101 Things Birmingham Gave The World. No. 20: Dieting

Essentially it’s eating less food, so how is dieting a huge industry around the world? Heinz (the HP-stealing bastards, see No 8) produce special ‘Weight Watchers’ foods, supposedly healthy versions of their TV dinners. Here’s the rub: the main way they contain less calories is by having less food. And they cost more. For less. See what they’re doing to you here?

The king of diet food, as opposed to amusing Barry Bethel promoted food replacement food like Slim Fast, is ryvita. Rough to the eyes, rough to the tongue and rough to the tastebuds, ryvita is the most diet-y of diet food. And that’s how we do things in this country.

In Scandinavia, they just thought it was normal food—the jumper-wearing, murdering, alfresco sex, fools. It took Birmingham to see its potential as food you didn’t really want to eat but bought and ate because it was less calories than the food you wanted to.

Having seen crispbread abroad Englishman Campbell-Garratt opened his ryvita factory in Birmingham in 1925 and the rest is history.

Literally in terms of the factory as the Germans bombed the heck out of it during the war. One could almost understand.

Author: Jon Bounds

14th Most Influential Person in the West Midlands 2008, subsequently not placed. His new book about visiting every seaside pier in England and Wales — Pier Review — has been described as “On the Road meets On the Buses”, it's out now. Jon wrote and directed the first ever piece of drama to be performed on Twitter and founded the famous blog Birmingham: It's Not Shit.