I find food ingredients endlessly fascinating. I think nature has given us everything we need in food to keep us young and lively, we just need to know which foods to eat.

This knowledge is actually a life or death matter. What you eat can either go on to prolong your life or go on to kill you. Scientists have recently concluded that people who ate plenty of fruit and veg were less likely to develop Alzheimer's as compared to those who ate little or none.

It's not often that food is discussed in this context - that being its inherent effects on the brain and its functioning, thereof - it's usually about the effect food has on the body. Very little thought is given to the way that food affects our brain.

I remember being struck by Charlie Chaplin's autobiography and of his vivid fear and recollection of hunger as a child and the terrible tragedy of his mother who suffered from severe illness due to malnutrition of the brain from being half-starved.

But there are lots of people going around half-starved, plenty of people who are overfed, but undernourished, people who live entirely or mostly on junk food. The effect to their waistlines has been well documented, but what about the effect to their brains?

This is an insidious problem. If the brain is not sufficiently or properly nourished then it cannot perform to its optimum level, it must then always perform to a sub optimum or minimum level. This is a tragedy for individuals and a tragedy for the human race as a whole.

Not only are individuals unable to reach their potential due to lack of proper nourishment, they are also less likely to be aware of and identify any problem and, therefore, also less likely to be able to help themselves.

When I was a kid I loved Popeye and thought spinach was glamorous and gave you muscles - a 21st century Popeye could have bulging muscles and a bulging brain to appeal to today's youngsters.