For God’s sake people, it’s a BANANA.
I was in a lift. It was lunch time. I was holding a banana. I was thinking about other things.
A woman got in. I didn’t know her, she didn’t know me. She looked at my snack.
“Oh,” she said longingly. “I WISH I could eat a banana.”
I was confused. “They sell them at the cafe next door,” I told her. “They’re a dollar.”
“Oh no,” she said, her face contorting with something like disgust. “Sooooo much sugar in a banana.”
I looked down at the fruit in my hand. Its bend seemed a little more pronounced now, like it was hanging its little yellow head in shame. I stepped out of the lift at my floor. I gave my banana to a colleague. It was, quite literally, forbidden fruit.
Yes, in case you haven’t noticed, sugar is out of fashion.
I buy my vitamin-averse child a fresh juice and I get a warning about the impending ‘sugar rush’. I take my kids to the pool and five mothers are reading I Quit Sugar. I ask my friend, “How are you?” and she says, “I’m on the 8WP.” And if my peers aren’t doing it, they want to. They’re pondering a life without chocolate. Or wine. Or, you know, tinned tomatoes.
Read more: Thinking about detoxing? Read this first.
It’s not new. Back in 1972 a book by John Yudkin called Pure, White And Deadly warned of the dangers of sugar vs fat. But in Australia, the anti-sugar movement really kicked into gear a few years ago, when the savvy Sarah Wilson published I Quit Sugar, sold a gajillion-million copies and built an empire.
Now, there’s a movie coming out about it. That Sugar Film is by Damon Gameau, who used to be in Underbelly and has his photogenic family onboard for an engaging, funny movie about how SUGAR IS KILLING US ALL, MAN. He is everywhere I turn, in his jocks, showing me the flabby belly that was the result of going back on the hard stuff after three years off.
If it’s not Damon, it’s Pete Evans. Sugar is not Pete’s problem. But there he is, in every magazine I open, every site I click on, every TV I pass, with his impossibly twinkly eyes and healthy glow, having serious issues with all the other food groups.
I’m fucking over it. Because really, it’s not sugar that’s out of fashion, but moderation. And living a life of extremes is not sustainable for me, or for most of the actual human beings in the world.
Moderation is something that ordinary people can actually DO.
Nutritionist Susie Burrell agrees. “The problem with these diets is that they’re not realistic for anyone who doesn’t want to make their whole life about food. The average person who comes to sees me is tired, busy, overwhelmed and overweight. They do not have time to make their own paleo bites, or to soak everything they eat. The last thing that they need is more pressure.”