Welcome from the editor: the complexity of food
Welcome and thank you for joining me this weekend.
Eating food is one of our most basic needs, and yet it comes with a number of complexities, not least moral.
People have eaten plant-based and vegetarian diets since the dawn of times, although they were few compared to now and they certainly didn’t call themselves vegan. At least not until 1944, when the term was invented.
A plant-based diet is very popular now, but how good is it for us? We look at its nutritional benefits and suitability in this week’s feature, Is a plant-based diet healthy?
Another popular regime that has been on everyone’s lips is the ketogenic diet. Low in carbs and high in protein and fat, keto has been popular with dieters, but how healthy is it? Dietician Sophie Medlin digs deep in Keto Diet: exploring the science and busting the myths.
How we eat doesn’t just impact our physical and mental health. As we all know, it has an impact on the environment and its inhabitants. Cultured meat is seen as an eco-friendly alternative to intense factory farming, and whilst still not commercially available (aside from Eat Just’s lab-grown chicken which is sold in restaurant 1880 in Singapore), it might become sooner than we think. In fact The Dutch House of Representatives has just passed a motion to make cell-based meat sampling legal. Find out more in our News of The Week.
There’s more and more evidence that factory farming doesn’t benefit anyone, aside from the pockets of producers and those of consumers wanting to spend as little as possible on meat, dairy and eggs. But at what cost? Animal welfare charity The Humane League challenges Defra with judicial review over the breeding of fast growing chickens, arguing that these selective breeds are not just treated inhumanely, they also carry diseases that have an impact on humans too. Considering almost 90% of chicken meat produced in the UK is from fast growing chickens, chances are those eating meat have had some of it at some point. Or possibly regularly.
Food is an essential need, but knowing what we put on our plates, where it comes from and how it affects is essential too.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend,