Thursday, May 11, 2006

Food for thought

One of the strangest sights I ever saw occurred during the Manchester Uunited versus Charlton Athletic football match last week. Rio Ferdinand, the United and England center-back, collapsed to the ground apparently injured. The referee called on the United physiotherapist who supplied Ferdinand with a packet of McVitie's Chocolate Digestive biscuits to eat. It seems that the cause of his distress was that he was hungry, poor thing.

I wondered at the time whether this was an advertising stunt. Would we see in days to come advertisments for McVitie's biscuits showing Ferdinand revived on the field by their miraculous confectionary? But reflecting on it, I have seen tennis players at Wimbledon eating bananas between sets. Is their something wrong with the diets of modern atheletes?

The current popular injury among English footballers is a fractured metatarsal. So far the following have suffered: Michael Owen, David Beckham, Ledley King, Gary Neville, Ashley Cole, and Wayne Rooney (twice). The boots are blamed. Not for them the heavy leather clod-hoppers, smeared with dubbin, and soaked in the bath to shrink them to their feet; todays carpet slippers with studs don't protect the feet. But we don't see the same injury in Spain or Italy.

Perhaps the answer lies in the diet. The only food item that impacts on bones is Vitamin D. This vitamin is found in dairy food and is also manufactured in the skin when it is exposed to sunlight. One serious possiblitity being looked at by experts is that cows in Britain don't get enough sunshine. In Spain or Italy the sun always shines, but the murky skies over Britain deny the cows the opportunity to make vitamin D. Added to this the curent crop of youngsters never got their school milk the way we did. When she was education minister Margaret Thatcher thought this was an extravagance and took it away (Margaret Thatcher-milk snatcher).

So England may fail to win the World cup next month because of Mrs Thatcher and the murky skies of the North West where little Wayne grew up.


Anonymous said...

I was unaware that the only way milk can be consumed in the UK is through the government.

Don't you have grocery stores there were parents can buy milk for their children?

Unfortunate if you don't.

Anonymous said...

Well, send some of those cows over to Arizona. We have lots of sunshine. I wish you wouldn't mention Thatcher's milk decrees. Bush is apt to pick up on it and restrict milk to the wealthiest 10%.

Anonymous said...

Actually to start with a typical English word. We Brits, I was a Scot Brit, we older Brits were the first recipients of a Healthcare Trial. I believe it was the Wartime Government 50% Labour and 50% Conservative who started this trial,we the recipients are the beneficiaries. Milk in UK was delivered door to door by private milkmen also and sold in grocery stores. It would be a good idea if Bush did adopt some of Brit Government ideas for America.

Anonymous said...

I also have to mention McVities Choclate Digestives and Digestives. They are sold in USA. I have a private stash which I raid while viewing, "As time Goes By" or some other nostalgic show. However just as in wartime, I have to ration myself. Now that is another thing I learned as a child brought up in wartime UK. The Government introduced rationing. Perhaps that is why in a recent poll comparing Brits with Americans, Brits are more healthy. The enlightened parents passed it on to their children and we see the result in the present generation. A coalition government 50% Dems and 50% Reps just maybe would unite Red and Blue States and benefit the vast majority of citizens in USA.

Terry Hamblin said...

Whimsy and irony are two features of British humor that do not travel well.

Anonymous said...

An American says:

Of course my point is that you really don't have to depend upon the government. You really can do things for yourself.

Perhaps the words of the conservative Democrat Jack Kennedy said it best; Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Kennedy also lowered taxes that continued at a very high rate under the Eisenhower administration.

Were that there were more Democrats such as that!