It has always struck me that education is very unbalanced in most schools around the world, concentrating more on maths and science, which most people will only use a tiny part of for the rest of their lives, compared to health and nutrition which they need every day of their lives. And on which their very lives depend!
You might be reading a menu full of interesting but relatively unknown items, or browsing through the whole food section of a supermarket wondering which food groups are better for you and which are better left untouched. You vaguely remember that this item contributes to diabetes, or heart disease, or liver problems, or was it that other one?
Remembering your trigonometry and laws of radiation or gravitation won’t help you in this situation, ever. But knowing your food groups will!
So why is health and nutrition not a mandatory part of all school curricula? Maybe it is in some countries but so often it’s not backed up with the cooking lessons to give every individual the ability to feed themselves well. That would be an amazing set of skills to give every child.
But then it gets better. Understanding food early, learning to ignore the fast food marketing, learning how to enjoy a fresh salad and a pasta over French fries or pancakes overflowing with maple syrup, is going to lead to lower weight, less obesity, and greater mobility, which in turn leads to greater fitness and usually better health. This is the best virtuous cycle in human existence, yet we ignore it.
Greater fitness combined with better health means less strain on the health services, less sick leave, better concentration at work and probably better love lives as well! The benefits are literally endless culminating in the ultimate benefit – longer life spans with better lifestyle lasting into later life. What more can one hope for?
Why? All because of a greater understanding of food: the goods & the bads, the do’s & the don’ts, the more’s and the lesses, and with this knowledge we can enjoy our food more knowing everything we are eating (well nearly!) is good for us. So please, education departments around the world, take note, we need you to educate our young on the most important aspects of their lives not the least. Just ask the billionaire inventor/scientist who has just had a heart attack what he would rather know today.
I’ll bet it’s not physics and maths!
Welcome to Bali where the choice of food and the quality are absolutely fantastic!
So enjoy every meal but – as with your alcohol – always consume sensibly!
Alistair G. Speirs, OBE