Butter Me Up

News about what food is good and isn’t good for us is really tiresome. Every single week it appears there’s a new scare that carrots cause your face to disintegrate or too many cashew nuts make your spleen explode. Generally its not something I pay attention to and anyone who has seen my substantial gut will know that I tend to eat what I like. However, this isn’t to say I’m not influenced by whatever hype is currently pumped into my brain via the news tube and yesterday’s news about butter got me a tad worried. I bloody love butter. Its a bit brilliant. I will quite happily eat toast with nothing but butter on it. Its a pretty versatile food source working as a spread, a cooking oil, a culinary play-do (if its cold enough you can mold small lurpak men from it), a lube (as shown in Last Tango in Paris) and if you cover a stone floor in it, a slippy death trap. How can it not be ace?

I used to be a margarine fan, on account of it being healthier and more spreadable, but then I was informed that margarine is full of evil things and all the saturated fats that are contained within marg actually end up being worse for you than the pure butter stuff. I was told this by all sorts of websites, clever people and my nan. My nan knows things. So I swapped marg for butter and have been chomping away assuming I shall now be all fine. Then Shyam Kolvekar said in the news yesterday that he wants butter banned due to its contributing factor in heart disease. Bollocks. I’ll be honest, I don’t know who he is, or how important his opinion is, but it was on BBC Breakfast so I paid attention. I find Bill Turnbull has a way of making things seem important in the same way Kate Silverton has a way of constantly looking like a poor man’s Natasia Kaplinsky.

The cholesterol thing worries me as last time I went to the GP’s I was told I have ‘really good cholesterol levels for a normal person but not for someone with diabetes’. I asked him what on earth this meant and he explained that I have a history of heart disease. I told him I didn’t. He disagreed. I then checked with my family and no one, ever ever in our family, has ever had heart disease. At my hospital they also told me my cholesterol level was fine. On speaking the GP again at the clinic he completely ignored me and prescribed me cholesterol tablets. This appears to be the way he operates, on a purely ‘NHS statistics’ level. I assume he gets a nice little paycheck for these tablets in the same way he wants me to have a blood test right after Christmas, when my diabetic blood sugars will be all hugely wrong. So as a stand against him, I have refused to do either. Take that doctor head! But while this feels rebellious on one level, the other part of me is constantly worried that he’s right and I’m just signing my death wish.

So I have spent much of the last 48 hours having a mediocre middle class crisis as to just what to spread on my bread that won’t kill me. Some sort of low-fat, soya based spread? Then if you research that it contains things that possibly contribute to cancer. How about the ones that are meant to be good for your heart? They’ll eventually turn half your body into a cyborg and you’ll turn to human flesh for sustenance. Or something. Cyanide doesn’t have any saturated fats in it. Maybe that’d be better than any of them. And then after all that stress I read that Shyam Kolvekar had made the statement via the same press office as Unilever who are in charge of Flora which makes all those hardcore butter eaters scoff and say ‘well he would say that then’. Who knows? I, most certainly don’t. I do know that Last Tango in Paris would’ve seemed odd if he’d pulled out the Flora though and so in memory of Brando I’ll eat butter on toast for at least another few days till someone tells me toast makes your brain melt.

Last quick non-butter related note: I went to watch, as a punter type, the London Comedy Improv night last night at the Pigalle in Picadilly Circus. It was another brilliant evening and I highly recommend joining their FB group or following them on twitter @LondonImprov, if only in the hope you’ll see them do a news article entitled ‘Pope Kills Again’ again.