gives you a good run for your money."

Ann ODyne said...

Ms.Stanton is so-o-o-o- wealthy from her theories, she stays slim by eating green salad made from shredded $100 bills - calories? zero!
nails' it - she is sad and humourless.
Cure for that? chocolate!

That wartime diet had absolutely NO pre-processed food in it.
No emulsifiers or stabilisers, no ingredients with a number instead of a name.
congrats on the reduction jahteh.
slowly but surely is the way to go.

Shelley said...

Not just any chocolate...

Link said...

Well congratulations, here come the twenties and counting down. Swiss mushrooms? Sounds good. I take it there not actually from Switzerland?

And by the way, at the risk of telling you something you're possibly not in the slightest bit interested in knowing. Did you know, that you when you write a post and you have the blogger page open, the little icon with the link symbol in it? If you highlight a word, click on the link and then add the address to the box that appears, voila you have an embedded link? Did you know that? (Do you give a tinkers'?) This will save you having to write out the http:// stuff.

GS said...

I think Ms Stanton has no sense of humour and this latest half-baked theory goes to prove it. Type 2 diabetes only got the notice of doctors when a drug company came up with treatments for it. Predating this, I doubt there are any reliable figures for actual prevalence of this in the 1940s.

Barbara Griggs (aka Barbara Van der Zee) wrote a great book (Food Factor) on the history of food in the UK. She does a great section on the improved health for those at home during the war. From memory the move back to wholemeal bread, the home vege garden, the limited supply of refined food and the government issue of cod liver oil had a lot to do with it.

Without reading Stanton's premise the other major thing she's leaving out of the mix is that we are a lot more sedentary. The average person would walk or cycle most days and expend a lot more energy than even the hardiest gym junkie now - just think about changes in housework alone.

Sure eat less refined food and more vegetables, but you hardly need a degree to come up with that.

hazelblackberry said...

Poor old Rosemary does seem to be losing it a bit. I saw her on a show recently advising that, "Ice cream is a treat that children should enjoy in moderation. About once a year."

R.H. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
R.H. said...

George Orwell's wife, working for the BBC during the food shortages of World War 2, published a recipe for lamb roast without the lamb. She was a bit embarrassed at suggesting it, but one wonders whether cranky old George would have noticed the difference anyway.

JahTeh said...

Phil, you beast, I love licorice but my blood pressure is high enough. Did you know licorice puts it through the roof?

Ann o'dyne, my mother remembers at the start of the war, living well because they had a cow for milk and cream,(scalded cream) an apricot tree for jam, country fresh sausages and fresh bread from the bakery. You notice she doesn't remember vegetables.

Link, that is very instructive and I got every word up to 'Did you know' Remember I'm dealing with crazylady, brain tends to freeze.
Swiss mushrooms look like portobello mushrooms but smaller and I ended up making a pasta sauce with yellow capsicum, chilli, tomatoes and the mushrooms, topped with parmesan cheese. Had it Sunday, Monday and the rest tonight. I tell you I was an army cook in a former life.

AOF, not just cod liver oil but using rose hips for Vitamin C. Did you ever see the programme on the ABC about the wartime house which followed the rationing in a reality type situation?
I know any really thin person in the 30's and 40's usually had TB not anorexia.

Hazelblackberry, that is heresy. Icecream is one of the staple food groups just down from chocolate. I do remember having a banana split as a treat when I was a kid, 3 scoops of different flavoured ice-cream, one banana, chocolate and raspberry syrup, whipped cream, sprinkled with crushed nuts. Give a kid that now and you'd be arrested for child abuse.

Stephan Clark said...

I think Stanton forgets that there were powdered eggs and milk during the war. That there must have been issues with vitamin deficiency.
I suppose this is not her point.
I have lost more than 70 kgms in the last two years and one thing that I do notice (because I cannot eat quantity of food )is the absolutely enormous quantities of food that get served up in restaurants and pubs.
And we eat it!
I think the problem is the fridge, we have easy food on tap all the time. And my problem was that I just used to eat continuously.
So I ended up double my weight.
As I said to my wife. I have actually eaten all the food that I am supposed to have eaten, and have still got a couple of decades to go!

Unknown said...

Back in the 1940s the Sunday roast, cooked in dripping and the dripping with the roast beef bits was then saved and used during the week and also as "bread and dripping". And then there was lard. And you wouldn't have been able to buy either heart smart mince or tofu. And, if you were like my grandmother, it was meat three times a day!

Middle Child said...

My very favourite is lamb cutlets uncrumbed but fried in butter...spuds mashed, pumkin ( insult intended), or orange sweet potato with coriander nmashed in it, peas, beans and or brussel sprouts and carrots...mmmm

I just had my cholesterol tested which is all shit anyway, but for the record I came in at 3 and all good cholesterol, which I think suprised the long lean and very correct doctor because it was a particularly blowsy day for liver test was a bit out...have no idea why ; )

I wish we would all stop fixating on what we should and should not do and just bloody well live...

Its all a big pharmaceutical con job anyway...