Saturday, 5 February 2011

REAL FOOD FOR REAL FLAVOURS




Two nights ago I passed a fever filled night of chills and shakes. Last night I started writing this blog entry only to be jolted by the shaking of our building during an earthquake. Two nights ago was man made and last night was nature. Both were real. The reality of life should be awakening...

The food we eat needs a wakeup call. I was told by a man on the street, as we all fled out of doors during the shaking of buildings, ”Life is but an instant, Life is nothing...” And it made me think of what most of us humans actually eat. We eat as if nothing matters; like a prisoner on death row awaiting their last meal. Globally, with an obesity rate of 10%, UK/US rate of overweight at about 40% and increase heart disease, diabetes, and various cancers we are not far off!

In truth what we want in those moments, whether after an earthquake, on death row, or just returning home are memories through flavours, a last taste of a reality we may never know again. Some ask how to get to that place???

  • When I want to eat something fruity, I want the juice of the mango on my lips, not that of corn syrup sweetened candy.
  • When I desire the flavour of tomatoes bursting in my tomato sauce, I want them from real farm fresh seasonal tomatoes not from powdered pulp mixed with thickeners, sugars and fillers
  • When i want to eat a roast chicken, I want to taste the crispy skin and the juicy meat. I want to savour the flavours of the fields the chicken found food in, not the extrement of the pen it was stuffed in with thousands of others as they wait to become proccessed fried chicken products.
  • When I have a cup of tea each morning, I want reality as well. The real price paid for the real labour of all the south Asian migrant labourers up here in Sylhet, slaving away in the hot sun, the stifling humidity, and often the torrential flooding all to pick the worlds tea leaves.

We in the U.S. and U.K. currently pay less for food than at any other time in our collective histories, and the ones paying the price are the billions of poor producers, labourers, and the environmentally deteriorating planet!!!

I will keep writing blog posts with cooking ideas, but we all need to remember to eat real food. Don’t eat marketing. Don’t eat labels, They just don’t taste good. Simply eat real food. It does not matter if you are a manager of a school food division or managing your kid’s lunch, take a second to think of the big picture and what real food really means to you and the people you serve. Buy if you can from a real grocer, butcher, fishmonger, fisherman, and farmer. Find out where your food really comes from and then try to pay a real price. And most important, have some real enjoyment with friends and family.

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