Baby G is in his second month of weaning, and so far we’ve been cooking with recipes from Annabel Karmel and Emily Dupuche. We’re not averse to store bought baby food, and he has enjoyed pouches from Cow & Gate and Ella’s Kitchen when we were 2 weeks in London, as well as Geber and Heinz over here. His absolute favorite food, whether home cooked or store bought, is Cauliflower Cheese. He allows me to vary this by adding Broccoli and in general, can wolf down a whole portion within 10 minutes. He seems to have more of a savoury tooth for now; with an expressed preference for vegetable trios like carrots, peas and sweet potato, over apple purees. He hates bananas.
Anyway the point of this post was really about me wanting to ‘walk to the talk’. If I have every intention of encouraging my child to eat healthily and if I’m going to steam or boil everything in sight for him, then so should I for myself! So for today, it’s sweet potatoes and peas for Baby G, and a litre of celery, broccoli and apple juice for myself.
We each probably know someone in our social circles who is into healthy living, or even perhaps alternative food movements.I remember I first heard of raw foodism on Season 6 of Sex and the City, when Samantha was trying to get into bed with Jason Lewis’s character. I’ve never been to a raw food restaurant, and probably never will. I confess I have tried coffee enemas during my occasional ‘clean living’ resolutions that usually come about when I need to squeeze into an unforgiving cheongsam for a social event or function. I have, however, over the years, been quite persuaded by the documentary “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead” by Joe Cross. The documentary is available on youtube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mS0YA465ts. Cross has also made a follow-up documentary at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kLSs4OhS0o. Both are fascinating explorations into food ethnography and ethical eating.
I have no ethical objection to eating meat. My Facebook friends will know my love for cooking and eating through my album “Adventures with my Tefal”. Moral philosopher Peter Singer has argued that meat consumption is not necessary to the health and survival of most people living in developed countries. But eating meat has been a significant component of human evolution and is synergistic with what makes us human. From an animal consciousness perspective, I love animals but I love the taste of meat even more and much of my food obsession flows around mounds of pork belly, duck breast, and roast chicken. I acknowledge cognitive dissonance here.
Health-wise, Nobel Laureate Professor Harald zur Hausen has suggested that high red meat consumption is linked to both colorectal and breast cancers, highlighting the low incidence of both cancers in India where beef is not consumed for religious reasons. Some epidemiological studies also suggest a link between certain cooking processes e.g. grilling, and the production of carcinogens. A 2012 Harvard study showed evidence that regular consumption of red meat was linked to an increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. However, the study also underlined that choosing more healthful sources of protein over red meat, conferred significant health benefits by reducing chronic disease morbidity and mortality. I do like beef, but I am not a regular consumer of red meat – beef is not regularly available at my local Giant and NTUC. Also, you cant really for the love of God find a restaurant in Singapore that serves a good steak (London has spoilt me).
But I consume chicken and pork regularly – you cannot really get by southeast asian cuisine iwithout! I do like my vegetables, but don’t eat them often enough. I therefore choose to juice as it sort of helps cram and compress these huge quantities of vegetables in one go, and is vastly more pleasant than actually eating vegetables. I have been doing this on an ad-hoc basis, so i’m making a resolution to make a litre of fruit and veg juice for myself while I cook Baby G’s portions every morning. I also hope to steam and poach more than fry, and for a start, will dedicate steaming to Monday, poaching to Wednesday, and Friday to boiling.
Poached salmon for tomorrow then? 🙂