Did you know recipes make you fat? Well, according to Dr John Tickell, at least:
Dr John Tickell – the nutrition and longevity expert that appeared on the TV show Celebrity Overhaul – reckons slavishly following recipes makes Australians fat.
“Take a look at people who are into recipes and they are either large or too thin. The more recipes people get involved with, the harder it is for them to lose weight,” says the author of The Great Australian Diet.
Umm, right. Why do I think this is somehow a gimmick to get people to buy his Great Australian Diet book? So they can learn how NOT to use a book to eat.
With the myriad of glossy foodie magazines in the newsagents, TV chefs like Nigella imploring us to lick our saucy fingers and cookbooks hitting the best-selling lists faster than Britney descending into celebrity hell, it’s fair to say food has become a kind of weird new pornography.
Ah yes. Clearly that fat, evil bitch, Nigella, who crams fatty, luxurious foods down out throats is to blame for the fatties. She’s tempting us with recipes (with a large side serve of sensuality). And tells us to be guilt free. That’s a sure sign that she’s the antichrist.
Dr Tickell – a former professional footballer and longevity and nutrition expert – says the healthiest people in the world do not rely on cookbooks or recipes and Australians would do well to copy them.
This is a nutrition expert who recommends what looks to be an extremely low-cal diet to people doing strenuous physical activity, e.g. Days 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, & 7 of The Great Australian Diet. I get the feeling that you will have eaten so much Minestrone Soup by the end of the week you will not be able to look at another bowl of it ever again. Perhaps that is the diet’s secret? And is not Minestrone Soup a dish prepared using a (quelle horror!) recipe?
“Go to an Asian or Mediterranean village where people live forever and you won’t see a cookbook. Who needs a recipe to stir fry some vegies or grill a piece of fish?” he says. “The best food in the world needs little preparation. The more time people spend thinking about food, talking about food, reading about food and preparing food – these people are either too big (usually) or frightfully thin.”
Firstly, can you tell me who slavishly follows recipes, anyway? Where I come from, recipes are the step off point for creativity. And yes, sometimes it’s nice to get ideas for a new kind of fish dish. I don’t want to eat every single piece of fish I eat grilled. What about a nice marinade or sauce? Why not bake or steam or fry the fish?
Secondly, perhaps in Asian or Mediterranean villages, people don’t use recipe books. I don’t know how to verify that except by doing an extensive study of Asian and Mediterranean households and checking under beds for recipe books. But I am certain Asian and Mediterranean cooks use recipes, handed down from parent to child and either memorised or jotted down in a notebook. Does Dr Tickell really want us to believe that one recipe books in any Asian or Mediterraen kitchen? For a cook to make a Penang Curry, they have to have a recipe either in their head or elsewhere – or it wouldn’t exist as a replicatable dish. Same with Taramasalata. Or Pasta Marinara. Dr Tickell hasn’t really thought this through, has he?
Thirdly, you just can’t win with this guy, can you. People who spend time obessing about food (i.e. “thinking about food, talking about food, reading about food and preparing food”) are “either too big (usually) or frightfully thin.”
So remember kids, obsess over food just enough to lose weight, but not too much weight. And you can clearly do this by not looking using (shudder) RECIPES!