In Defence of Clean Eating

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

An avocado in defence of clean eating
Congratulations, you’ve made it through January 2017. We can now turn our backs on that inaugural month and all the short lived health crazes that accompanied it. Veganuary and dry january both featured prominently on social media this year, the last vestiges of many new leafs which abounded just a few weeks ago have fallen into the annals of history for yet another year. We’ve already reached peak gym membership 2017. In this time I’ve been ruminating about diet, health and ‘clean eating’ after it received another bashing in the the wake of the BBC Horizon programme ‘Clean Eating – The Dirty Truth’. In this programme, Dr Giles Yeo explores the world of clean eating from a scientific perspective, to find out what foundations lay, if any, behind the over-exposed Instagram accounts of these cleanliness gurus. Charlatans. I found the programme highly divisive and quite partisan in it’s despatching…

Should I Eat Meat? Part 1 – Fishing

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Should I eat meat? fishing
Last week I wrote about my moral dilemma around eating meat. I've decided it's morally incongruous to eat meat if I'm not prepared to kill, butcher and cook some animals with my own hands. As a city dweller, I've never experienced the killing and preparation of meat, or going fishing for my dinner, because they've been far removed from my daily lifestyle. The only way for me to resolve this dilemma is to go out and kill some animals, then prepare and cook them, before reflecting on how I feel about the process.

My recent holiday in Goa, on the west cost of India, should have provided abundant opportunities to head out to sea and catch some fish to begin exploring this dilemma. Whilst there I decided to embrace the chance to seek out and... come and read more...

Should I Eat Meat?

Gavin WrenFood Education, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Should I eat meat?
Background. I’m having an existential crisis. The foundations of my culinary world are being rocked to their core, because asked myself the question “should I eat meat?”. The best way to describe my diet is flexitarian. I eat everything, however almost every meal I prepare at home is vegetarian, I rarely ever cook meat and buy fish once a week. If I try new recipes from cookbooks or blogs, they are almost exclusively vegetarian and the new recipes I create are almost exclusively vegetarian (hence this blog being 99% vegetarian). Despite this largely vegetarian lifestyle, there’s no underlying urge to become a full-blown vegetarian, because some of my favourite dishes involve meat. I’m an absolute sucker for raw meat and fish, I start salivating at the thought of a sashimi platter or steak tartare. The problem is that I’ve become obsessed with the moral implications of eating meat. I recently…

Mince Pies – Burn After Reading

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Mc Donalds vs Mince Pies
Now that Christmas is merely a hazy memory akin to my recollection of the precise location that I last parked my car, I feel the need to do a post-mortem analysis on the whole sorry affair, focusing in particular on a cornerstone of the festive foundations; mince pies. It’s a Deal, it’s a Steal. On the second day of January this year I was re-stocking our pantry at the local comestibles super-emporium when I picked up a pack of six mince pies that had been reduced to 10p. The store in question was still trying to shift an enormous pallet load of the things, but these pies were hanging around like the mate that seemingly doesn’t want to leave after staying over the night so just moulds himself into the sofa eating crisps instead. Unfortunately, you can’t reduce the price of your friend to the point that he’s so cheap…

Screw Coffee – Why I’m Giving Up Coffee

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Giving up coffee, why drinking espresso every day is bad for creativity
Yep, I said it. Screw coffee. I’m giving up coffee. Painful decisions. I got ill last week, a stomach bug whose ass I’m still struggling to kick. At first I stuck on a brave face, soldiered on, kept calm, carried on and all that bullshit. However, the stiff upper lip approach to personal health simply resulted in further pain and discomfort, by Thursday last week I felt like food was my sworn enemy. Particularly noticeable were the severe stomach cramps, experienced precisely when I imbibed my luscious, thick black morning coffee. The part of the day which I longed for each morning, I dreamed lucidly of it’s inception and felt bereft when it’s time had passed. That poignant moment, when coffee cup hit desk, computer chimed into convivial companionship and the day was ready, had become a time of anguish and pain. There was only one option, stop drinking coffee,…

What is Food?

Gavin WrenFood Education, Food Opinion Pieces, The World of Food

Apples oranges bananas and pears
Duh, it’s obvious, innit, it’s the stuff you put in yer cake’ole. In a physical sense, yes, that is correct, food is the stuff we put in our mouths, masticate, then swallow. Our body extracts various nutrients and energy sources and I don’t need to tell you what happens after that. What does food mean? What if we considered food on a different level from the physical, nourishing and calorific one, what does food mean to the people of the world, beyond energy and nutrition? What joy or sadness does it bring? What political, professional or domestic issues does it create? How do the 7,400,000,000 people on this planet manage to get enough of that food ‘stuff’ into their gobs every single day of their lives, if they’re lucky? How is it possible that there’s enough food in the world to provide at least one meal a day to such…