The recent news that Israel has ranked sixth in a survey on the world’s healthiest nations almost makes me want to pack my bags and head back there.
The UK came in at a somewhat dismal 21, and having lived in both countries I started to think: why is there such a difference?
The abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables that are readily available in Israel is yet to be matched in the UK. There are some parts of this Island that don’t even know what a vegetable is(!) For instance, a survey by The Royal Horticultural Society found that half the children under 16 don’t know how a broccoli grows, and two thirds of children think that pumpkins grow on trees.
There is also a great historical attachment to food in parts of the UK, so I thought it might be interesting to list a few and ask:
Would you eat….?
Haggis is made from the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep which is minced and mixed with oatmeal, animal fat or suet, and onions. It is flavoured with salt and pepper before being stuffed into a cleaned sheep’s stomach and then boiled for a few hours. This version possibly dates back to Roman occupation of Britain during the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. The ‘modern’ version now has artificial casings.
Having lived in Scotland for four years I thankfully only ever sampled the vegetarian option.
Welsh, Laver bread
To give you an image then this food is green and slimy. The laver grows in the west coast of England and can also be found off the coast of Japan and Korea. The laver is washed and boiled for several hours and then pureed or minced until it becomes a big green mass. I have no idea why it is called bread since it really is seaweed
I’d say no to Laver bread.
English (London), Jellied eels
Basically, the eels are chopped and boiled in a stock that is sometimes spiced. They are then left to cool down after which they form a jelly. This can be put in a pie or eaten hot or cold. This is a traditional 18th century English dish that was once a staple food for the poor in London’s East End.
I am still debating whether to try the eels.
Thankfully, I’m pleased to say that although the above foods are still in existence there are a plethora of other foods available. However, the Israeli diet full of citrus fruits, beans, eggplant and olive oil is unmatched in comparison to British food for me. And most certainly is another good reason why Israel is better for my health.