Ale and hearty
The story of how beer was discovered is history. Remembering the nutritional value of beer, however, has prompted a Belgian organisation to push for replacing fizzy drinks in schools with light ale. That’s not such a bad idea considering that fizzy drinks have taken on villainous hues and fruit juices suffer a range of viewpoints about their ‘healthiness’ measure. For the sake of argument, water and milk don’t quite make the mark.
A recent New Scientist report has once again upheld the virtues of ale, saying that beer is as good for health as green tea and red wine, especially to curb heart disease and to unleash that ‘relaxed feeling’ — triggered by a cocktail of hormones that get released in just the right measure to make us ‘happy’. Inspired, the Louvain Beer Therapists want light ale, which traditionally passed muster as a healthy drink, introduced in diets of the young. The tradition, it would appear, gave way to modern diets after the discovery of Coca-Cola. But vigorous campaigns to say ‘no’ to the bottle of carbonated sugar syrup has made soft drinks sink in terms of child appeal. Clearly, there’s more than a grain of the thought here.
If we keep the Belgians out of this — who have bitterly held that they have nothing to do with the ‘wino’ French — the idea should not be rejected outright. In India, for instance, introduction of moderate amounts of light ale during the long-drawn season of stress (ages 7 to 18) may help in striking a happier-than-thou quotient among the young. It would be a hop solution to freedom from obesity and stress.