What is happening to our cooking skills?????

London supermarkets have become ready-to-go food outlets rather than a place to source ingredients.

Michael Pollan has just put out a new book called “Cooked, a natural history of transformation”. I love the catchphrase on the cover as it sums up craziness of the food world we live in. ” In a culture of food reality shows, in countries which are crammed with fresh ingredients from every corner of the earth, we none the less wade even deeper into a swamp of processed foods. The more we watch food on television, the less food we actually prepare and cook”

Ring true? Cooking has become a spectator sport that encourages eating rather than the honing of our personal food skills. We cook less but eat more as a myriad of tantalising
foods tempt us at every turn. Supermarkets, particularly in the UK and USA have moved away from selling ingredients and instead have become giant take away stores. Ingredients are relatively expensive and hard to find while attractive and conveniently presented ready to go options dominate the food aisles. With competitive pricing it is no wonder people flop on the couch with a ready to go meal rather than having to spend valuable TV time in the kitchen preparing and cooking food! Continue reading

Nigella and Jamie get the thumbs down…

A study just published in the British Medical Journal compared recipes from Nigella Lawson and Jamie Oliver to ready-to-go meals from British supermarkets.  You will probably guess what came up trumps. As Niki Bezzant, editor of the Healthy Food Guide pointed out when interviewed about this, it would be surprising if anyone was surprised by  these results! Continue reading

Live below the line

Live below the line is an awareness and fundraising campaign that’s making a huge difference in the fight against poverty.

This campaign arrived in New Zealand for the first time last year.
From September 24-28, 2012 people across New Zealand will challenge themselves to live on just $2.25 worth of food and drink a day, to get a better understanding of the daily difficulties faced by people who are trapped in extreme poverty.

I decided to consider what doing the challenge would mean.  Given that there are only 2 of us at home now and our weekly grocery bill is commonly over $200, it was difficult to even begin contemplating living on just $31.50 a week, particularly if you are to meet energy and nutrient needs!

Fior this 5 day challenge I worked out a rough menu that would fit into budget (almost) of $22.50 for 2 of us.   Continue reading

Health at any weight?

The latest listener has a cover story promoting health at any weight.  It describes the pressures and discrimination suffered by those who are above a healthy weight and advocates for a society where there is greater size acceptance.  The argument is that weight and Body Mass Index are not ideal measures of health and that programmes that push for weight loss are doing more damage than good. Continue reading

A tick to North Korea!

Even though they are not doing it out of concern for their population, one thing that North Korea is doing right is not allowing coca cola into the country.   It is one of just 3 countries in the world that do not currently allow it in – the others being Cuba and Myanmar.  Sadly now that Myanmar has relaxed its rules, coca cola is being allowed back in.  Haven’t the poor people in Myanmar have suffered enough???