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Disability Bitch hates food fascists

4th November 2009

Readers, I have bad news. Those oh-so-scientific researchers have been at their work again, and they've found the cause of depression. I hate to break it to you, but this time the cause of feeling clinically down in the dumps is... sausages.

OK, so that's not quite what it says, but some new study suggests that a diet high in processed food increases the risk of depression. Well, isn't that just depressing?
Nigel Slater
It will come as no surprise to any of my regular readers that I LOVE PROCESSED FOOD and so do most disabled people I know. After all, the assessment for Disability Living Allowance takes into account a person's ability to prepare a cooked main meal and it's something many of us find very, very difficult. We are, if you like, wholefood-disadvantaged and thus ready-meal-ready.

I, for example, am rubbish at standing at a hob, taking trays out of ovens, carrying pans of boiling water, or doing the washing up without collapsing in a small heap. That's almost every healthy meal in the universe out of the question, then.

I am, however, very, very, very good at shovelling doughnuts into my mouth one after the other. These days my multinational supermarket of choice will even deliver them to my door, meaning I don't even have to brave the outside world or stand in long queues to acquire them.
But now I'm being told that reliance on the processed stuff may cause me to become depressed in later life. Well, I'm fighting back. I'm not about to start chewing on organic beansprouts because of some scientific research. Science, pah! Even the researchers acknowledge it may be the case that the results are misleading and it's actually the other way round: depression pushes people towards eating bad food due to low energy and the general miserableness factor.

I think it's time someone stood up for convenience food and takes a stand against this ever-growing band of wholefood puritans. Let's analyse this a bit more:
Nigel Slater
Exhibit A in my campaign is cuddly TV chef Nigel Slater, and his recent TV series Simple Suppers. You can watch it on iPlayer if you really want to, but allow me to save you the trouble: Nigel professes to make quick and easy dishes with the minimum of fuss. Funny, 'cos when I watched the programme he was doing an awful lot of prancing around on allotments.

He's not the only one: Jamie Oliver definitely had a series involving homegrown vegetables somewhere along the line, and the less said about Hugh Fearnely-Whittingstall the better. Hugh keeps his own animals, slaughters them, and prepares them for supper. How very accessible!
Fish and chips
Celebrity chefs, pray tell, at what point did struggling to grow one's own runner beans, taking up low level farming, or even fashioning something edible from a dried lentil become 'simple'? Believe me, if you became mobility impaired or depressed overnight, you'd soon be changing your tune. Last time I tried to prepare anything with pulses, I fell over when pulling the packet from the cupboard. Simple, eh? Removing a Chinese take-away from its carrier bag, pulling the lid off and sticking a fork in the glorious gravy-laden contents ... that's what I call simple.

Thing is, if it's true that everyone who eats more than a modicum of processed food is prone to mental illness, new tactics are required. The government will have to introduce a new allowance for cooking-impaired disabled people. A bog standard PA or carer is no longer enough to keep us in optimum health. No, to eat fresh and keep healthy, each and every one of us will need a gardener to grow our food and a chef to cook it. I hope the government is factoring all that into its benefit reform plans. I can't wait.


Following those photos of Heather learning to ice skate last week, a tabloid columnist has accused Heather of using her prosthetic leg for sympathy. Heather's used her Twitter page to state it's untrue and her trouser leg was rolled up purely so her prosthetist could check the alignment of her limb. Obviously, I would NEVER accuse Heather of such a thing myself...

Unexpectedly, that incident was not the only piece of disability-related social-networking excitement this week. The world shook when Stephen Fry, everyone's favourite bipolar celebrity, threatened to leave Twitter after a fellow micro-blogger called him 'a bit boring'. They made up and Stephen explained his previous outburst as 'a mood thing'. Personally, I think the world would be a better place if disabled celebrities were disabled in public more often.


Now, I can't promise that becoming my Facebook friend will be more exciting than following Stephen Fry or Heather Mills on Twitter, but this week some people did use my wall to have an argument about Doctor Who. The drama! Actually, with all these goings-on on Twitter, I'm wondering again if I should join up there...

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