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British Expat Newsletter:
26 October 2005

Hello, and welcome to those who have joined up since our last newsletter.

In this issue

  • This week: You are what you eat
  • Virtual Snacks
  • Bizarre Searches
  • Joke and quotation

This week

One of the most interesting discussions we’ve had on the forum this week has been about food additives.

Do we really have to put up with all the additives that get bunged into processed foods by the manufacturer? (I’m not talking about things like bunging brick dust into spices to bulk them out, which was one of the favourite tricks of some of the more unscrupulous market stall holders in Bangladesh. Obviously no-one needs to eat brick dust, unless it’s a particularly bizarre pregnant woman’s craving.) Many of these are added for cosmetic or flavour-enhancing purposes – but those aren’t always their only effects.

There’s a much-hyped book available in the UK right now called You Are What You Eat by nutritionist Gillian McKeith. I must admit I haven’t read the book and have no intention of doing so. I can’t stand people preaching to me about how I should live my life and this woman seems as though she would be one of those odious types. Sorry if I’ve misjudged her, but she seems like yet another good reason to flee the UK.

Despite wanting to run a couple of thousand miles from this particular woman, I must admit she does have a point. There definitely appears to be some connection between food and behaviour. Additives, in particular, are notorious for causing behavioural changes. I’m sure a lot of you – especially parents – will be familiar with some of the more notorious additives, like tartrazine (also known as E102) or Sunset Yellow (E110), which are not recommended for use in foods for children because they cause hyperactivity, rashes and other undesirable reactions. There are all sorts of “new” syndromes for all these various hyperactive behaviour, but as yet no one has officially labelled them “too much intake of bad additives syndrome”.

Now, I am not a fan of the nanny state, and I do believe that we should be able to make up our own minds about things. To do that we need information. Proper information, that is. Not a load of misleading gumf. Mind you, some people don’t seem to question what they’re told anyway. If some processed rubbish has the word “healthy” on it, they believe it must be healthy. “Reduced sugar” must be good, regardless of how much sugar still remains in the product. And “low fat” must be good for you even though it still has 20% fat. (Is anyone really taken in by packaging labelled “80% fat free”?)

Processed food has more additives, and often much of the content that’s good for you is removed or neutralised. Dave and I don’t generally eat that rubbish (although Dave’s known to have the occasional sausage sandwich) – not because we’re health freaks but simply because we don’t like the taste of it. It’s not difficult to prepare your own fresh food. But gee, I’m starting to sound like that woman I wanted to avoid.
What gets bunged into the food where you are? Do you have anything to say about this topic, or do you have some suggestions for other issues we might discuss in our weekly email? Why not tell us about it? Please comment!

Virtual Snacks

I managed to track down an interesting book review of the McKeith book (You Are What You Eat) by a pretty sceptical reviewer:
[Obsolete link removed]

And if you want to find out which foods contain the most dodgy additives, including a list of children’s foods like jelly, sweets and pop, there’s a wealth of information at ukfoodguide.net:
ukfoodguide.net

Here’s a fun link to a piece about how we survived all the things that are banned or frowned upon these days.
[Obsolete link removed]

Bizarre Searches

Some strange search terms which have led people to visit British Expat recently:

  • great britain s police suit
  • straw-like garnish
  • spain and toilet
  • coitus interruptus in china
  • pitchers of indian people doing sex
  • spotty dick pudding
  • euphemisms for embarrassment
  • russian decorating
  • music – performed by man in clown costume
  • hound dog s howlin all forlorn
  • what is the japanese favour food
  • you were made for me freddie dreamers fun dance

Till next time…
Happy surfing!

Kay
Editor
British Expat Magazine

Quotation

“A man hath no better thing under the sun than to eat, and to drink and to be merry.”
– The Bible (Ecclesiastes 8:15)

Joke

An aeroplane full of a shipment of Pepsi flying over Africa has a malfunction, and goes down.

The Pepsi Company sends a rescue plane to look for the crashed aircraft. The rescue team search the area and find a tribe of cannibals. They go up to the Chief of the tribe and ask him if he knows anything about the crash.

The Chief says, “You betcha!”

When asked where the crew was, the Chief replies, “We ate the crew, and we drank the Pepsi.”

The rescue crew are shocked. One man asks, “Did you eat their legs?”

The Chief replies, “We ate their legs, and we drank the Pepsi.”

Another rescuer asks, “Did you eat their arms?”

The Chief replies, “We ate their arms, and we drank the Pepsi.”

After looking totally horrified for a minute, a third asks, “Did you…you know…eat, their…’things’?”

The Chief says, “No.”

“No?” asks the rescuer.

“No,” replies the Chief, “THINGS go better with Coke.”

PG Author: Kay McMahon

Kay has been an expat for nearly 30 years. She set up the British Expat website back in early 2000, whilst living in London and missing the expat life. These days she spends much of her time lugging computers and cameras around the world. (Dave gets to deal with all the really heavy stuff.)

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