• Concerned Reader

June 9, 2017, 20:56IST

Fake news isn’t always a deliberate attempt to misinform or mislead. Soft news platforms are often so desperate for content that they publish self-contradictory stories based on speculative journalism or inconclusive science, which isn’t reliable. What truth is the reader to absorb?

Don’t let a journalist tell you what to eat. You can afford it if a reporter was wrong speculating about a political news item. But you can’t afford to be misled by a food feature, lest you court indigestion. | maxpixel

Respected sir/madam,

Hello. Whether you people working in journalism eat anything or you just go and stand outside in the sun and do photosynthesis like bougainvillea or banana? I am very much fed up of your useless food news.

Earlier today, just as I was about to watch a DVD of Nee Pathi Naan Pathi featuring Gautami, Mrs. Mathrubootham told me to urgently go and buy some grocery items for making breakfast. I told her, Kamalam, please, I just sat down on the sofa, you make anything available in the kitchen for breakfast, I will eat happily. Retirement age and all, who cares about breakfast and lunch and dinner. Just put something in your mouth and be happy. After two or three minutes she came and placed breakfast on the teapoy in front of me: one glass of water, one lemon and two brinjals. Then suddenly she came back and said sorry lemon is for lunch, and took it back.

Sir/Madam, the public looks at Mrs. Mathrubootham and says, oho, aha, what a god-fearing woman with the face of Florence Nightingale and the grace of Mother Teresa and the patience of Mrs. Mahatma Gandhi. But only I know that in private she has the personality of Auto Shankar, the sympathy of Charles Sobhraj and the humanity of Ebola.

So, I quietly took the shopping list and went to the supermarket nearby. On the way, I ran into my dear friend and neighbour Mr. Balaraman, who accompanied me to the shop. What nonsense you are doing Mathrubootham, he said, you are buying brown bread like some ignorant fool? On the spot, I wanted to strangle that orangutan fellow with a murungakkai. But I exercised some self-control and asked him why what happened? I thought brown bread was healthy.

 

Immediately, he took out his mobile phone and showed me a latest news article. According to this article, I have been wasting my time and money for the last many years. Apparently, you can eat whatever colour bread you like, brown or white or orange or tutti frutti. It doesn’t matter. As long as you are able to digest it properly, any bread is ok.

Sir/Madam, whether you have any shame or you will just publish anything? You people will say, oh my god, China will collapse tomorrow, Euro will crash on Wednesday, Hillary will become President and all. And then? Jackfruit only has happened. China is still there and enjoying, Euro is carrying on peacefully, and Hillary is enjoying retired life like me but maybe with proper breakfast.

Ok fine. I thought at least you will give accurate news about food items. One big zero.

First, you will say eat dark chocolate every day, it will reduce heart attack. Then six months later, you will say if you are eating chocolate then there is no more hope, say bye to your family right now because you will die of cancer before the end of this newspaper, sorry you have died now.

Then one day, you will publish don’t even touch coconut oil, it is full of poison. Immediately, my son took all our coconut oil, threw it out, and replaced it with olive oil because everyone in Greece is only eating olive oil and country is fed up of people not dying at all. Two years later, you are only saying that coconut oil is the super food item and western people are eating one spoon every day.

And then there is red wine. For so many months, Mrs. Mathrubootham and myself tried to drink a little red wine everyday because she read somewhere that red wine is good for heart problems. Sir/Madam, have you ever tried wine? Once I got confused in the bathroom during a power-cut and brushed my teeth with Fair & Lovely. That was Adyar Ananda Bhavan Mysurpa compared to red wine. Sir/Madam, such news only is giving people hypertension and heart attack. Please show some self-control.

Yours in exasperation and extreme hunger,

J. Mathrubootham

SOURCE: http://www.thehindu.com/thread/reflections/when-you-combine-food-science-with-unreliable-journalism-you-get-indigestion/article18950756.ece