Alf became highly suspicious of Mrs Grumble in recent days.
She was behaving in a manner which seriously suggested she might have secretly become a member of the Green Party.
This would have been hugely shameful.
The suspicion was raised by Mrs Grumble suddenly serving tofu with every meal.
Tofu, so help us.
Tofu to a red-meat nosher is as offensive as serving pork chops would be to his good Jewish friends the Goldsteins.
Mind you, if it does things for your potency it probably explains why we have so many Chinese.
For the uninitiated (and if you haven’t been introduced to it, you are blessed), tofu is made from soybeans, water and a coagulant, or curdling agent.
It is high in protein and calcium and well known for its ability to absorb new flavors through spices and marinades. Due to its chameleon-like qualities and nutritional value, tofu, a staple of Asian cuisines for hundreds of years, has recently become popular in Western vegetarian cooking.
Yep. It’s the sort of crap they would serve at a Green Party banquet, if the Greens could ever raise enough readies for a banquet.
Hence Alf’s consternation when it was suddenly served day after day in the Grumble household.
But it turns out the missus was not turning from blue to green.
She was trying to rejuvenate the Grumbles’ somewhat flagging sex lives.
She had learned (as you can confirm here) that vegetarians might have the last laugh when it comes to matters in the bedroom.
For a new study has found that people who consume tofu and other plant-based foods might enjoy a better sex life than meat-eaters.
It’s thought that certain plant products can influence hormone levels and heighten sexual activity.
The research comes after the animal rights charity PETA insisted that fruit and veg are the key to virility and released a bizarre video to back up the point.
Alf is of an age where it is neither here nor there if he takes advantage of this knowledge about the potency of tofu, fruit and vegies.
But Mrs Grumble seems determined to force it on him anyway.
Dunno what’s been happening to her hormones.
The research that put us on the tofu diet was published in a journal called Hormones and Behavior, which attests to the fact you can find a magazine that deals with any subject you care to nominate.
It seems the researchers are the first to observe the connection between the so-called sex hormones phytoestrogens, found in plants, and behaviour in wild primates.
Let them eat the bloody tofu and let Alf get back to his steaks and black pudding.
But that’s not how Mrs Grumble sees things, because –
In this case, it was a group of red colobus monkeys in Uganda, but as primates, experts say we humans would likely experience similar effects from the compounds.
The research was carried out by Michael Wasserman, while he was a graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management.
Over 11 months, Wasserman and his team followed a group of red colobus monkeys in Uganda’s Kibale National Park and recorded what the primates ate.
The researchers focused on aggression.
They measured this by the number of chases and fights, the frequency of mating and the time spent grooming.
The scientists also collected faecal samples to assess changes in hormone levels.
Alf is strongly of the view that having collected these faecal samples, the scientists proceeded to write a paper with a strong faecal stench.
But Mrs Grumble took a different view.
The researchers found that the more male red colobus monkeys dined on the leaves of Millettia dura, a tropical tree containing estrogen-like compounds, and closely linked to soy, the higher their levels of estradiol, the ‘sex hormone’ and cortisol the ‘stress hormone’.
They found that with the altered hormone levels the monkeys spent more time having sex, and less time grooming.
Wasserman told Sciencelive: ‘By altering hormone levels and social behaviours important to reproduction and health, plants may have played a large role in the evolution of primate, including human, biology in ways that have been underappreciated.’
Fair to say, in a separate study a bunch of researchers from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, have found that men believe eating meat makes them more manly.
The results have been published in a magazine with the sort of title that would encourage Alf to subscribe.
Professor Hank Rothgerber , who has published his research in the journal Men and Masculinity, said that meat eating was linked with ‘manhood, power, and virility’.
The research comes after the animal rights charity PETA has also insisted that fruit and veg are the key to virility.
A video featuring various men gyrating with an assortment of phallic-shaped fruit and vegetables to represent their naughty bits apparently became a viral sensation on YouTube to back up the point.
From a tennis player sporting a giant carrot, to a car wash mechanic with a banana, PETA says the video is ‘a light-hearted way to show that spicing things up in the bedroom can be as simple as changing things up in the kitchen’.
The prats at PETA reckon cholesterol in meat, eggs and dairy products can clog our arteries and slow the flow of blood to all the body’s organs.
Apparently that includes organs of the sort that are vital in the bedroom.
Vegan meals, on the other hand, contain none of the animal fat or cholesterol found in meat, eggs and dairy products.
Vegans are also, on average, fitter and slimmer than meat-eaters and less prone to heart disease, strokes, diabetes, obesity and cancer, the charity claims.
‘When it comes to making love, carnivores can be as sluggish as the blood trying to squeeze through their clogged arteries – but vegans have the stamina to keep the party going all night long,’ said PETA UK associate director Mimi Bekhechi.
There’s a bunch of Greens who call themselves the VeGreens – a network within the party for vegetarians, vegans, and those who limit their meat intake for a variety of reasons.
Among other things they show an interest in any food and animal-related policy the party might want to amend or make.
The stuff from PETA could well become a useful recruitment device.
Alf feels a new tongue-twister coming on: Peter’s pecker primed with potent peppers.