Since time immemorial, humans have tried to improve their health through their diet. This has resulted in ironic turnabouts in beliefs about what constitutes healthy, rich or inadequate food: the Middle Ages feared fresh fruit, the 1950s sung the praises of sugar, the early 21st century demonises gluten, while “100% natural” is just part of the cycle, periodically calling us to order.
In Mali, a home-cooked meal costs just USD 0.17, compared to USD 5.5 in the USA. However, the African cook spends nearly half of his or her income on food, whereas the American spends just 6.6%. On the other hand, the African's meal will be higher in fibre and complex carbohydrates and lower in fats than the American's meal.
The gap between what scientists say and what people believe is especially large when it comes to food. But opinions change as quickly as fashions. Ideas about what is good and what is bad for us are likely to be quite different tomorrow.