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Welcome from the editor: the benefits of food

woman smiling
3 min read
AUTHOR: Stef Bottinelli
Surreal giant green vegetables in sunset field

Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend.

How do we choose what we eat? Do we base our decisions on flavour and texture, nutritional profile, seasonability, environmental and ethical impact or on all, or some, of these reasons?

I would say I choose what I consume for all of these reasons, although I’ll admit – not without some shame – that I have occasionally craved the odd asparagus in winter, and given in to it, throwing seasonability and environmental concerns out of the window. Having said that, ethical reasons are the driving force behind what I eat (I don’t eat animals or their derivates in any shape of form).
Taste is of course very important, and so is nutritional profile. I am a great believer that food is fuel and it’s important to eat healthy foods that benefits our mind and body.

A little over a decade ago, I used to suffer from regular, debilitating migraines. I would lose entire days, unable to see, hear and even speak properly. I did an enormous amount of tests as the symptoms were so strong, my GP feared there was something more serious behind these episodes, but thankfully it turned out there wasn’t. I was simply suffering from truly awful migraines. I started noticing that certain foods where more likely to trigger them – namely sugar and starch, but not only.
Little by little, after doing various allergy and intolerance tests, I started cutting out the culprits, whilst making sure I still had a balanced diet. The migraines went completely. In the first couple of years since I modified what I ate I would get one every 12 months, now I have been completely free of them for over five years.
This is of course my experience and I am aware that migraines, and other ailments, can be caused by a variety of factors, not simply food, but in my case some ingredients were what made me feel unwell and this got me very interested in nutrition and the benefits (or lack thereof) of food.

In my opinion it’s really important to have a varied diet, and introduce foods that we wouldn’t regularly eat. This week’s feature 5 functional food and ingredient trends and innovations for 2023 looks at the properties of certain produce, the benefits, and why they will be big this year. Fascinating stuff.

At the end of last year the baguette joined UNESCO’s heritage list. The popular stick is enjoyed all over the world, but with energy and ingredient prices soaring and the number of independent bakeries in France shrinking, could we soon witness the demise of this traditional bread? Read all about it in Is the baguette under threat? How UNESCO could save the French bread.

Recently selected as ‘one of the best chefs in the world’ to participate in Netflix’s global culinary competition The Final Table, young chef Charles Michel joins the Food Matters Live podcast to talk about his career to date and discuss some of the philosophical issues he feels are relevant to the food industry today. Don’t miss Charles Michel – putting the philosophy into food.

In last week’s editorial I was talking about ‘hibernating’ in January and enjoying cosy nights in. 5 must watch documentaries about the food system and its sustainability and 10 must-read food books about sustainability, culture, and history will give you plenty of suggestions on how to spend cold evenings at home without getting bored.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend,



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