RICHARD ORD: Snack attacks prove to be a burning issue

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Hats off to the team at the Food Standards Agency who are the verge of tremendous breakthrough: they may have finally extracted all pleasure from eating.

The organisation appears to have been working its way through the list of our favourite dishes to find reasons to make us think twice about forking them into our mouths.

They, along with partner killjoy organisations, have just about uncovered health-destroying properties in all the food and drink we love to consume.

Sweet spreads, bacon sandwiches and fizzy drinks have been chewed up and spat out by these Departments of Abject Misery.

The hazelnut treat Nutella came under fire earlier this month when the European Food Standards Agency produced research suggesting that palm oil, which is found in the spread, can produce cancerous contaminants.

You can imagine the unbridled joy in the testing laboratories.

Grey-faced technicians in starched white lab coats dancing around their bubbling test tubes at another grim discovery.

I can see them giving high-fives as each colon irritating ingredient is revealed.

And it’s always something we like. I’ve yet to hear one of these food testing agencies reveal concerns about parsnips or sprouts.

You won’t have the Food Standards Agency calling a press conference to warn of the health dangers of over-boiling fennel, for example.

The reason being they haven’t bothered to put fennel through a rigorous testing regime. There’s no mileage in that.

Trifle, however, is a different matter altogether. “Put butter beans through the cancerometer? Nah, pass me the Curly Wurly instead”

The latest attack, however, appears to have defeated the Agents of Gloom.

They launched a full-scale assault on toast, arguably the nation’s favourite breakfast dish, and fell short.

They found it can cause cancer (cue whooping and an impromptu line dance in the laboratory) but only if it’s burned. Nice try. But who eats burnt toast?

“How do you like your toast?”

“Burnt to a cinder please. Actually, is there any chance you can hand it to me while still on fire? I’ll put it out myself when it’s cremated to my liking. I love ash me.”

The FSA misery-guts couldn’t even pin the cancer-causing properties on humans. The studies were carried out on mice. The poor rodents must have been force-fed burnt toast. Wonder if they put cheese on it? Tests on humans, we’re told, have so far proved inconclusive.

Not surprising really. Can’t imagine there’s too many queuing up to live on a diet of burnt toast in the name of science.

Still, the warning has gone out. Don’t eat burnt toast, particularly if you’re a mouse.

Next week: FDA warns people not to eat raw chicken livers and rancid tuna. You read it here first.