Why write about food? Because there is less known about this essential daily rite than any other. We have at our fingertips more information about the water we drink, the trains and buses we travel on, the banks that hold our money, the power companies that supply our energy and the systems that educate our children than we ever have about food. Does is matter? Are those other things more important? All I can say is that this is a commodity we put inside our bodies and nourishment is about much more than being ‘full’. Secondly the food industry is one that has many secrets. This is because while making food is highly regulated, selling it is not. How food is sold to you is the decision of the manufacturer. What they choose to tell you – or not to tell you – is largely down to them. You would never get away with selling a rail ticket on the same premise that food is sold to you. You could never contaminate the water supply or adulterate the energy supply in the same way that food is furtively changed so the manufacturer can profit more.
My agenda has always been to have a go at the bad, and celebrate the good. To broadcast the secrets of this industry, to educate, to tell you what they do not tell you. To know what questions to ask, and to name and shame when is necessary. On the other hand there is a sector of the food industry that has true integrity that rears, grows and makes food that is 100% natural. I want to tell you about this food too.
My food philosophy is based on a few simple ideas:
- I choose food that is seasonal because it is eco-friendly and a variable diet has been conclusively proved to be more healthy.
- I buy food from a source I can trust.
- I make better ingredients more affordable by not wasting a bone, crust of bread, stalk or outer leaf. This is very important; it is the heart of my cookery philosophy.
- I am curious, I read labels, ask awkward questions and am never be afraid to ask for what I want; I vote with my wallet.
- I eat around the table as much as possible with family, friends and colleagues – yep, I lunch.
- I buy food that is locally produced, from local business as often as I can, again because it is more eco-friendly - and essentially because it boosts the local economy.
- I sin occasionally. We humans are made that way; we fast and feast; feast and fast. I adore my wine.