More fruit? Pass the tin.

Even paragons of virtue like me forget to eat enough fruit and vegetables sometimes. My problem with fruit is not so much the preparation, but the fact that I almost always buy too much and end up having to chuck it away because it’s been forgotten in the back of the fridge for two months. This is frustrating and I react by buying no fruit at all for a few weeks. Then I feel bad and buy too much – and around we go again…


This week I’ve started buying tinned fruit – pears, mandarins, pineapple, grapefruit, cherries, prunes – with reckless abandon, and I’m feeling pretty damn good for it. Yes, I recycle my cans. Is it less nutritious than fresh fruit? You probably lose some vitamin C in the canning process, and there’s lots of empty calories if you eat the syrup it might be tinned in. On the other hand, if I’m getting my five a day, every day (less than a third of British adults manage this, and only one in ten kids) then I’m doing alright. It’s also cheaper than a chocolate bar and just as easy a convenience food, though it won’t fit in your pocket as easily 😉

I’ve also bought some frozen berries and vegetables, although I think a lot more people do this anyway so it’s not much to shout about.

How do you get your five a day?

How do you like your tea?

Sweet and milky please. Sacrilege? Tell me how you really drink your tea.


We’ve all got ideas on how tea should be drunk. Sugar or no sugar? Milk first or tea first? Does it taste better if it’s made in a teapot? (Chris Hitchens certainly thought so.)

Malcolm Gladwell’s 2004 TED talk on choice and happiness shows how what people say they like isn’t always reflected in their choices. Ask someone how they like their coffee, and they’ll tell you they want it black and rich, especially if they’re being pretentious. The reality is most people would rather a caramel latte than a burning hot double espresso.

I wonder how many Brits, in the solitude of their own kitchens, stir in rather more sugar into their tea than they’d like to admit.

Pass the demerararara.