The other day, I saw a British television program that made a count-down of the worst to best national diets in the world. The Seventh-day Adventists were also featured, even though they are not a nation as such. They get very good grades for a diet that results from believing that sugar highs and alcohol stupors disconect you from God. Sweden, grouped with Norway and Denmark, made it to 6th place, and Iceland won. Italy and Greece got second place for the famous Mediterranean diet with the olive oil. Russia was ranked low because of all the vodka, and the Japanese got minus-points for the salty soy sauce.
I was really upset, and so was the presenter (who complete lost his cheerful expression and cried), by a visit to a Mexican dentist’s office, where a 7 year old girl, whose teeth were completely rotted away by horrid junk food and soda, was fitted with false teeth. Apparently, the Mexicans ate well twenty-some years ago, but after making a trade agreement with the US, the country is now awash with processed foods and soda drinks, which is sold even to school children. I find it sad that a nation that has so many great food traditions to offer the world is instead mostly connected with an industrial scale poisoning of its most vulnerable inhabitants.
The bottom line is to keep food as fresh as possible. Fish should preferably be eaten raw; use lots of greens, ferment, and drink water. Also, take two-hour lunches like the French (if you can) and don’t snack.
I had all this in mind while making dinner today. It was fast-food, really. I microwaved some mashed potatoes from a few days ago, fried a piece of cod, cut up some lettuce and tomato, and made a simple gravy with a dollop of butter, salt, pepper, and a squirt of Worchestershire sauce (which is a fermented fish sauce, which originates from the old Roman garum sauce).
I have been thinking a lot about how I need to update our eating habits in the autumn, when I will be getting less exercise (also, I think I am menopausal, which will surely slow down the metabolism). This program provided me with a reminder to keep it simple, and why not keep it Swedish?