Ed Halmagyi Talks 2019, Sustainability and School Lunches!

January 22, 2019

Channel Seven has an exciting lineup for 2019, including familiar faces of the Better Homes and Gardens team who have more tips and tricks to help you organise your home and day-to-day lifestyle.

SheSociety were fortunate enough to sit down with Ed Halmagyi (aka Fast Ed), to get an insight into what he thinks 2019 will hold including his top picks for cooking trends within the home, starting with the divide between convenience foods (i.e YouFoodz, UberEats) and those who are getting hands on in the kitchen.

“There is this really weird sort of splitting apart we sort of see, where one part of people are going more and more towards convenience foods and are ready to eat stuff they are buying at supermarkets, but when people are cooking at home they really actually want to cook,” says Ed.

“People are making their own sauces and preparing their own vegetables as they start to understand that really great cookery starts with a more natural connection to the raw ingredients we can find.”

When asked his thoughts on sustainability within the kitchen, Ed advised that there is very rarely a use for cling film, and that we should all be purchasing some reusable storage containers.

“In addition to this, we should be looking at the type of ingredients we are using, he adds.

“When it comes to sustainability, think about the ingredients that you are using.

“By eating seasonally, you’re actually consuming fruits, vegetables, meats and seafoods that require less input from farmers and producers.

“So what it takes to produce off season strawberries or avocados is infinitely more than what it takes to produce them when they are naturally in season. So not only are you going to save some money, but you are doing better for the planet.”

With schools set to start the new year next week with parents once again facing the task of packing school lunches, Ed says: “Get in charge”.

“I’ll give you the same advice I give to every parent that complains to me about their kids refusing to “eat healthy”.

“They’re not in charge- you’re in charge…,” he says.

“Kids don’t shop, they don’t cook, so they don’t get to choose…You don’t start the battle with school lunches you actually start it with family dinners. Because you set the rules then they understand it, even when they are not at home for you to tell them what to do.”

“The first thing that goes on at the table at my place every night is a small plate of salad. If you’re not hungry, you won’t eat it, and that’s fine but that means you’re not hungry so nothing else is served to you…So I say to parents, get back in control, have the same rules for everybody.”

While salad may be a staple at Ed’s dinner table, he admits that he is guilty of having what he calls “cheat foods”. There are two that he “just can’t get enough of”.

“I am a massive fan of Foster Clark Vanilla Custard… I grew up with it, my family didn’t cook so that was a treat for me,” he says.

“I guess the other thing I’m kind of mad about- and it’s not unhealthy- it’s just something I can’t seem to get enough of.

“You know those little miniature cucumbers? I’ll eat a punnet of those without breathing, it is the best! I’ve gone through two, three and four punnets a day. It’s starting to feel a little bit like a problem but I’m ok with that.”

Ed says the best piece of advice he has been given is to ‘make the familiar strange, and the strange familiar.’

“I came to understand that it’s actually what I’ve done in my cooking career my whole life, “ he say.

“I just hadn’t realised I was doing it, because in the end, if people already understand what you’re telling them, you need to give it a twist or they’re not going to be interested.”

As for New Year’s Resolutions? Like many of us, Ed has broken a few already!

“Look, I’ve got to say I’m a big one for making resolutions but I don’t believe that you should tie yourself to an overly attributed public date about it. Make a resolution when you feel like it,” he says .

“When you genuinely wake up one morning and go ‘you know what, I need a week off the booze.’ Do it.

“Don’t wait for some event to allow you to trip into it. You know, when you wake up in the morning and you go ‘I really love my partner’, get up and tell them.  

“When you see you need to do a little more exercise just go and do it. Stop waiting for an objective moment in a calendar to tell you it’s the right time. It’s always the right time.”

Tune into Better Homes and Gardens on Channel 7, and stay up to date with all the latest tips and tricks for your home!

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