Friday, 10 June 2011

For the love of food

Tonight I enjoyed Man vs. Will at the Udderbelly (the purple upside down cow on the Southbank). In his show the Aussie comedian, Will Anderson, joked about the differences between English, Australians and Americans, including their attitudes to food.

In particular he theorized that the Americans have a bigger problem with obesity due to the way they love food and have so much focus on it.

It's true that the Americans love their food and this can encourage over-eating - particularly their association between food and pretty much all social activities. However the French and Italians are arguably more passionate about food without having the same obesity problem, although there passions are usually around quality rather than quantity.

And that difference is key - eating isn't just about fueling the body - although some diet regimes would have us act as if it were - we can't deny that eating is a pleasurable sensory experience that is also intertwined in our social fabric.

In this way good food should be celebrated and we should always aim to eat the highest quality produce, even for something as simple as our breakfast make sure the fruit is ripe and tasty or have a good quality muesli. If something doesn't taste good or isn't pleasurable to eat then put it to one side and eat something else.

Try it out over the weekend - you might be surprised at how much food you reject but also that when you really think about it you may be getting more pleasure out of some simple healthy foods rather than processed unhealthy ones.

Once you tune into quality in this way you'll find not only do you enjoy your food more but you'll generally eat less. Good food is savoured and eaten slowly, whereas eating something bland generally leads to mindless eating where you work your way through your food like a chore.
Perhaps if the Americans loved their food in this way they wouldn't be such an easy target for comedians.

Will is at the Udderbelly for the next three nights if you fancy a good laugh.

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