Fried Mars Bars, by Jamie Hunter
I am writing a book about the culture I know and live in which is Great Britain. It is still in my brain, but I hope to continue think-writing. As a foreigner living in a nation which wants to throw out all the foreigners, I live on the edge here. Finding it odd that a nation of people who came from the various tribes of Britain, plus a long list of invaders, the Vikings, the Danes, the Anglo-Saxons, the Celts, the Picts, the Belgae, the Romans, and the French, not in that order, and a nation which once opened it arms to the people of its Commonwealth around the globe, that more and more the British people hate foreigners. An older person told me it is that their small village and town life is being upset by the number of Polish people working in the shops. I summed up my argument in two words, “Brits contracept.”
I am not exaggerating when I use the word hate. At Christmas, the Catholic community of Polish people in London, who work hard and live in close-knit family enclaves of Catholicism, were subjected to new and horrible Christmas messages of hate. Bricks were thrown through windows in some of their homes in London, nasty notes were put on their lawns reading “Go Home. We don’t want you here” and so on, proving the old adage that island people are the most provincial.
What is it about an island which creates “insularity,” a world meaning two things which apply exactly to the Brits.
Insularity means both “the state and condition of being an island” and “Ignorance of or lack of interest in cultures, ideas, or peoples outside one’s own experience.” The example the dictionary offered is “British insularity.” Wow!
I have lived off and on in this country for fourteen years. During that time, including the present time, the “now” of Brexit, I have rarely been invited into any one’s house for dinner. I go to a church where only three people have ever asked me anything about myself.
For all they know, I may be a dog groomer or a serial killer.
Insularity may be caused simply by the island mentality that “We must be on our guard and trust no one,” especially those people who come over on ships. Insularity may also come from the shock of losing the empire, although, from my reading, I understand that the attitude of British insularity was exported to the colonies. The insularity of the British ex-pat exists today. Go to the watering holes in Spain invaded by ex-pats and you will find pubs, fish and chip shops and small Anglican churches.
Another sign of this insular attitude is the absolute need for each Brit to have his own house. While the French, the Germans, the Spanish, the Belgians and others are content to live in very nice apartments, the goal of every British man or woman is to have their own house with a front door and a back door leading to a garden. Tolkien got it right. Brits are Hobbits. They keep to themselves. They do not want to be in “community.” Having lived where I am now for a long time, besides never being asked out to dinner or even tea. I have to admit that I do not know any of my neighbours on this long street. I remember being in the States where we had communal bar-b-cues, and neighbourhood chilli bake-offs. I remember street-wide parties, not seen here in this fair isle since the end of WWII.
However, I have come to the conclusion after years of watching British people contentedly not liking foreigners and never having strangers who have lived in a town for twenty years over for dinner, that the real cause of this hostile attitude is not the fact that millions of years ago Britain split off from the Continent and floated away a mere 27.21 miles or so north-west of the Mother Land, the Continent.
My conclusion is that the British people are hostile and have become more so because of diet.
OK, now you are laughing. Seriously, having travelled a lot to many various places, I can say without hesitating that some of the worst eating habits in the Western World occur right here in Auld Blighty.
Recently, a friend of mine and I were discussing my need to find shops and grocery stores which sell organic vegan produce, as I am a vegan. After exhausting the possibilities in the Manchester area, a virtual haven for vegans and vegetarians, with more restaurants and vegan shops than anyplace else outside of London, I asked my friend if the Scots, where I am heading for a holiday, were trendy, wanting healthy food and not fast food, like most of the populace near me now.
Yes, fish and chips were invented here, I guess, one of the original really bad for you fast foods. But, when my friend told me that the Scots invented deep fat Mars Bars, in 1995, I knew I was on to something about hostility and bad eating habits.
Imagine taking a Mars Bar and putting it into deep fat, with a coating like the one on fish when one makes fish and chips. Imagine eating such a thing.
Why, why would anyone want to eat a fried Mars Bar, or a Mars Bar for that matter, when Scotland has some of the healthiest food in the world—organic blueberries and strawberries in season, kale, spinach and even, for the non-vegans, fresh salmon, not from farms, but from the rivers which mark the lovely valleys of this part of Great Britain?
One thing I have noticed in the past several years is the growth, and no pun intended, of obesity among adults and children here. In the past, when the British public walked a lot and rode bicycles to school and work, people were trim and healthy looking. Now, I see children with obesity problems. The same kids also have hostility problems. Several studies have been done on the demographics concerning the Brexit vote. Has anyone studied the effect of obesity on voting patterns?
Seriously, eating unhealthy food affects the brain, and studies have shown that children who have not eaten veggies or fruit from toddlerhood to age eight have lower IQs than children who have eaten their greens. More and more studies reveal a connection between high sugar intact and low fruit intact leading to ADHD, hyperactivity, and mental sluggishness.
You can google these studies.
Now, the typical lifestyle of a typical British person is less advanced than that of the middle class counterparts on the Continent. The British people live in a time warp of low expectations for the comforts of life. I have many friends who do not have, for example, central heating, and we are having one of the longest winters on record. Eating habits in many areas of Britain reveal a time-warp of bad habits, as if no one in these places have read nutrition information for the last thirty years. Many British people eat copious amounts of sugar, in their tea and with their tea in the form of biscuits and cakes. Sugar intake is here usually about 22 small teaspoons per day, or 90 grams. This is amazingly high. Recent studies indicate that the real intake is much higher. For children age 0-3, 35 grams is the norm. For teens, the norm is 74.2 grams daily, and for adults up to age 64, 58.8 grams is the norm, lessening to 51.6 grams for the over 65 age group. Among four and five old children, almost 20% are overweight or obese. The percentage rises to over 33% by ages ten to eleven.
Before I forget this trivial fact, Deep Fried Twinkies were invented in Rugby, England, and these can be bought ready made in boxes, I think, now in a grocery chain I shall not mention.
Now, is there a connection between sugar intake and aggression or hostility? Two books, one by the famous criminologist and emeritus professor Larry J. Siegel, and one by Henry R. Hermann, indicate that hypoglycaemia, a state of low blood sugar brought on by too much sugar intake which causes a rush of insulin, can be connected to anti-social behaviour. Hermann quotes a study by Schoenthaler and Siegel writes of his own research. Both men write that hostility and frustration are connected to low blood sugar states brought on by too much sugar intake. Although other scientists disagree with these studies, some doctors are now making connections between lower IQ and the lack of natural sugars, found in fruit and vegetables at an early age. One cannot deny that the brain is formed between birth and age three, when good nutrition is necessary. Poor brain formation can lead to anti-social behaviour.
Frustration and anger are so obvious that I seldom go into shops or even buy a train ticket at the station. I use the Net to buy most if not all things that I need or want. I meet angry people frequently, impatient adults and aggressive children on a regular basis. Could the cans of pop in their hands have something to do with the clear hostility and anger, unprovoked, anger, emerging more and more in shops and on the streets? Our local MP is looking in to how to control anti-social behaviour in youth who come into this town in good weather. This town has a population of less than 10,000 and yet, the MP has to address the increase of bad behaviour among youth, local youth, in nice weather. I see them coming out of the Sainsbury’s eating junk food. In this town alone, there are four fish and chip shops, which means a chip and ship shop for every 2,500 people. There are four pubs, and several restaurants serving high fat food. And, this is a middle to upper middle-class place.
Can one of the reasons why violent criminal activity seems to be more prevalent among the disadvantaged be that the diets of those people is based more on fast food and cheap food than the diets of the more well-to-do, who can afford organic food and avoid fast food chains? Where nutrition is lacking, the brain and emotions suffer.
Out of the five healthiest countries in the world, four are European. Japan, Spain, Italy, Luxembourg, and Iceland lead the list of the healthiest people in the world. This study done by the World Economic Forum for 2016-2017 echoes other reports on the nations with the healthiest people. Japan is noted for healthy people and longevity. Japan, Luxembourg and Iceland also are in the top five of nations with the lowest crime rates. Are these matching statistics accidental?
In 2007, Great Britain led the list of having the most murders out of all the EU nations.
It ranked highest in burglaries, as well.
Is good health a counter to crime? Do nations with a higher per capita income have lower crime rates, or are bad eating habits a greater influence? 2016 statistics reveal that the per capita income of Great Britain is lower than Luxembourg/Iceland and higher than Spain, the healthiest countries in the EU, (for GDP per capita). Health and wealth can go together. However, Great Britain’s crime statistics are worst than some third world countries.
Guess which country in Europe has the highest level of violent crime? Great Britain. Does insularity cause crime or does sugar intake? Or, is the old need to conquer the world now confined to local violent acts? Or are all these factors part of the remote causes for nastiness in this island?
I blame the Fried Mars Bar.
JMJ, pray for us.
God is good,