Sunday, November 30, 2008

Peter Waring - My Relationship with Food

1. How would you describe your diet? How do you feel about it? Do you think you need to change it in any way, and if so, how and why? If you feel you need to change it, but haven't yet, what is standing in your way of making the change?

Since I began living in Asia 6.5 years ago I think my diet has actually improved in terms of variety and reduced red meat intake. My diet now is pretty good though I’m still quite partial to chocolate and carbs. I also think that I need to consume more fruit – what’s standing in the way of eating more fruit? – my excuse is that in the tropics fruit does not last long but this is a bit weak if I’m honest.

2. How do you (and/or your family) eat? (At home/ out/ take-out/ around a table/ standing at the counter/ together/ at different times/ on the go/ et cetera?) How do you feel about this? Again, do you feel the need for change?

My family are very lucky in so far as we have a live-in nanny for our son who is also a fabulous cook. Karen spoils us with beautifully cooked and highly nutritious meals through the week. Weekends we normally eat out both lunch and dinner. We love Japanese and Chinese food and Singapore is a foodie paradise with a culture that centres on food. In fact, a typical greeting is not ‘how are you?’ but ‘have you eaten yet?’. Through the week I also typically eat lunch out which can range from a bowl of duck porridge at a Hawker place to Thai noodles from a shopping centre restaurant. We eat well in Singapore – probably too well.

3. Where do you shop for your food? How do your food-shopping habits reflect your values?

We shop at a local supermarket that has excellent asian vegetables as well as fresh seafood. There is also a ‘wet market’ nearby where we occasionally buy fruit and vegetables. Again, we’re lucky to have a wonderful range of affordable foodstuffs in Singapore which, because it produces almost zero food itself, has no import duty on food.

4. What does your country/ state/ region do to influence how and what people eat? Does this need to change, in your opinion?

The Singapore govt has been alarmed at growing obesity rates among young people who do seem fixated with mostly American burger chains so it has an ongoing educational campaign aimed at getting kids to eat in moderation. At hawker stands around Singapore (street food) you can also ask for less oil and fat in your chicken rice (a simple yet famous Singapore dish).

5. What one thing can you do to:a) wean yourself off an oil-based diet and onto sun-based foods?b) improve your eating habits and thus your health?c) encourage others to do the same?

Probably to eat more fruit and start to move away from having the obligatory chocolate every evening. I do also think we need to start eating food which is grown closer to where we live for the global warming reasons alluded to in the article.

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