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March 1999 Issue
Half A Loaf Is Better Than None
by Krafty
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This is supposed to make you feel better. A sort of "count your blessings" thing. I don't know about you, but I've never agreed with it. Partly, I suppose, because I've been putting up with half a loaf most of my life, and it's time for a change.

I want it all, and I want it now, as the song goes. Those of us brought up with chastisements of greed and selfishness will have pangs of guilt at the very thought of asking for more, but when Oliver Twist asked for more we were on his side, weren't we?

So, how are we different to Oliver Twist?

Just like Oliver Twist, we know there is more in the pot and we want to stop feeling hungry.

This very small boy with a very small voice spoke up and changed his world. And so can we.

If you want to change some things in your life, change some things in your life.

Think about the number of times in a day we complain. The alarm clock goes off, and we moan. The bus is late and we moan. We get in the bath and the phone goes, the quality of our clothing is shoddy, we get bad service in a store and we moan, moan, moan - but to whom? Usually someone who can't do anything about it.

There are so many things to blame other people for, when taking responsibility for our own part in it - admitting that we have allowed these things to go on for too long - could change the world.

Go to bed earlier, give the bus company a few choice words, buy an answer-phone, take it back, shop somewhere else, don't tell the butcher the bread is stale - tell the baker.

And talking about bread, I think you will agree that information about whether bread is good for you or not has been a bit confusing throughout history.

Firstly, they tell us it's our staple diet - bread and wine. Then we see prisoners in the dungeon being given a punishment of bread and water for their mere survival. We are encouraged to "break bread" with guests and strangers to form a bond, which indicates a precious commodity is being shared.

More recently (by that I mean a few decades ago) we are advised, if we want to lose weight, to cut out bread, cakes and potatoes entirely as if they are the sole culprits of those extra pounds.

Now we are told that bread should be part of our everyday diet because it contains fibre.

But beware, there's bread and bread. White bread, granary bread, rye bread, rice bread, yeast free bread, gluten free bread, salt free bread, brown bread, black bread - the list goes on. Deciding which of these is good for you will depend on how you go about it.

You can read books written by people who know something about it, and if you read enough books you will find someone to contradict what the others say.

You can ask the assistants in health food shops, and if you can find one who knows anything about what they sell, you can compare that with what your nutritionist says.

You can research the ingredients listed on the packets, if you have the time and a doctorate in science.

Or you can do nothing and worry about what all the preservatives and other additives are doing to your insides.

I don't know how true it is today, but I believe that once upon a time it was not allowed to take white bread from Britain abroad because of the arsenic content.

So, is half a loaf better than none? Make up your own mind.



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