Love Food and Hate Waste

Every year, an average family in UK lose about £470.00 in food waste. Food waste has an impact on the environment.  Taking one step towards food recycling will create a sustainable future.  Here are some of the ways I reduce food waste:

  • What is in the date of food – for unperishable foods it is “best before date “and for perishable products “use by date” which is all about safety and quality of the food.  I use these dates to plan my shopping and meals so that I maximise the use of my groceries whilst minimising throwing food into the bin, especially when I have saved money through bargains and promotions. I do recycle the foods with use by date before they expire by making other food products such as smoothies from fruits.
  • Waste no food- short video clips which makes us thinking about what we can do with food recycle take a moment and re-think the way you can reduce food waste.

It only takes a couple of steps to make huge change, lets join the movement of reducing food waste and saving the planet.

5 Tips to survive the snow storm

The Russian Beast and storm Emma have met in UK leaving a lot of vital facilities and services closed or with minimal services. It is important that you keep your family and yourself well hydrated and with regular meals. These few tips will help to brave the snow storm.

  • Stock enough of the perishables: The bad weather will affect the deliveries of most of the fruits and vegetables, milk and bread therefore make sure you have stock for 3 – 4 days. Be prepared to have limited or depleted amounts of these even after the snow has melted and things phasing back to normal.
  • Have regular cups of hot beverages to keep yourself hydrated and warm.
  • Plan meals for four days and shop the ingredients in advance.
  • Prepare hot meals all the time, essential for replenishing used up energy in trying to keep warm in very cold conditions.
  • Make sure all members of the family are having regular hot beverages and meals and snacking in between meals with high glycemic index food products.

Avoid travelling, unless absolutely necessary. Also check on your neighbours to find out if they are alright.

Burning a lot of calories to generate heat therefore more food is required to meet the demand. Stay safe!

Great Britain gets buried in unaccounted calories!

Today Public Health England has publicly admitted that most people in UK can not account of 50 % of the calories they consume on daily basis.  For those who have not managed to access the information follow this link.  There are several issues to this, but the most important of them all is that the consumers are not aware of available methods  and/ or tools to systematically account for their calorie intake. Not being able to account for up to 50 % of calorie intake is alarming which means in two days they can possibly store (if they are not physically active) an equivalent to their daily recommended intake of calories. The increasing rates of obesity across all genders and age groups in UK will need to be addressed therefore the guidelines promised by Public Health England should be published sooner than later. According to NHS figures almost 50 % of the population could be overweight or obese by 2050 which comes with consequences of diet induced cancers and metabolic syndromes. Most of the cancers are preventable through diet management and that can save lives and NHS billions of money.

There are tools to help with calorie counting but most people still need to have access to these or more also be educated on portion sizes.  Many of the Apps people use only tell them what they have eaten which has been purchased from the shop that is excluding what has been prepared from raw ingredients.  The calorie counting tools help to account for the calories from food shopping, preparation to consumption.  Therefore consumers become aware of their calories in the food at every stage of the process of nutrient intake. Ignorance can not be the problem of the 21st century when technology is in the palm of your hand 90 % of day’s activities. Dissemination of information should  be improved and save lives from the silent killers – cardiovascular diseases (stroke, diabetes and high blood pressure).

The “dark – web” of calorie intake is a bubble, which will burst soon with lots of consequences.



Bitter or sweet fruits and vegetables – what is in it for me?

A number of people struggle to accept certain fruits and vegetables, therefore are unable to follow a healthy diet.  The lack of acceptance of vegetables could be due to lachanophobia (fear of vegetables) or fructophobia (fear of fruits) or flavour (bitterness, sweetness or sourness) of both fruits and vegetables. Some reasons of fear of fruits and vegetables may include: (a) thinking the seeds might germinate inside my stomach and (b) there might be insects inside the fruits or on vegetables which I might end up eating alive.

The fructophobia and lachanophobia affects intake of dishes which include salads of fruits and vegetables, for example, mixed fruit pots or Mediterranean diet. By avoiding, fruits and vegetables these people miss out on meeting their 5 – a – day daily portions, therefore missing vital nutrients such as vitamins and anti – oxidants.

In addition to phobia, some people are natural tasters of bitterness or sweetness which also affect the preference of certain fruits and vegetable and hence their dietary intake of these foods. Tasters of bitterness tend to prefer sweet fruits such as citrus fruits, mango, pineapples and hate bitter fruits such as grapes, granadilla, apricot, grapefruits, and mandarins.  The preference for sweet fruits tend to increase calorie intake due to free sugars which could possibly lead to weight gain.  The long-term impact of these sugars could lead to development of cardiovascular diseases and related metabolic syndromes. The bitterness in fruits and vegetables is due to anthocyanins, important anti – oxidants which help reduce the risk of cancer therefore bitter tasters are predisposed to a number of cancers. Since tasting for bitterness in due to the homogenous dominant allele for tasting (TT) known as super tasters or heterogeneous (Tt) mild tasters.  About 75% of the population fall into the tasters categories meaning 75 % of the population is predisposed to cancer development due to possible avoidance of anthocyanins in bitter fruits and vegetables.

Bitter or sweet fruits and vegetables – there is everything in them for us from increasing vitamins and anti – oxidant  to preventing development of long term illnesses  i.e cardiovascular disease and/ or cancer.

Meal Planning

Appropriate nutrient intake is so important in maintaining good health.  Many people are trying to reduce fat, sugar and salt intake but preparing their meals from raw ingredients. Great idea, but the question is how do I know I am taking the right amount of nutrients? How can I calculate the number of calories I am taking from my meals prepared from home?

In order to have an idea of what nutrients are going into your meals, its starts with your shopping. When shopping choose foods products with traffics lights showing a lot more of the amber and green colours than red. This means that the nutrients are within the recommended ranges or just need to watch a bit on the quantities you will be consuming. More so, when cooking you can have a mix and match of ingredients.  For example, if you are going to have a pasta bake and the cheese has a lot of salt or fat it means that you can serve the pasta bake with vegetable salads and low fat meat as protein source. If cooking the meat, add very little salt to taste or nothing at all even you use spices which contain salt already.

Food Brookes has a meal planning tool which will help you to calculate the nutrients and calories per serving and also plan your weekly menus.  Send me an email for more details.


Welcome to Food Brookes

Welcome to my Food Brookes blog, I will be sharing about food, new product design,  food processing, packaging, quality assurance, food sustainability, sensory evaluation and nutrition. The quality of food is constantly being assessed from farm to fork. The soils influence micro- nutrients and macromolecules content of plants. The anti- nutrients are toxins the plants produce as a protective mechanism against external attack. Food is processed in most cases to get rid of these anti- nutrients but in some cases they are too integrated into the plant tissues in such a way that they end up in our plates and when consumed the body uses biochemical mechanism to degrade the anti -nutrients. During product design and processing some of the toxins are either eliminated, masked or accepted as part of the peculiar taste of the food. The Food Brookes blog will cover more on these food intriguing topics.