There is no such thing an healthy food, or an unhealthy one. Healthy eating is about balance. Despite what the media would have you believe, the advice from scientists has remained fairly consistent over the years. Eat a balanced diet, lots of fruit and vegetables, not too many calories, not too much salt. Try not to become overweight; it’s bad for you. If you do, you are eating too many calories so cut down a bit.
Sugar is not bad for you. Too much sugar is bad for you. Too much sugar and too much fat is even worse for you. Too much water is bad for you. Too much kale is bad for you. If you want to cut all sugar out of your diet, you would have to cut out all fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, dairy, and eggs. Very few people could seriously suggest that this is a good idea – I would suggest it might make you very ill. It is all a question of balance.
Obesity is a serious problem when it occurs and has huge implications for health. Some people find it hard to loose weight. Despite more information than ever available about health and nutrition, despite an abundance of healthier options available to consumers, despite consumers having more and more interest in the food we eat, we are loosing the battle to combat obesity and something must be done. What we are doing now is not working, so we must work hard to find an approach that will. I cannot solve this problem, although in other parts of my life I try to do my bit, teaching people with low cooking skills to cook a few healthy dishes. Here, Angry Chef, my bullshit fighting alter ego, will attempt to bring to light any misinformation that makes the fight against obesity harder.
There is no such thing as a superfood. Some foods, especially fruit and vegetables, have lots of micronutrients, which are a good thing. We need a balanced diet and lots of micronutrients and the best way to achieve this is to eat lots of different stuff, especially fresh fruits and vegetables.
A detox is a serious medical procedure that people might be put through in some poisoning cases or if they have substance abuse issues. If is usually carried out in hospitals by medical professionals. A detox does not occur when you drink vegetable juices or eat any other foods. No foodstuff or diet plan will cause your body to detox. Toxins are naturally removed from your body by your liver and kidneys and do not build up over time, only to be removed by wheatgrass enemas and the like. The principal of a food-based detox (or any other alternative therapy detox) makes no scientific sense. There is no evidence that it works. Any diet that claims to detox you is lying. Any food product available making claims about detoxing should be immediately removed from shelves. If you make claims about diet based detox programmes, the Angry Chef is coming for you. Stop immediately, you are lying to people.
Processed foods are not all bad. Many processed foods are only processed by the addition of heat. Flour is a processed food. So is Organic Quinoa Flour. So are cashew nuts. Most grains are processed in some way before we get them. Tinned tomatoes and tomato puree are processed before we get them, but are full of micronutrients. There are some processed foods that are not great, some are fairly shameful, but living without anything processed would be very difficult – perhaps nearly impossible. I think I may have already mentioned – eating healthily is all a question of balance.
Natural does not always mean good for you. Or even better for you. I could feed you some very natural mushrooms that would kill you in minutes. Food poisoning bugs are all natural. Botulism is natural. You could probably grow it organically if you wanted to.
Food manufacturers are not evil. They are not desperate to fill us with additives that cause terrible harm. They exist to make money and the best way to do this is to make things that are cheap and taste good so we will want to buy them. Sometimes this means that they do some bad things, especially when the drive to make lots of money becomes too important. The ingredients that food manufactures would really love to fill their products with are air and water as this will make them cheaper. They sometimes tell lies in their marketing; they sometimes loose control of their supply chain. If they do, then there will be an Angry Chef coming for them.
No one should have a food philosophy. If they do, especially if they have a section about it on their website, they probably need to get a grip. When I get myself together I am going to put a section on here especially for food philosophies.
Within most reputable food companies there are structures in place to ensure that the food we eat is as safe as possible. It is a highly regulated industry and the cost to a brand of a food safety error is potentially catastrophic. Most food manufacturers care very much about the safety of their consumers. From my experience of both sides of the industry I would be more worried about the safety of food from small artisan producers, or small independent restaurants that I would be about the food from a large manufacturer or a large restaurant chain. I would also expect the big boys to produce a far higher level of product consistency. When it comes to quality however, that is something else.
Food is important. We all have to eat every day, so we may as well enjoy it. Decisions we make about food will affect the health of our children, maybe even the future of our planet. Eating healthily is simple on paper, harder in practice.
Large food manufacturers and retailers have a huge responsibility. Their actions can change the eating habits of our nation. They should use their power responsibly and for good. If they don’t, I am watching.
In the right hands, food can be beautiful. In some rare cases, it can even be art. Chefs however are not important in the world. We probably all need to get a grip. Stop being so angry. Stop taking ourselves so seriously. All I have ever wanted in my career is to share a little bit of my passion for food with the world. All I want is to increase people’s enjoyment, understanding and appreciation of food in some small way. That is all this website is for.