/ Food & Drink, Health

It’s food revolution day! How would you change the world?

Depending on whether you like Jamie Oliver, you may or may not know that it’s ‘food revolution day’ today. But if you could start your own foodie revolt, what would you change about how we eat?

There are a fair few foodies at Which? HQ. The Convo team bakes welcome biscuits and competes over cupcake recipes like there’s no tomorrow. So when I asked the office for their suggestions on ways to revolutionise British eating habits, I half expected ‘free cupcakes for everyone’ to be one of the requests.

Luckily although we’re all partial to a cake or two, most of the suggestions were pretty virtuous – at Which? we’re clearly keen to make it easier to eat healthily.

Healthy chicken and chips

Personally, I’d like to see a greater proliferation of healthy fast food shops – jacket potatoes, stews, etc – that fill you up without piling on the pounds.

When I lived in Japan I was obsessed with ‘fast food’ restaurants that served tasty bowls of noodles, stews and curries. At 350-400 yen (less than two quid) per portion, this food was cheap, tasty and quick to eat.

What’s more it was healthy – not ‘salad’ healthy, but much healthier than the seemingly infinite supply of fried chicken available near my house in London.

More veggie varieties!

Amanda Diamond wants a fast food revolution too, but one with a veggie twist:

‘The best “burger” I ever had was from a wicked little veggie place in Brighton – given the choice I’d have one of these fast food outlets on every high street in Britain!

‘I know there are some excellent vegetarian restaurants and you can get decent veggie sandwiches from the average cafe. But, sometimes a girl wants more than egg, cheese or hummus. Sometimes you want the veggie equivalent of a “bacon buttie” or a “sausage sandwich” after a late night.

‘I recognise that not eating meat is a choice I’ve imposed upon myself, but there are lots of us out there, so I’m sure there is an appetite (pardon the pun) for this kind of outlet.

‘Apart from anything else, veggie food is often healthier and, done well, can be really very tasty. If there was a fast food veggie alternative readily available, more people might just give it a go.’

Speedy snacks

Chris Matthews, from our research team, would like to see more healthy food ‘on the go’, with calorie labels to show us exactly how healthy it is:

‘It’s becoming more fashionable for shops to stock things like porridge pots, but they’re not as healthy as they could be. A revolution in “grab and go” snacks that aren’t laden with calories could really help busy people stay healthy. What’s more, they should have the calories written right on the pack, so we know what it is we’re eating.’

I like this idea – when I’m rushing through the train station on my way to work, the easiest things to grab are usually pasties, bacon rolls or a flapjack. More places need to offer fruit (at a reasonable price – not a quid per apple!) or healthy porridge as an alternative.

So, as Jamie Oliver gets stuck in to ‘revolutionising’ another aspect of our appetites, I thought it’d be a good chance to share some new ideas.

Which revolutionary change would you make to the way we Brits eat? Something healthier, more exciting, or just plan delicious? The world is your oyster (if you happen to like oysters, that is).

Eileen says:
19 May 2012

No PALM oil in food

Sue says:
19 May 2012

we should not be eating GM foods …any food that has been genetically modified or contains GM
Ingredients should be clearly labeled so consumers have a choice.

Apart from making Mayonnaise illegal 🙂
I look around a supermarket and wonder why so much manufactured goo [most of it stuffed with sugar, salt, transfats, and various chemicals we would never ingest in nature] is on the shelves.
Most of these ‘foods’ are not healthy and the selling point seems to be it wont harm you if you eat it.
We don’t need these processed artificial ‘foods’, in addition to wrecking our health, much of the production methods are detrimental to our environment and livestock.
My food change would be to rid us of all this preprepared processed pap and get food back to basics. Supplying good fresh nutritious food, sold in local stores by people knowledgeable about the food they sell [remember those days], instead of profit centred corporate giants persuading us to eat chemical flavoured sawdust.
Want a snack, eat an apple, not a tube of cheese strings.
Want a quick convenience meal, try a jacket potato instead of a ‘microwave dinner’.

Packaging, all food should be sold loose and fresh. I especially hate having to buy 2 little gem lettuce when I know one will be thrown away.

I am almost tempted to open the pack and just take one to the checkout ( I may well do that when I retire ).

It annoys me greatly that the majority of “special offers” in supermarkets are mainly, crisps, fizzy drinks, pizzas etc. Most people do not have alot of money and so I often see offers such as these pilled high in the shopping trolley. Thus high fat, high sugar foods and a fatter nation, its not rocket science !!!!. If you look at the average supermarket shelf they are full of rubbish foods, simple tomatoes sauces are full of fat/chemicals/sugars etc !!!!!

I have had to change from various supermarkets several times, due to the fact that they have stopped selling healthier food such as brown pasta or rice. Offers should be available on fruit/veg/organic produce etc
Lets get back to basics and cook!!!! there is enough Tv shows on the subject, but the amount of fast food consumed is going up !!!

par ailleurs says:
20 May 2012

Thinking sideways, I’d like to see cookery skills (NOT stupid “food science”) as a compulsory study in all schools through to GCSE age. If people re-learned the pleasure of creating their own good food, they’d be much less inclined to buy the processed rubbish available almost everywhere and be hapier and healthier.

Hi all

I agree with par alleurs. Teaching children to cook is a vital skill. If your parents don’t teach you at home it can be hard to pick it up and very easy to get into bad habits (take away pizza anyone?!).

When I got to uni I was surprised to see how many people struggle to rustle up even the most basic things. One guy even attempted to boil milk in the kettle…

Proper cookery lessons for everyone, not just the ones who opt to take food tec, would be a fantastic food revolution.

Find your local scout troop and take your children along.
In addition to learning to cook, they will also learn independence, responsibility, the meaning of civic duty and a host of other positive things, including having fun away from the computer.
For those of you who dislike the religious element, this has been watered down. My children are strictly secular and had no issues with this at all.

I agree Jessica too many young people do not have basic cooking skills the days of a woman belongs to the Kitchen sink are over all boys should learn to cook too.Too many think food comes from a local Takeaway.My sister always saying she got no money then goes on to say we have just had a great Chinese takeaway;Indian or fish&chips from the chippy.She can cook but like our mum she doesn’t Home-cook enough.Its amazing how quick one can make a proper meal using a Microwave Cooker.There is no harm in buying a takeaway occasionally but 2or3times a week in some households its more than that.It means children do not get to learn basic cooking skills.My daughter most certainly can cook healthy too.Some women can earn more than a man so it makes sense boys learn to we are not living in the 1960s now.

Robint says:
24 May 2012

IMHO I would avoid any processed food as far as practicable, salt sugar and fat are bad thats what we are told

yet if you explore the hungarian – gulash – its traditionally made with animal fat and poor cuts of beef and they eat twice as much calories – but then they are out working in sub zero yet they survive ok – no unusual rates of heart disease? and they drink lots of slivovitz but they dont have many big macks

Archie says:
25 May 2012

I find that all the supermarkets destroy the taste of most of the exotic fruits by getting them from suppliers (growers) prematurely picked and have an cheek to sell them at exorbitant prices. For example, mangoes and Papayas are picked very early and destroying the true flavors of the fruits. I refuse to purchase these fruits from the supermarkets.

You can buy them plant/tree ripened fruits from the some corner shops, but at much cheaper prices.

I would like to see healthier foods served in Leisure facilities such as stadiums, swimming pools and sports centres around the country but every centre I have been in serves the usual fattening sandwiches, samosas, biscuits, cakes, chocolates, slushies, ice creams with a token small basket of apples and bananas which have seen better days. How hard would it be to serve healthy soups, fresh salads and healthy sandwiches which are not full of saturated fats. If they are unsure whether these products will sell they should start with a small selection and go from there.