Some diets are better than others. Morrissey has done another one of his weird, depressing interviews, in which he’s said those loads of weird, depressing things. He’s also talked about his diet, which is… not good. Famously vegan, he told interviewer Fiona Dowell: “I refuse to eat anything that had a mother – that’s obvious. I’ve always found food to be very difficult because I only eat bread, potatoes, pasta and nuts… all stodge. I can’t eat anything that has any flavour. I’ve never had a curry, or coffee, or garlic.”
I can’t eat anything… that has any favour. Strange words. Strange words. There was more: “I’m absolutely hopeless when I’m handed a menu in a restaurant. I go directly to the Kiddies’ Meals. If I find baked beans then the night is a huge success. If you ever bring me out to dinner, it’s important that you also bring a toaster.”
Hey, Morrissey, would you like to come out for dinner at our local restaurant? Yes, I’ll bring my toaster. Yes, you can order from the Kiddies’ Meals, which is also known as the children’s menu. Anyway, we called up esteemed dietician and Morrissey fan (she doesn’t read the depressing interviews) Dr. Carrie Ruxton to find out if Morrissey’s unusual diet might have anything to do with his recent comments. Turns out: maybe – just maybe – given that a lack of omega three can make a person “impulsive”. Carrie, take a bow.
Hi Carrie! What do you make of Morrissey’s diet?
“It’s an extreme diet, because he’s cutting out a lot of stuff. You need a source of iron, either from eating meat or taking a supplement or green, leafy vegetables or lentils. All of these things contain iron. If you’re missing out on that, you could be anaemic. That would make you feel sluggish. He doesn’t seem to have a lot fresh fruit in there so you’re missing out on vitamin C, and that’s important for immune function. It’s not a diet I would recommend to anyone.”
He says vegans are “superior beings”. Is that true?
“No, of course not. Everybody knows that.”
“That’s just how he speaks. He’s always been like that; he just says what he thinks. I don’t think anybody thinks that. Right back in the early days when we were climbing around in trees, we were eating meat. One of our earliest ancestors is the tree shrew, which has got a short digestive system and sharp teeth, which is completely consistent with being an omnivore. We haven’t got four stomachs like a cow. Our bodies are totally set up for eating meat. I don’t mind people having an ethical view and deciding not to eat certain foods, but you’ve got to recognise that it isn’t natural for the human body, so you need to think really carefully about what you’re eating. He has a huge fanbase and he’s a very influential guy. I would say to his fans: ‘Don’t eat like Morrissey.’ Even if you’re vegan. Think. Go on The Vegan Society Website and find out the proper way to eat vegan. Don’t just say: ‘I’m gonna be vegan just by cutting out all this stuff from my diet.’ You’ve got to put stuff back in.”
Which is what Morrissey hasn’t done…
“I think he knows that his diet is limited. Does he really only eat potatoes, toast and pasta? If he did, I don’t think he would be standing up and walking around. I don’t it’s 100% true that that’s all he eats, because if he did, I don’t think he would be still living.”
He’s quite keen on beans on toast, by the sounds of it. So he’s getting some vegetables there, isn’t he?
“Yeah, definitely, though I would add a green vegetable as well, because the vitamin C content would be lacking otherwise, as it’s a cooked product. I would add something like broccoli. If he had beans, toast and broccoli on the side – with wholegrain toast – that’s fine.”
He often orders the “Kiddies’ Menu”, as well, which seems weird
“Well, most children’s menus are, like, spaghetti hoops on toast. Children’s menus in most restaurants are absolute rubbish. It’s chicken nuggets and chips. That’s where he’s gonna get his baked beans and chips and white bread with butter on it. It’s like a baby menu. That’s obviously his under-developed tastebuds coming into play there.”
Do you have any theory as to why someone would have such an unusual diet?
“Yes, I do, actually. It’s absolutely proven that if you bring up a kid on a highly limited diet and wean them onto sugary breakfast cereal and lots of milk and white bread, and you don’t give them different fruit and vegetables, meats, then you end up with a kid that’s fussy. I’ve seen it lots and lots times. Young kids will want to eat bland things and same things, so that’s why as parents you need to challenge them with things like green vegetable and swedes and sweet potatoes. Morrissey’s diet is limited and bland. He says he doesn’t even like garlic. That suggests someone who has grown up eating very limited foods.”
He says a lot of controversial things these days. Is there anything in his diet that could contribute to that?
“There have been studies that say if you’re lacking fish oils in your diet – these are the omega three fatty acids, a special type of fat that you get in fish and, in small amounts, in red meat – it can increase stress and aggression. They’ve done studies in prisoners, where they’ve given them oily fish and it’s calmed their behaviour. They feel less stressed, less aggressive. These fatty acids help our brain cells to communicate with each other. This is why they’re very important for children, growing up and developing. If your brain cells can’t rapidly communicate with each other, it can cause stress and frustration, which can lead to aggression. They have even used it in people with ADHD, to calm down behavioural problems.”
Well, that’s interesting. So that might contribute to the things he’s being saying?
“It might make you impulsive. Looking at people with ADHD and behavioural issues, one of the characteristics of ADHD is impulsiveness, where you do and say things very rapidly without thinking about the consequences. Omega three helps to reduce that. So I don’t think it’s necessarily that a diet causes certain behaviours, but I think that if you are prone to those behaviours yourself, you can help them by eating a better diet.”