Birds, bees, and fennel ice cream

There are two kinds of people in the world. There are those who, confronted with an open bottle of wine in their kitchen which they know they will not get round to drinking (because of a line-up of dinner engagements elsewhere for the next few days, for example), will let that bottle stand there until garbage collection day and then get round to throwing it out. Then there are those who, confronted with the prospect of wasting an opened bottle of wine, will go out and buy ingredients valued at three times what they paid for the bottle of wine, and make coq au vin.

I belong to the latter.

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No, *this* is why you’re fat

So I finally got round to watching the first episode of The Men Who Made Us Fat, the three- part BBC documentary currently screening on BBC 2, presented by Jacques Peretti. As its name suggests, it tells the story of how obese people became so through no fault of their own. In an only slightly novel twist on this now-tired ground, we are encouraged to not just blame high fructose corn syrup, but the men who made HFCS happen (legislators, scientists, farmers), and who helped to convince people to consume so much of the stuff (Mad Men).

If you haven’t read or seen much to do with obesity (fat chance!), you’d be in for an engaging tale that would fairly likely convince you that high fructose corn syrup is the problem, and that we are powerless against its evil charms because it is addictive and toxic – not to mention that it’s in, like, everything. At least in the US, that is. HFCS has made its way across the pond in some products, but the Brits’ main problem is with eating too much normal sugar, which like its sibling HFCS, is addictive and toxic. Oh, and they also eat too many fish and chips and pies and stuff. And they probably also drink too much beer. This is the second part that we’re not responsible for: we live in obesogenic environments which conduce us to getting fat because there is too much cheap, calorific food around, and our caveman brains just can’t say no.

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