What are we doing to increase food knowledge amongst our children? Does their future health rely on it? Yes!

As each generation passes, our collective food knowledge goes down another notch. Isn’t this strange when one considers that overall our knowledge increases; so why is food taken for granted?

The hard truth is that our skills and abilities in the kitchen have been in decline for many years; probably centuries really. Is it important?

Yes, because as we stand our diet is killing us; everything from type two diabetes, chronic inflammation, Alzheimer’s, and High Blood pressure leading to heart attack and strokes. Cardiovascular disease, and cancer. The list goes on and is long. Diet has a dramatic effect on all outcomes. We really need to take a hold of this. Our modern diet is too reliant on food coming to us marketed under the loose term ‘convenience’. A rough guide, when the list of ingredients is more than ten and some of which you can’t pronounce, you’ve got a problem.

Workplaces are beginning to wake up to this as are schools. It is now time to kick back.

What we eat truly affects our health, life expectancy and quality of life, we have to work at it to significantly change the present likely outcomes.

We all know this to one level or another but we have become so influenced by advertising and the fast pace of life. We work longer, and harder and spend less time developing a skill which is so important to our lives. Then add in our social media life, have I got the latest iPhone, Pad, or Mac book? The supermarkets can remove the need for you to waste time cooking and we can free up time to watch the result of ‘Married at first sight’. Cooking will just take this time away from us. Unfortunately, supermarkets are heavily invested in this approach. They make far more profit from sales of ready meals than they do from fruit, veg raw fish and meat.

So what do we do about it? That truly is a million-dollar question and lies in parts;

  • We need to educate people better about the importance and great taste of fresh produce. It is one of the good things which emerged from the pandemic. Food did become more important again for some but we need to make it widespread. Most don’t know the basics about food, even educated people so the task is a large one.
  • What we eat does impact our energy and ability to lead great lives.
  • We need to promote fresh produce far better.
  • We need to bring cooking education back into schools

Yes, there is a cost to all this, but the money is already being spent via the healthcare service having to deal with the impacts of poor diet. We need to think differently about food and talk about it differently.

I’m not saying I have the answers. But as an industry, we should be getting more involved and making more noise. Serving food is our lifeblood, surely, we should want it to be healthier than it is at present. More than that, great fresh produce is just that much more fun to eat. Just ask the Italians.

Written by John Harris, principal consultant at Lets-Confab