Monday, February 08, 2010

Apples were the least of Eve's worries

Healthy living they call it - all the food gurus, dieticians and the lifestyle experts who all seem to have the same optician and hairdresser. I thought I would try this "healthy living" because (1) I have tried just about everything else in my life (2) I was fed up with my stomach arriving at my destination three seconds ahead of the rest of me.

I thought I would start with fruit. Can't go wrong with fruit I told myself. Little did I know I was taking my life in my hands as I puffed and panted my way into the world of healthy living.

Take plums for example. I remembered eating those as a kid in Wales. On Saturdays I would buy myself a bag of plums and eat them while watching Grandstand on TV. You would think they were safe would you not? Wrong mate - in the wrong hands they can be lethal. Plum seeds contain cyanogenetic glycosides, including amygdalin These substances are capable of decomposing into a sugar molecule and hydrogen cyanide gas.

Hydrogen Cyanide gas!

So that's why the Coalition of The Blackmailed went to war - Blair and Bush were advised by elite intelligence agencies that Saddam Hussein had a secret horde of Damson plums! Plums may be a useful laxative but not half as effective as Blair and Bush!

Bitter almonds are even worse! According to Wikipedia, the bitter almond is rather broader and shorter than the sweet almond, and contains about 50% of the fixed oil which also occurs in sweet almonds. It also contains the enzyme emulsin which, in the presence of water, acts on a soluble glucoside, amygdalin, yielding glucose, cyanide and the essential oil of bitter almonds, which is nearly pure benzaldehyde. Bitter almonds may yield from 4–9 mg of hydrogen cyanide per almond!

By heck, I would hate to be a Muslim in Britain going into Tesco to buy a kilo of plums and a kilo of bitter almonds. Britain's elite ant-terror squad who specialize in Manchester United season ticket holders and innocent Brazilians, would have a field day!

Maybe mangos would be safer? I wouldn't bet on it. The pith contains a sap that can burn your lips and make them swell!

Not to worry, there are always grapes to fall back on. What possible harm can grapes do I asked myself as I selected a nice bunch of "Midnight Beauty" seedless. That was before I spotted the sign above the trays warning, "May have have come into contact with sulphur dioxide".

I have only just begun the Healthy Lifestyle regime and already I feel I am in danger of ending up with more chemicals inside me than Keith Richard. I haven't even mentioned the fruit being gassed, frozen, then picked up in shops and supermarkets by shoppers whose hands have been God knows where.

I don't know too much about fruit - but I do know I didn't have to worry too much about chemical warfare with a packet of onion and chives crisps!

Right, that's it for the night. I am off to enjoy a nice healthy water melon - if I don't choke on the seeds!

Wherever you may be - be safe

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