Compared to the era of the cave people, food is more than just a means of survival. The culinary landscape is vast, constantly evolving, and highly creative. Eating is now associated with heightened experiences, and has become a means of expression and self-reflection – a way to connect with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.
The rise of the foodie movement has spawned a whole generation of hobbyists and subcultures, not only obsessed with eating delicious food, but discussing and spreading ideas of consumption, sustainability, presentation, and health. TV shows such as MasterChef, Cake Boss and Top Chef have found their way into living rooms, and high-level chefs are treated as rock stars. With the rise of smartphones, social media profiles, blogs and reviewing platforms, foodies now have a direct influence on the success and failures of cafes and restaurants.
In fact, foodie culture is so ingrained within western society that it has changed our eating habits. We care more about where our food comes from, we’re eating local again, and we’re making smarter and healthier choices. While obnoxious Instagramming and long wait lines might be seen as downsides to this revolution, the fact is, we’re more conscious than ever of what we’re putting in our bodies.
What your favourite food says about you
More than ever, modern food trends are dictating what and how we eat. But even so, we still hold our favourite foods close to our hearts. In fact, a recent report revealed that only 38.1% of Australians would give up their favourite food if they were told they would live longer. While this goes to show how central food has become in our lives, have you ever stopped to wonder what your favourite dish says about you?
These days, certain foods carry specific cultural, social and ideological meanings. For example, is your favourite food salad? Then others may assume you’re into yoga, you exercise frequently, and you really value organic produce. Maybe your favourite food is the cronut? Let’s just say you’re into new fads, you live in the city, and you don’t mind spending money on experiences. Perhaps a burger and fries? Then you enjoy reliability, simple pleasures, and you’re probably obsessed with the ‘Americana’ food trend.
Social media and mainstream media make it hard to escape the labels that get attributed to certain foods. However, this isn’t such a bad thing. And if you love what you love, why not just embrace it?
Tips for a balanced and healthy diet
Ready to get on the bandwagon? Healthy eating has clear benefits, but sometimes it can be hard to know where to start. So to break it down, here are four simple tips:
- Get starchy
Starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and cereals should make up one third of the food you eat. Try to include at least one starchy food with every meal, but keep an eye on the amount of oil and fats you use.
- Eat plenty of fruit and veg
Five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day should do it. If you’re lacking inspiration, chop a banana or pear over your breakfast cereal, or swap out the muffin for an orange for your mid-morning snack.
- Fill your gills with fish
Fish is a great source of protein and contains a range of vitamins and minerals. Aim for at least two portions of fish a week, including one portion of oily fish.
- Cut down on saturated fats, sugar and salt
Decrease foods high in saturated fats such as cakes and biscuits, as well as products like fizzy drinks and alcohol that contain added sugars. And remember, be mindful of how much salt you’re adding to your meals – your intake should be no more than six grams a day.
It goes without saying; healthy eating should go hand in hand with physical fitness. So get active, drink plenty of fluids, and try your best to maintain a healthy weight.