Tuesday March 26, 2019
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Chefs Gear Up For Pairing With Scientists To Promote Sustainable Eating

In Europe, research fellow Laura Wellesley of British think-tank Chatham House says governments must aid in a shift to so-called plant-based meat and, more controversially, meat grown in laboratories.

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Food
Diners sample vegan dishes at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

Spelt risotto was on the menu at a recent lunch in Paris. Spelt is an ancient form of wheat with a nutty flavor. It is rich in fiber and minerals, and counts among dozens of sometimes ancient and obscure foods scientists say benefit people and the planet.

A green cuisine effort is growing in France as scientists warn that meat consumption must be drastically cut to fight climate change and sustainably feed a global human population set to reach 10 billion by 2050.

Algae, which are nutrient-rich and can have a meat-like flavor, is seen at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Algae, which are nutrient-rich and can have a meat-like flavor, is seen at a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

“Seventy-five percent of our food comes from 12 crops and five animals. Sixty percent of all our calories come through three vegetables,” said David Edwards, director of food strategy at environmental group WWF, which jointly produced a report, “Future 50 Foods,” with the German food giant Knorr.

The message: Our current eating habits, which rely heavily on large-scale farming and livestock production, have got to change.

“We’ve had a 60 percent decline in the wildlife population since the 1970s — the last 50 years, within a lifetime,” Edwards added. “And … a precipitous decline in insect populations also … food has pushed wildlife into the extreme margins.”

A menu explains what is being served at a "Future 50 Foods" lunch at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
A menu explains what is being served at a “Future 50 Foods” lunch at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

The Paris lunch featured many of the report’s so-called “future” foods. Vegetables are in. Meat is out. On the menu: walnuts, root vegetables, lentil flour, yams and soy milk.

Also, fonio — a drought-resistant grain that Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam now markets in the United States and serves at his New York City restaurant. He sources it from smallholder farmers in Africa.

“We’re still importing food like rice in Senegal. Yet we could have our own fonio, our own millet. We should be consuming it. But we still have this mentality that what comes from the West is best,” Thiam said.

Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam attends a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Thiam cooks and markets fonio in the U.S., sourcing the grain from African farmers.
Senegalese chef Pierre Thiam attends a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. Thiam cooks and markets fonio in the U.S., sourcing the grain from African farmers. VOA

Former White House chef Sam Kass, who led Michelle Obama’s campaign against childhood obesity, is now fighting for the environment.

“When we talk about these dramatic changes to overhaul everything, people are like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about, I don’t know what to do.’ And here, it’s like, just pick 2 to 3 foods and eat them once a week. That would be a big start,” Kass said.

Drought-resistant okra is displayed at a "Future 50 Foods" tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris.
Drought-resistant okra is displayed at a “Future 50 Foods” tasting at the Pompidou Center in Paris. VOA

In Europe, research fellow Laura Wellesley of British think-tank Chatham House says governments must aid in a shift to so-called plant-based meat and, more controversially, meat grown in laboratories.

“The EU has really invested quite heavily in this area … but it could do more,” Wellesley said. “It could invest more public finance in the research and development of culture and plant-based meat that are truly sustainable and are healthy options. And it could also support the commercialization of innovations.”

At the Paris lunch, diner Thomas Blomme gave his first course a thumbs-up.

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“Some sort of soup, with a lot of spices and some new ingredients. Tasted really well with some lentils,” he said.

And for diners heading back to work but feeling a bit sleepy after the seven-course tasting menu: A green moringa after-party booster juice was offered. (VOA)

Next Story

Drinking Orange Juice may Cut your Risk of Deadly Strokes: Study

For the study, the team examined nearly 35,000 men and women aged between 20 and 70 years

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juice
Juice is thought to contain many of the naturally-occurring plant substances found in whole fruit that can protect blood vessels against disease. Pixabay

Drinking orange juice daily may cut your risk of deadly strokes by almost a quarter, suggests a study.

The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, showed that people who consumed the juice each day saw a reduction in the risk of a brain clot by 24 per cent, the Daily Mail reported.

Further, the rates of heart disease were also reduced in regular drinkers, who were 12 to 13 per cent less likely to suffer with damaged arteries.

 

orange juice
Further, the rates of heart disease were also reduced in regular drinkers, who were 12 to 13 per cent less likely to suffer with damaged arteries. Pixabay

Fresh fruit juices have long been thought of as healthy. But consumers in recent years have been put off by warnings over their high sugar content.

The researchers noted that the health benefits in terms of stroke prevention could outweigh the risks from sugar content.

“We found a favourable association with pure fruit juice consumption,” said researchers from the Netherlands National Institute for Public Health.

 

orange juice
Fresh fruit juices have long been thought of as healthy. But consumers in recent years have been put off by warnings over their high sugar content. Pixabay

It’s not just orange juice that has this benefit, other fruit juices also appear to cut the risk, they noted.

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Juice is thought to contain many of the naturally-occurring plant substances found in whole fruit that can protect blood vessels against disease.

However, the team said despite the obvious benefits of juice, they would still recommend eating whole fruit as well, as there are more studies confirming its benefits.

For the study, the team examined nearly 35,000 men and women aged between 20 and 70 years. (IANS)