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Health and the Food Service Industry

Posted on March 15, 2015 at 5:10 PM

Today I took the time to watch "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2". I have to say that as a culinary professional I was inspired.

For those of you who don't know this film is the sequel to "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" which discusses the benefits of juice fasting. The thing that I loved about #2 was that it did not focus so much on juice fasting as a lifestyle, but rather on how it is actually possible to maintain our health throughout the years following a "diet". So many people (including myself) have participated in "diets" but then end up right back where they started a year later because of the lack of sustainability. 

The reason this notion of sustainable health is compelling to me as a chef is that the culinary world is such a big part of the problem. I am guilty of it myself... serve conventional (cheaper, non-organic) products while using salt, sugar or fat to make a meal taste or look better, and never deliver more than your salad raw. It is the basics of food presentation and cost management. Toss the "steamed" veggies and pasta in canola or light olive oil so they don't dry out and help compensate for their natural bland-ness. Use heavy cream in your quiche batter so it is the consistancy of butter. Use salt liberally on everything you touch so that ALL of those masked flavors due to poorly grown products are available to the palate. Cook everything so that your artisry and tecnique are displayed to their fullest extent. And don't you dare make a BBQ sauce, salad dressing, or baked bean without sugar.

Now, I truely do not believe that food traditions and restraunt style food are the Devil. I love the taste of these gorgeous meals. Really, I would so much rather have my food salted to perfection and my chicken brined every single time, not to mention bacon on EVERYTHING(#somuchsodium). But we can't eat this way every day. We NEED raw fruits and veggies. I know raw kale doesn't usually sound like anybodies cup of tea (and really who wants tea when you can have coffee, am I right?). But we need that kale, that butter lettuce, that apple. We need more apple cider vinegar and less iodinized salt. We need more water and less processed orange juice. 

This idea of health has been close to my heart for a long time now and I am by no means an expert. In fact, I just reached out recenty to a Nutritional Therapist because of a general feeling of unwellness due to years of a very high stress load. So, what I write on this blog is not a perscription or a road to health. It is simply an outlet for being able to think clearer about food, and to attempt to be a part of the change that the food service industry so desperately needs. 

Categories: health/wellness, being a chef

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1 Comment

Reply Christopherarroyo
11:07 PM on December 8, 2017 
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