Waitrose, John Lewis? The impossible dream
Joni Mitchell, Su Pollard and Sharleen Spiteri CHEERLEADERS for the City of Culture bid never explain the benefits for most Coventrians, and Adam Steiner ( Oct 27) is no exception. He wants it to “ensure a sustainable and nurturing environment for Coventry’s next generation of artists, makers and cultural producers.” But these various artists – with their groovy pop- up galleries etc – always turn out to be the advance guard for the property developers. He mentions Berlin approvingly, but that is just what happened there. This City of Culture project is not primarily about culture, but about marketing and gentrification. For council leaders and property developers, the goal – or the impossible dream – is a Waitrose or a John Lewis in Coventry. But where would this up- market Coventry leave most of us? In particular, what of the poor and the struggling? ‘ Trickle- down’ economics has been completely discredited. Surely what Coventry needs is a “sustainable and nurturing enviornment” for all its citizens. That means directing energies and resources towards services for the young and the elderly, towards mental health, drug and alcohol abuse services, more funding for libraries, parks, public transport, more public toilets... I could go on. For 40 years my shop has made its very small contribution to real culture in Coventry. I’m certainly not backing the bid! Robert Gill Gosford Books Coventry YOUR correspondent ( Oct 25) rightly points out that the consumption of two grammes of sugar does not increase body weight by a pound; it increases it by two grammes.
But this is before the super efficient metabolism gets to work on it by combining it with oxygen provided from the air by the lungs via the bloodstream. This reaction of oxygen with glucose from the breakdown of the sugar produces the energy which powers our life processes, such as breathing and heartbeat, as well as enabling us to use our muscles and exercise if we are so minded. So far, so good!
Provided the food input balances the energy expended, we remain healthy. Unfortunately humans being what they are have a tendency to eat too much food and to do too little exercise, so an energy surplus is created, which the body stores away as fat.
If this imbalance continues, fat builds up so that it affects our health and possibly our mobility too. This means our teaspoon of sugar does indeed produce a lot more than two grammes of fat.
All carbohydrates are eventually broken down into glucose by the body, the problem is that sugar being the one of the simplest of them ( yes, sugar is a carbohydrate!) is the most readily changed into the body’s glucose fuel. It also makes food and drink more attractive to the modern palate, schooled since babyhood to find it so.
Thus, while sugar is not the only cause of obesity, it is the principle one in the modern diet, and the most easily reduced. We could live quite healthily without any refined sugar at all, as our ancestors did for thousands of generations.
I don’t need to be an ‘ expert’ to know the basic process by which food is turned into body- powering energy; it’s knowledge that any 13- year- old should have acquired. Peter Moody Stoke Park MY encounter with Norman Painting was a decade before the photo you published ( Nov 4).
In the late 1950s, I was a pupil at Leamington College. Norman had studied there some years before, and was by then already well established as Phil in The Archers.
Still living locally, he came over to give an interesting after- hours talk on life at the BBC and similar topics. My first meeting with a celebrity!
The college later merged with two others to form North Leamington School, and moved to a new campus on the edge of town. Its listed 1850s buildings on Binswood Avenue are now a ‘ retirement village’. Mervyn Leah Rugby