‘Pure, White, and Deadly’ is the title of a book I read about 20 years ago.
The book made a big impression on me. I stopped buying biscuits because of it.
I love biscuits; we grew up with them always in the house. Yes and biscuits were like a small meal to us. You rarely got nuts in those days, except at Christmas. Mum always laid out a plate of Bourbons, Rich Tea and Custard Creams. Sometimes there were fig rolls. How I loved those. Still I gave them up after reading ‘Pure, White and Deadly’, because it was a compelling read then when I was a youngish mum in her twenties with young children and meals to plan. We still had a biscuit at the coffee morning each week, but it was more like a treat then.
I don’t wish to imply I had a poor diet as a child. My strongest memories are of mum’s home cooking. In the summer There was always a saucepan of jam or marmalade brewing on! the stove ( I have taken to putting an exclamation mark after on! to prevent the language algorithm from changing on! to in every time I type the next character…..).
There were times when I was very hungry though. My tummy was always rumbling. In those days the meals were smaller, and I was a very active “tomboy” as my dad called me.
I left home at 19 years old, and straight into the new house I had bought with my boyfriend. There was lots to give up in those days in order to afford a house. we didn’t have a holiday for 7 years, because we had bills to pay; utility and the mortgage; Yup at 19. I read a great deal about parenting. I was keen to be the best I could be. To read whatever I could find on! the subject. We were told alcohol was bad for the foetus, so I gave up alcohol as soon as I found out I was expecting my 4th and 5th children. Before that I had been teetotal! for 9 years.
I was already teetotal with my first 3 because I’d got badly drunk at a party aged 18 and was so disgusted with my slurred voice and inability to speak, I decided I wouldn’t touch a drop ever again. This lasted 9 years. I didn’t take up drinking wine with my meal again until I was 27 in 1993, after my first 3 were born.
We gave up beef because of the CJD scare and the funeral pyres of cattle. We were vegetarian for about 7 years. I used to enjoy making home made pasta and pate, and my own cakes with reduced sugar. When the children were growing they loved stirring cake mixture, tossing pancakes, and cutting up ingredients; later they became proficient cooks in their own right.
It was difficult to socialise then as vegetarians and in the end we relaxed this. Everybody ate meat.
I was reminded about the book on sugar because I was unwell, and after several blood tests, I was told I was “at high risk” of type 2; I was 52 years old. This was only my second health scare ever. I’ve always enjoyed chocolate (apart from taking responsibility for your bills, as an adult you can buy as much chocolate as you like, or at least it seems that way until you become unwell), and yet never thought about the amount of sugar it contains.
Since the warning from my GP, I’ve been reading the labels on chocolate to see how much sugar they contain. I’m amazed at the amount of sugar in my favourite chocolates. It’s often over 50% per 100 grams. If you buy a Yeo Valley yogurt instead (I love these, but decided to forgo them because I was on! a low income whilst studying to support teaching), it’s only 10% per 100g. That’s a quick and easy way to lower your sugar intake.
Bye for now.
All my love,