Odd nutritional news out of the UK today:
The Department of Health recommends a third of each daily main meal should consist of a starchy carbohydrate, such as bread, potatoes or pasta, preferably of a wholegrain variety. But the survey of more than 2,000 British adults for independent baker Warburtons showed 90 per cent of women and 70 per cent of men do not get enough fibre. It revealed about two million people think that beer – which contains folic acid, vitamins, iron and calcium – is a source of fibre.
While this might be most likely a simple case of the facts of modernity just not getting to the few last percent points of the population, could it be a bit of cultural memory is also at play? Time was not only that beer was a powerful source of carbs when people needed carbs, it was also thicker. Sometimes real thick. Gruel thick. Which is to say boozed up porridge. While Guinness may have been good for you for over a century according to the ads, for millennia beer may well have been an excellent source of dietary fiber relied upon my the vast majority of the population. What would the Xhosa beer drinkers drawing from their straws around the pot, used as they are to a sort of pre-striained beer called isidudu?
You know, for most of time and most of the world, most beer may well would have had fiber. But not in 21st century Britain.
Update: How wrong snarky old me can be. I have led B+B astray, too. Three UK brewers responded on Twitter and confirmed there is actually lots of fiber in beer. In fact, a "liter of beer contains an average of 20% of the recommended daily intake of fiber and some beers can provide up to 60%." Who knew? Clearly neither me or the Daily Express.