Culinary Luddism and The Downside of Slow Food

Gavin WrenFood Opinion Pieces, The World of Food, Uncategorized

Culinary Luddism
10 days ago my interest was piqued by a tweet from Jay Rayner, proclaiming that people who think “ALL PROCESSED FOODS BAD” should read an article by food historian Rachel Laudan about ‘Culinary Luddism’. In this beautifully educational piece about the culinary history of local foods, Laudan explains at great length why processing, locality and freshness are not inherently good things, especially when viewed through a historic window ...

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…

The Cooking Gap plus Raisin, Oatmeal and Cardamon Cookies

Gavin WrenBaking, Food Education, Recipes, The World of Food

Raisin, oatmeal and cardamon cookies are a unique twist on the traditional cookie recipe, perfect for a quick weekend bake to fill your family up!
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the whole Sorted Food team at their HQ in East London, the fab bunch of guys and gals who are famous for their YouTube channel which is filled with some awesome recipes and a lot of general larking about with food. We were all meeting up to discuss a big food-based issue which they’ve decided to try and tackle – the ‘cooking gap’. Mind the Gap. They’ve been working with the Co-op, to explore the cooking gap which has developed amongst 16-35 year olds. If you’re wondering what the cooking gap is, it’s the lack of cooking experience that has developed in a generation of the UK population. There’s an entire age group of people growing up in the UK who have little or no culinary knowledge, and worse than that, 28% of those who can’t cook don’t see the point…