Welcome from the editor: a plate of cobwebs
Welcome, thank you for joining me this weekend and welcome back to me!
Non fun reasons I shan’t bore you with took me to ‘the continent’ for a little while. It’s funny how quickly we forget about the life we’ve momentarily left behind and adapt to a new situation (that’ll be those primordial survival instincts). When I was away I visited the local supermarket. Supermarkets in Italy are a constant source of fascination for me, as I marvel at the quality and quantity of produce on offer: fresh, tinned, canned, frozen, packaged, jarred – you name it. Such bounty quickly erased memories of stockless British shops. Compared to the UK, Italy shows no sign of food insecurity, despite having had a drought in the north since December 2021. Of course the rest of Europe is also experiencing energy price hikes and the likes, but I guess, unlike us, they’ve never had Brexit so they don’t have to shell out €1M for a single, sorry egg.
Upon my return to England I was slapped with headlines of some supermarkets rationing fresh produce, tomatoes and cucumber shortages, and food inflation taking another worrying uphill hike. “Ha, us media types are so dramatic sometimes!” I scoffed, until I visited my local supermarket to try and restore some fridge health, and indeed I could not find a single pepper or tomato for my evening meal. With no fresh produce in my basket, my dream of making a salad packed with crunchy vegetables soon evaporated and I resigned myself to a plate of cobwebs (reminder to myself: spring clean this weekend).
Anyway, despite this sad tale, I’m optimistic as always. And good, sunny news I bring you too. If you like me like seaweed (and if you don’t, read on, there’s something good for you too), you won’t want to miss Sustainable ingredients: how algae could help feed a growing population. Incidentally I only eat seaweed when I go to Asian restaurants as all my attempts at cooking it well have thus far failed. If you have a foolproof recipe, pop it into my inbox please.
For those of you who have a delicate tummy, just like mine, and tend to avoid bread, you might be soon eat it to your heart’s content, because some clever types at King’s College London have created Bread made from whole cell chickpea flour that lowers blood sugar and increases fullness.
Despite the challenging times the F&B industry is going through, it’s lovely to see that some companies are smashing it. Listen to the uplifting tale of How TRIP became one of the world’s fastest growing drink brands.
In the last few years the world seems to have gone gluten-free. But are these products as good nutritionally as they are meant to be? Apparently not. Find out why in Gluten-free products not as healthy as those with gluten, study finds.
I started this editorial talking of food insecurity, so let’s go full circle and end with it. As a cautionary tale I give you Food scarcity and civil unrest: what we can learn from the past.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend – you’ll find me getting rid of my cobwebs.