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Welcome from the editor: food, friend or foe?

2 min read
Boy and Girl With a Birthday Cake illustration

Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend.

In my editorial last week, I wrote about how food is one of life’s great pleasures. And I believe it is, but for those suffering from malnutrition, those with only access to cheap, unhealthy produce for financial reasons, or those with a challenging relationship with food, it is often not a friend, but a foe.

There is an obesity epidemic in the world, and on our shores too. A staggering 63% of British adults (probably more, since this is pre-pandemic data) are overweight, and just under a third is obese. This week we look into this in depth and speak to medical experts and food industry professionals in our feature Obesity: stats, facts and the HFSS advertising ban.
We also report on the Health Foundation’s new study on obesity and public health and the organisation’s recommendations to the UK Government.

Is food bringing us together (friend) or keeping us apart (foe)? Is technology helping us to shop better and faster or is it making us lonelier? One might argue that having till-less supermarkets is convenient when we are in a hurry, but are our lives really so fast that we can’t use the help of a cashier, with whom also have a quick, polite chat?
At the height of lockdown, I rather enjoyed my weekly trip to the supermarket. Sure, I wasn’t enamoured with the long queues (although I quickly worked out the best days and times to shop, so it wouldn’t become a nuisance), but I enjoyed having a little bit of that human interaction we were all starved of. People were nice, we were in it together. Going to the supermarket reminded me of that and I was also incredibly grateful to the shop staff who, despite being in a pandemic, were still working and helping their customers, and had always time to exchange a few words with all of us. Anyway, enough of my personal life and opinion, A checkout-free future? How Trigo’s AI technology is changing the way we shop will tell you more about AI technology than I can.

Whilst food can be a foe and a daily battle for many, it’s also a wonderful force for good, and can help people survive the hardest of times. Listening to the story of The refugee chefs taking Malaysia by storm will warm your heart…and right now we all need that.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,