On the BBC News app recently I read that Michelin-starred chef Angela Hartnett has said that Britain is still not a ‘Foodie nation’. She says that ‘Our food culture is about money. People who have money can afford good food in this country.’
Sure it was ever thus, but also there’s another factor. People, especially younger generations (of course there are exceptions), have become used to instant fast food, and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen peeling and chopping vegetables. Out went the old stews and in have come the microwave meals and takeaways, which are usually loaded with fat, sugar and salt. Hence the nation’s waistlines have increased substantially since the 1950’s, as sugar addictions have taken hold. These days, unless you cook from scratch using fresh meat and veg, it’s difficult to find food which isn’t laden with sugar, fat or salt.
However, Sam and I still eat good food which doesn’t cost too much – I like to make casseroles in my slow cooker. You can add loads of good veggies, lean turkey or chicken, stock and herbs, and it doesn’t cost the earth – then bung it all in the slow cooker and leave it for 6 or 7 hours. It’s healthy stuff, and you don’t have to spend hours preparing it. Our supermarket even sells packets of peeled, chopped vegetables to take all the grind out of it, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on organic meat if you’re on a low budget. I also buy portions of salmon or cod to have once or twice a week with vegetables, but red meat we have about once a fortnight.
Also, in my opinion, to be a foodie entails spending hours sitting at the table eating course after course. To me that would be a fate worse than death and a serious waste of time. I eat little and often when I’m hungry, and the actual eating process takes no longer than 20 minutes.
It ain’t good to be a foodie, and I’m glad I’m not. We must eat to live, and not live to eat.