Monday, 18 January 2010

Ban butter

What is it about some medical consultants that makes them feel they have to make pronouncements as if they were the Pope? I refer you to one Shyam Kolvekar, a leading heart surgeon. Mr Kolvekar says he wants butter banned as a lot of people who come to see him have advanced coronary heart disease. Mind you, if you’re a heart surgeon you probably are going to see a lot of people with heart disease... it kinda goes with the job. It's a bit like orthopaedic surgeons complaining that a lot of people come to them with broken bones so let's stop sports and other dangerous pastimes.

Incidentally, Mr Kolvekar's comments were issued by KTB, a public relations company that works for Unilever, the maker of Flora margarine, a non-butter spread. So absolutely no conflict there. However, into the fray comes Saint Jamie of Oliver, who has issued a statement through his spokesman (another one who thinks he’s the Pope) criticising the butter ban and saying he doesn't like the whole kind of food police, we must ban everything, point of view. Absolutely right, Jamie! Well said.

However, could this be the same Jamie who criticised parents who feed their children "junk", describing some youngsters' diets as a crime? Is this the same Jamie who claimed 70 per cent of packed lunches given to schoolchildren were "disgraceful" and he would like to see them banned? Is this the same Jamie who also called for a ban on junk food advertising for children and spearheaded a campaign that removed chocolate, crisps and fizzy drinks from school vending machines? It is?

Jamie isn’t stupid, is he? Jamie’s sniffed the air of public opinion, like a gazelle scenting a leopard on the breeze, and has decided that the public is getting a wee bit pissed off with people like Mr Kolvekar. They’re sick of being hectored and bossed around by the nanny state and would like to see an end to this bansturbation that we see all around us. Nice one, Jamie.

PS: Thanks to The Devil’s Kitchen for pointing out yet another case of rank hypocrisy.


  1. Hmmm yes I can smell a bit of hypocrisy in the air even from here !!

    As for the banning of butter, I suspect strongly that it would make no difference in the number of patients he sees. Banning margarine and trans-fats however might actually help. But that won't happen as they are *manufactured* by big money lobbyist corporations.

  2. Spot on, Kosmos. I'd forgotten to mention the trans-fats. At least butter is a natural product and good for you in moderate quantities. Sensible eating, common sense, an active lifestyle and and an absence of brain-numbing stupidity makes for a healthy life.

  3. Erm, I think there's a BIT of a difference between Jamie agreeing that kids shouldn't be eating terrible lunches every day when they should be getting nutritious food versus him saying that butter shouldn't be banned...

  4. Of course there is. I'm only pointing out that Jamie says he's against banning things in response to the butter statement and yet he's quite happy to advocate banning in the past. That's all I was saying.

  5. Chris from Melbourne18 January 2010 at 22:05

    The consultant that looks after me haematology wise once said to me he had to make a decision at some stage during his training as to what he would choose to study, either what he does or becoming a specialist Ear, Nose and Throat man.
    Chose blood, 'cos he couldn't stand the thought of looking up peoples noses all day.

    If we added together all the things that the closet 'Dr Feel-goods' come out with, plus a little of the free advice from the veggie side, we'd be a sickly looking desperate lot! In my time apart from things like butter we have been advised to give up curry powder, Worcester sauce, real milk, and a myriad of things that some brainstorming publicity seeker enunciates from time to frequent time.
    Fat chance.

  6. I just love how the margarine labels keep coming up with the fact they've fixed past problems with their products as a feature. "Trans fat free" is only an issue because margarine contained trans fats. Butter never has.

  7. You are not making any sense XTM.

    Even if Jamie had previously advocated a ban on junk food advertising and school vending machine selling junk food (I don't actually know whether this is true), it doesn't make him a hypocrite to now oppose a ban on butter. I trust we are in agreement that butter and junk food are not the same thing and Jamie is perfectly entitled to take differing positions on these respective food items.

  8. Jamie can take issue but his spokesman said... "Jamie doesn't like the whole kind of food police, we must ban everything, point of view". Now it doesn't come much clearer than that. I support the view that butter is a natural product and calling for it's ban is just plain barmy, but Jamie was in favour of banning things but he now says he's not in favour of banning things. I'd happily put my hands up if I was wrong but looking at the facts, I can't say I am.

  9. Hi ET, ROFLMAO.

    I would be prepared to wager a very large sum that the majority of the patients the heart surgeon sees are your average "Junk Food" eating public.

    I do not know of any other country where the population eats as much junk food as they UK, It seems (by watching a lot of TV shows on Food from the UK) that it is much cheaper than anywhere else. I know with what I get on the Pension in WA I can not afford to eat Junk Food. But I seem so many shows where single parents in the UK feed there kids nothing but Junk Food, some children have never had anything but, I am using the words Junk Food as both Fast Food and "Ready Meals" eg crap you buy at the supermarket and just nuke in the microwave....

    The closest we come to Junk food in this house is Fish baked in the oven in Foil with lemon pepper and patato gems (mashed potato formed into nuggets) which are also baked.


    Kat from Perth.

  10. agree with jamies campaign, but as for this doctors opinion, I have to say I would rather eat a natural product, in sensible amounts, than eat a chemically composed substance. I get sent the flora (and kellogs) magazines at work, and they are so biased in their material, it all goes in the bin anyway!!!whatever happened to common sense!

  11. Seeing as margarine is only one molecule short of plastic I'll be sticking to butter thanks!

  12. I believe margarine was invented by the French in the 1890s. I doubt there are huge margarine sales in France. I also believe France has a low incidence of coronary heart disease.

  13. I have definitely heard it said by doctors that butter is healthier than margarine. I think there's far more to the healthiness of the product than the levels of fat or saturated fat.