First the good news. The Plan has worked. I am now solvent for the foreseeable future and will be able to reduce my day job and spend more time writing. I can also accumulate some savings again and will have a zero balance on my credit card once more. Seven years of penury has finally come to an end.
And now… the bad news.
There is salt in your food. Yes, really. Don’t believe it? Well, see for yourself.
Clicking should biggify the image
The logical conclusion of that little snippet is that two slices of Dominos pizza or a Big Mac and fries are a healthier choice than vegetarian soup made out of tomatoes and leaves. Which is fine with me (although I prefer to buy a pizza and cook it at home, it’s cheaper and I can add more cheese, chillis, pepperoni and salt).
It’s also a lie, as far as I’m concerned. I add a lot of salt to chips (fries, for the weird countries out there). A lot. I rarely add any salt to soup – admittedly this is in large part caused by my rare intake of soup but even so.
This is a comparison of utterly different foods. I suppose it is possible to make a Big Mac and fries soup if you have a good blender, but you’ll never get a vegetarian soup to sit still in a bread roll. Take my word for it, soup sandwiches are definitely a failed experiment.
In days of yore, sailors would subsist on barrels of salted roast pork or beef. Not just a bit of salt rubbed in. This was a barrel of roast meat filled to the brim with salt. There was a very good reason for this.
Bacteria can only grow if there is available water. There can be as much water as you like but if it’s tied up in dissolving things then it is not available for metabolism. This is how jam works and why low sugar jam soon becomes a fungus jungle. The sugar is there not to feed the microbes, but to tie up all the water so the bugs can’t get at it.
Likewise with the salt. Artificial preservatives were all taken away a long time ago so if you want things to last, you have to use the old, natural methods and one of them is salt. It ties up the water so the bugs can’t grow. In particular, the one they wanted to avoid was botulism.
This is food poisoning, a distinct and very different thing from food borne diseases like Salmonella. The beastie in question, Clostridium botulinum, does not cause any infection. The bacterium is, in itself, harmless. However, when it grows in food it produces 15 different neurotoxins and not all of them are destroyed by cooking. It’s not the bug that gets you, it’s the poison it left behind.
Clostridium botulinum cannot grow in a high salt environment. It also prefers a no-oxygen environment such as, say, the inside of a can of soup… unless it’s salty.
Your choice is simple. Take in a lot of salt, knowing perfectly well that as long as you drink enough water your kidneys can easily remove the excess – or even believing that it will make you die a few years earlier than you would have anyway. Or, take the risk of getting a serious dose of botulism and dying in agony tomorrow. It’s not a choice most sensible people would have to spend a lot of time considering.
Or you can just get the burger and fries and lots of the tiny salt packets. It’s by far the safer option.
Slightly less bad news on the Government’s masters’ plan to mould us all into the British Standard Human. It seems the Government are not quite so keen on the idea as the likes of Jimbo Oliver would like to force them to be. The chubby champion of slimness is not getting his petulant way as fast as he wants. How dare the Government presume to question his brainless demands?
Well, they have. Or they haven’t. The British government, as usual, are dodging the issue.
Keep dodging, Cameroid. It’s what you’re expert at. Maybe you can induce heart failure in the fat heartless bastards. It’s worth a try.
Finally the very bad news. CynaraeStMary must return to Denmark soon. The longship awaits. It’s not such a terrible thing really. I will be travelling over there within two weeks and now have the funding to do it.
All I need now is a place with fewer stairs and a garden. A place more little-dog and underdog friendly.
It shouldn’t take too long.