I sat down with a scientist friend after noon for a lunch time appointment at a well-known eatery recently. While I scoured the menu for a lunch meal, he ordered from the breakfast offering, which left the waitress befuddled.
She explained that the items listed in the breakfast category - bacon, eggs benedict and pancake - were only served in the morning.
My friend was having none of that and he quickly retorted that since this was to be his first meal of the day, it was technically his breakfast and he was entitled to his choice.
The waitress had no choice but to comply. I went for the typical heavy lunch with a customary huge chunk of steak.
My friend told me that he ate one meal a day and this was enough to sustain his body for 24 hours. Breakfast, he opined, was not the most important meal of the day, as is often drummed into our heads. Any first meal of the day qualified as breaking the fast.
According to him, it is a myth that human beings need three meals a day and it was a croc cooked up by the food industry to shore up profits.
For instance, prehistoric man often went for days without food. Back then, before food was processed and traded, the hunter-gatherers and their tribes went for long periods without food while tracking animals.
Only when an animal was caught could everybody feast to their hearts content. Of course, there were still berries and nuts to satiate their hunger pangs, but overall, nobody gorged three times a day.
This was beginning to make sense to me, even as I tucked into my steak.
My friend was not done, as he asked me if I had seen an obese Kalahari Bushman or Massai, particularly those who had lived much as their ancestors had done? I conceded that those tribes were a picture of health and not given to cholesterol and the very dangerous umkhaba that has become a feature of modern living and "success".