Lactose intolerant Milk pouring into jug

Being Lactose Intolerant & Intolerant of Lactose Intolerance

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

Can you keep a secret? I’m going to break some news, admit something I’ve been ruminating over for a long time. I’m going to hold my hand up and say that I don’t like milk, that I am probably lactose intolerant. This isn’t based on scientific numbers and doctors reports, it is based on personal evidence of an aversion to milk, so all those who hate the ‘fad of wellness’ better saddle up your best trolls and get ready for a fight. But First, Some Contradictions. I have always been slightly begrudging of ‘intolerances’. I’ve always seen a full-blown allergy based on doctors examinations and trials as a big, undeniable fact and no-one’s going to argue that point, hopefully. Except those who believe that exposure to things can reduce allergic reactions, but that’s another story altogether. But an intolerance? That’s more of a personal opinion type-thing and we all know…
Global Nutrition Report 2016

Global Nutrition Report 2016 – It Affects You.

Gavin Wren Food Education, Writing

I was recently invited to attend the UK launch of the Global Nutrition Report in London. The report is a huge group effort created by over 100 contributors from around the world, looking at how nutrition is experienced on a global level. My invitation was due to my imminent commencement of the Food Policy MSc course at City University London, a course which looks in detail at all aspects of the global food chain and our interaction with it. A New Perspective. Due to the way that Food is a cornerstone of civilisation, not to mention a diverse and complicated topic, it was hugely enlightening to hear the details of the report, because frankly, it’s headline findings are very easily conveyed in some simple, straightforward numbers. But first, let’s start with the word ‘malnutrition’. What does that mean to you? Shockingly underweight kids in Africa featured during video clips with…
How to cook onions and how recipes lie to us

How to Cook Onions and How Recipes Lie

Gavin Wren Basic Ingredients, Food Education, Food Techniques, Writing

Today I’m looking at how cooks and chefs around the world have lied to us about how to cook onions, misusing terms like sauté, caramelise, sweat and fry along with frankly ridiculous suggestions of cooking times. So if you really want to know your onions, read on, and I will expose the real truth about onions. Hold the Front Page! It’s time for a News of the World style exposé of the food world. Time to blow open the doors of convention and open your eyes to the delusion and deception that’s all around us in the circus ring of recipes. There’s a common portrayal out there in the culinary world, a veil of misconception that’s flown across people’s faces time and time again, a published mistruth, a conspiracy to mislead and delude the common or garden home cook. For many years there has been a delusion that’s paraded around,…
Authentic Italian Food and how to make sure there's passion in your cooking

Authentic Italian Food and How to ‘Do It Right’

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Food Techniques, Writing

An Italian Muse. Over the last few days my ongoing obsession with authentic Italian food has been stoked by working on an ultimate spelt pizza guide, a series of recipe tests that have furnished my table with some of the nicest pizzas I’ve ever had, which although sounding incredibly smug and arrogant, is true. Soon I will share the delights of these creations with you, so that you can partake in these discs of passionate glory. But there’s been one significant stumbling block along the way to getting these pieces written up, which is the apoplectic passion which my mind whisks itself into once I start talking about authentic Italian food. It practically numbs my ability to write a careful and considered blog post, instead wanting to decry huge swathes of Italian food as being heretic imitations of true Italian cuisine. As I write this, I’m 2000 words astray of…
10 garlic facts every cook should know! Cloves of garlic close up with soft natural lighting

10 Garlic Facts All Cooks Should Know

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Techniques, Recipes, Writing

Garlic. The ubiquitous garlic bulb as we know it, allium sativum, has found it’s way into almost every country and culture of the globe from coast to coast, across vast continents and is deeply entrenched in the history of our world. That’s because it’s a regular little superstar of a plant, garnering modern scientific recognition for it’s effectiveness against high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, cholesterol, colds, some cancers and historically was a highly prized bedrock of any medicine man’s cabinet. Simply put, garlic is an excellent tonic for the human organism and without doubt, garlic is here to stay. My top ten garlic facts will help you get the most out of it in the way that I know best; eating it. Garlic tastes fantastic, especially if treated carefully, with respect. Not everyone realises how delicate garlic can be, because its scent and uncooked flavour are anything but subtle, being…
butternut squash black background

‘The Main Ingredient’ and Culinary Prejudices

Gavin Wren Food Education, Food Opinion Pieces, Writing

Forgive me father. It’s confessional corner again, time to lay bare yet another one of my peculiar little nuances regarding food. This time it’s a distinctly partial perspective of mine, a way of approaching food which has taken years to become apparent, and taken quite some time to ultimately dispel. It affected how I planned meals, how I chose recipes and how I did my shopping. This particularly peculiar perception worked to furnish me with a set of culinary blinkers, which I’m glad to say have been cast asunder, left to lie in tatters at the kerbside of my culinary journey through life. The Main Ingredient. I have spent vast tracts of my life labouring under a misconception. I worked under the peculiar idea that when I make a recipe, there lies an item within it, just one single ingredient, which is so overwhelmingly powerful, vital and precious that it…