Forget jihadi brides demanding our sympathy and a safe return to the country they so treacherously abandoned; forget MPs breaking away from their parties to form new groups. The really big news this week is that there is an existential threat to one of the pillars of our civilisation: the good old Sunday roast.

The world's largest gathering of scientists this week declared that the pollutants from cooking a roast are worse than those in the most toxic cities on earth.

If you want to save yourself - and, one assumes, the planet - you must forthwith ditch the Sunday roast potatoes and the joint of beef sizzling in the oven, and boil it all instead.

We are all, of course, used to scare stories about the stuff we put into our bodies, from sugar (the work of the devil) to wine (nectar of the gods), to processed meat, to dairy, to carbs... to everything enjoyable, basically.

But please, for the love of all that is holy, leave our roast dinners alone.

According to the eminent scientists gathered together in some no doubt godforsaken spot, cooking s roast with the windows shut gives a pollution reading 13 times worse than London on a busy day. And they know what they're talking about. One team of researchers apparently cooked a roast turkey dinner in a three-bed roomed house. The dinner consisted of roast turkey, roast Brussels sprouts (sprouts? Roasted? Roast sprouts?!), boiled sweet potatoes, bread sauce and cranberry sauce - and the toxic particulate levels were higher than in Delhi, the sixth most polluted city in the world.

Well, sorry, I don't care if a Sunday roast produces pollutants on the scale of Hell. Some things in life are sacrosanct - and the traditional Sunday roast is right up there.

Apparently Brussels sprouts are the villain of the piece when it comes to killer roasts (no surprise there - anything to do with Brussels should surely be avoided) because when they are roasted they blacken quickly, thereby increasing the toxic outpourings. But what sort of Sunday lunch lunatic roasts sprouts? Everyone knows sprouts are to be boiled - ideally to within an inch of their lives. We northerners certainly don't go in for all that poncy roast green vegetables lark.

The rules of a Sunday roast include boiled carrots and sprouts but roast potatoes and parsnips. And none of your boiled or braised meat rubbish, thank you very much.

I'm fed up with all the apocalyptic warnings about what we should and shouldn't eat or drink. Life's for living - and if we can't enjoy a good old Sunday roast with all the trimmings, what's the point?

Those worthy, earnest, joyless scientists deserve a good old roasting for blackening the reputation of our favourite meal.