Recent snippets of significance from the Press
A spot-on article from The Sydney Morning Herald by writer Elizabeth Farrelly, that looks at the modern-day obsession with well-being and how social media now seems to be driving us to a dangerous level of narcissism in the quest to achieve this. In fact Farrelly points out that the notion of well-being – the idea that being both happy and healthy is good for you – actually has its roots in Nazi Germany and the Third Reich’s quest for an Aryan super race, so it may not be the ideal human goal after all.
Taking Time to Eat
A thoughtful article from Bee Wilson in The FT, musing on how in our increasingly rushed and time-poor modern world, people are spending less and less of their day actually cooking, eating and enjoying their meals. In reality, most people in affluent societies actually have a lot more free time than previous generations, and yet they are not choosing to allocate any more time to eating well, but rather opting for short meal breaks and quick convenience food. It’s a trend that’s negatively affecting both our physical and psychological health – as Wilson points out, sometimes there’s nothing like a long, slow and social lunch to enrich and energise us.
Another article on the topic of social media in Atlas (Etihad Airways inflight magazine) by The Telegraph’s Simon Parker, and how it is increasingly being used as a platform to sell products or ideas by so-called ‘influencers’. Despite this, in these days of fake news, it seems people are starting to wise-up to the often fictitious nature of these posts – a survey at last year’s World Travel Market found that 78 per cent of holidaymakers didn’t look to influencers for travel inspiration. It seems good-old common sense hasn’t been completely lost after all.
Growing Asian Greens
The Asian diaspora has long played an important role in shaping modern America, especially within the agricultural sector, and now, as reported in Eater, a new generation of young Asian Americans are going back to the land. But this time instead of lettuces and tomatoes, it’s exotic Asian vegetables such as choy sum and Chinese broccoli that they are growing. It’s a movement that is not only allowing these new farmers to reconnect to their cultural heritage, but also feeds into America’s growing appetite for Asian food and vegetable-led dining.
An insightful article in The FT looking at the healthiness of British school dinners and how, despite Jamie Oliver’s successful 2005 campaign that helped improve their quality, the current Brexit-led economic environment may see a return to the dark days of turkey twizzlers. With the cost of food rapidly rising, school caterers are increasingly cutting corners and using poorer quality produce – however some schools, such as Hackney New Primary School and its chef Damian Currie, are proving that despite the challenging times, with a bit of creative thinking, healthy food for children is still achievable.
The Cost of Cashews
Over the past few years there’s been plenty of publicity surrounding the global environmental impact of meat production, however, as this revealing article in The Telegraph points out there’s also often an unwholesome back story behind the farming of many fruits and vegetables as well. Personally I was unaware that many workers in the cashew nut industry earn an absolute minimal wage and with the cashew shells containing harmful cardol and anacardic acid, also work in very unhealthy conditions. It just goes to show that adhering to a virtuous diet needs to involve more thought beyond the food you put in your mouth.
The New Norm
The FT reports that US-based Impossible Foods, is partnering with Burger King to launch the Impossible Whopper which will be made with its bleeding, vegan impossible burger. and on the back of this it is now looking to raise fresh funding in order to increase its production capacity – this is on top of the impressive US$475m it has already raised since 2011! It’s all further evidence that as vegetarian and vegan eating continues apace, and even shows signs of becoming the new norm, this is becoming an increasingly competitive and lucrative market for such plant-based, meat-alternative food start-ups.