The Snap, Crackle and Pop defence of Tim Noakes


Now that the Health Professions Council of South Africa has wrongly issued a guilty verdict against Professor Tim Noakes on a case built on nothing, I think it’s time for a nonprofessional to step in.

My experience with the law stretches back to last week when I settled an argument over a parking spot by saying: “Hey, come now,” which doesn’t qualify me to dish out advice to a scientist up against everyone who still eats bread — but it doesn’t matter because I have followed the case closely and won’t use social media to dish out my advice.

Advice for Prof Noakes: Tim, in future, don’t give advice to mothers who think cauliflower moves undigested from their mammary glands into their baby’s stomach. Such a belief is clearly not based on experience, which casts some doubt over whether the mother has ever breast-fed to begin with. Frankly, it sounds insane.

Second, I would advise you not to engage a council that deems a bowl of Froot Loops to be healthier than broccoli.
You’re just encouraging them. I have been to many so-called professionals endorsed by the council with a grave concern over a bump on my head that may be cancerous only to be laughed out of the surgery. Unfortunately, the wheels are in motion and we will have to see the thing through.

To this end, I have come up with the Snap, Crackle and Pop defence, which basically states big cereal would rather see rib cages than their profits plummeting. The low road here would be to raise a child on Rice Krispies and enter its malnourished body as exhibit A.

Tempting as that sounds, we would run the risk of creating a 21-year window during which the council can release so many false statements that the public will not only assume you’re guilty, but it will also become fact.

The high road will be to call Big Cereal to the stand. Weet-Bix is a top seller in South Africa with a vested interest in keeping us all hooked on wheat. I would say we stay away from trying to prove that wheat makes you high and focus on the fact that Weet-Bix only keeps you full until it’s time to go to work.

The prosecution might rebut that with a Weet-Bix-is-for-grown-ups argument, at which point we will call Jungle Oats to the stand.

I was brought up on Jungle Oats, and turned out okay, but just imagine what I could have been had my mother used breast milk instead.

The prosecution might get cute and question whether Jungle Oats can be classified as cereal on the basis that it takes forever to make it properly. We’ll catch them off guard and swoop in with the coup de grâce: Oats-So-Easy. The name says it all, doesn’t it?

Esteemed members of the court, rear your young on seeds that swell up: it’s oats, so easy. Your honour, touching fat will make you fat, so stick with foods that don’t smear: it’s oats, so easy.

Esteemed members of the council, cosy up to a decades-old eating plan devised by one of the most obese countries on the planet: it’s oats, so easy. 

JS Smit

JS Smit

JS Smit is a Cape Town-based freelance writer. Formally trained as a copywriter, he took a break from ads in 2010 to write a blog for the Mail & Guardian's Thought Leader and since 2015 has written for the Mail & Guardian. Read more from JS Smit

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