Food, the stuff of dreams and nightmares, and the topic of one of my up-and-coming books.
Now we could ask if the world needs yet another book on food, and with the amount of celebrity food books out there, which really do not add anything new to the market, I would agree the market is swamped.
So why would I even consider adding to the mass market of food books?
Well because I’m going to be addressing one of the biggest issues I have faced on my global circumnavigation of sailing around the world as a gluten-free vegan – as someone who adores food and trained as a chef.
Now I don’t know about you, but I love food, it’s my favourite ingredient (along with love) which graces every mealtime.
(I have also been known to equate food to the various kinds of intercourse, but due to obvious reasons, I will not be going into detail on that here on MSP News Global! As my GrandMa used to say “A place for everything and everything in it’s place”).
The food I love is REAL food!
Not the stuff made in factories with ingredients we can’t even read or spell, which come wrapped in plastic, or have spent more time in the chill stores and ice than Wim Hof on a great day,
BUT REAL FOOD,
You know the stuff grown in the ground, on plants and trees.
The bright colourful and nutritious stuff creates a rainbow on your plate and orgasms of the mouth with each bite.
When it comes to being vegan and gluten-free there is a misconception that the meals need to be specialised, or that they need to cost a lot more due to specialised ingredients, products and manufacturing.
And that is before we get onto the need for a special kind of training for chefs, none of which are needed.
Making a healthy balanced meal has become so alien to people and almost a thing of the past, especially with the increase of fast food in and outside of the house – not to mention the explosion of food delivered to homes during the plandemic.
So many of us can’t see past meals of pasta, bread, cheese and meat which are the biggest causes of health issues around the world, which according to the WHO includes over 422 million diabetes sufferers worldwide and over 650 million living with obesity.
It will come as no surprise that the poorer the country, the lower the obesity rates. Take India for example with an obesity rate of just 3.9% of the population, with Ethiopia at 4.5% and China at 6.2%.
Heading west to countries such as France and the obesity rate climbs to 21.6% and America comes in at 36.2%.
Here in Colombia, the rate of obesity is 22.3%, which doesn’t surprise me even because even though the country is one of the poorest in the world, the diet is made up of fried food, bread, rice and pasta.
Whether we trust the reporting of any health problems these days or, especially with the massaging and manipulation of data coming out of the WHO and CDC, is really secondary to the fact that most people have no idea about food.
Even as part of my chef training back in my college days we were taught to focus more on taste and presentation rather than health and nutrition.
When we add into the mix the dangerous food pyramid which has carbohydrates as the largest food type we should be eating and the quick fix dinners rammed full of sugars and chemicals, there is no wonder the world is overweight, overstimulated and over-sugared.
BMI charts so many of us see in doctors surgeries around the world give a dangerous message of what we should and shouldn’t weigh and do not take into consideration the athletes around the world with zero body fat for their height (recorded as anorexics) or the muscle mass which has them appear on the chart as obese.
The way we see and relate to food is most definitely a cause for concern for many, and as a woman who loves food and will never be found shying away from a portobello mushroom ‘burger’ with freshly made caramelised onions, vegan almond cheese served with salad and mashed potatoes, you can guarantee I have made the life of being a gluten-free vegan work for me.
Having sailed all the way from New Zealand to Colombia on 17 different vessels, I have found my fair share of resistance and mockery from those who really do not care about their health, or what they shovel in their mouth at a rate of knots the Volvo Ocean Racers would be left standing.
Many of the crews have often been the largest meat/fish eaters and pasta munchers known to man, and every time I have been on board as a chef, the crew have been surprised and delighted with the healthy vegan gluten-free dish which blew they would never have considered was anything but ‘normal food’.
My experiences travelling around the world, staying in a different hotel every 10 to 14 days has meant I have been able to work with chefs and help increase the hotel bookings and reduce the wastage in the kitchen, so whilst profits and bookings are going up, expenditure is going down.
I once consulted a hotel in Brasil on how to prepare vegan and gluten-free dishes from what was already on their menu. They saw a reduction in wasted ingredients by over 60% and saw their bookings rise by over 40% in the space of a month – just because they then went on to promote vegan and gluten-free meals in their menus. And that was during the lockdown.
I’m more than happy to work with the chefs onboard boats and within hotels, because I’m passionate about making a positive difference in the world, and I get to make friends with the chef which is always a great idea in any restaurant.
For those who still use Google and have not yet boycotted it for misinformation and manipulation of data, there is a plethora of vegan and gluten-free meals out there. And now the world is waking up to taking better care of their health, the number of vegans and gluten-free diners are increasing around the world.
For tourism and hospitality businesses to keep burying their head in the sand when it comes to the increasing number of vegan and gluten-free clientele, they are seriously putting their business at risk -especially given the number of tourists from around the world starting to travel again.
To charge a client a surcharge or create excuses that they have to create a special menu is also somewhat absurd, and shows a lack of creativity in the menu and abilities of the chefs employed.
The best solution would be to ensure that the base of any meal or dish served is suitable for vegetarians and vegans, with the addition of meat, fish and chicken.
Or they could just make it clear that there are no special diets catered for, which no sensible restaurant would because they know that a table of 6 is now more than likely to have at least 2 vegetarians and another 2 are going to be gluten-free.
Being vegan and gluten-free isn’t easy as I travel the world, but it is eye-opening for both me and those who I meet on my culinary journey around the world.
Educating people about why I choose to not eat meat, fish, chicken, eggs and milk has many people look differently about the food they eat, and those who don’t care about animal welfare, do take a moment to think about the number of toxic chemicals and hormones being pumped in their body.
Whether they make a change in their own eating habits or restaurants, hotels and tour operators update and adapt their menus are neither here nor there really.
Unless of course, they wish to be more inclusive, forward-thinking and ethical about the way they do business because at the end of the day, having an ethically based business is a form of activism against tyranny, animal abuse and corruption.
As many of us know activism isn’t always about not washing for a month whilst chaining yourself to a tree to protest the urbanisation of a green belt region, it is about choosing to stand by your own ethics, putting your money where your mouth is.
Or you could do what I and my clients are doing, and that is writing a book, or books, about your own experiences, collaborating with a group of peers to co-author an anthology or whistleblowing on a certain area of society and commerce.
To not speak up, and use our position of influence to create positive change in the world can be viewed as irresponsible and selfish, or even cowardice because when we stay silent for fear of damaging our reputation simply allows the corruption, abuse and trauma to continue; and no one in their right mind wants to be part of that… surely?
*To find out more about working with me on your own style of author activism, contact me through my website using https://dawnbates.com/contact