I’m just back from having my winter ‘flu jab. It was swift and painless, and I didn’t give it a second thought. I have absolutely no idea what was in the tiny vial of liquid that was injected into my arm, and do you know what? I simply don’t care. It was manufactured by a well-established international company, has passed numerous stringent safety tests, and is endorsed by a cornerstone institution of British life: the National Health Service. And that is good enough for me.
When I got back home, I made myself a snack of instant noodle. It was a great bucketful. It was fiery hot and not particularly appetising, but I poured the entire contents down my throat regardless. And do you know what? I have absolutely no idea what was inside that either.
So, I decided to look.
Along with the ingredients that you would expect to find like wheat flour, and red chilli pepper, and shiitake mushrooms, there was a whole bunch of other stuff, including acidity regulators E501, E500 and E339; antioxidant E306; emulsifier E322; colour E101; flavour enhancers E621, E627 and E631; and anti-caking agent E551. I have no idea what any of those ingredients do; what they look like; or what effect they have on my body. But, I am still perfectly happy to eat them on a fairly regular basis.
My instant noodles were produced on the other side of the world, manufactured by a company I have never heard of and, being a private business, will have as its prime objective the need to turn a profit.
Given my supreme ignorance of both the ‘flu jab and the processed instant snack, on paper which one would appear to pose the greatest risk? The noodle or the needle?
Which makes me return to the question I started with: do anti-vaxxers eat instant noodles?
© Simon Turner-Tree
Simon Turner-Tree would happily have his ‘flu jab whilst eating an instant noodle.