What bollocks all this five, now, ten-a-day governmental veg and fruit eating-policy is.
Ten what exactly? peas? teaspoons of tomato paste? What is a portion anyway and why make it all sound like a hideous ordeal rather than a colourful and tasty experiment.
Putting a sum up like that . . . it's bound to be disproved or changed (as it has been) within a matter of a couple of years, and of course, food-manufacturers can use the slogan to their great advantage - suck on a baggie of apple compote - that's one, fruit juice with bits in it, two . . . etc, I think it was even mentioned, seriously, that pizza is now considered a possible contender, in America.
We need good old 'home economy' back in schools, or 'food technology' as I think I heard it termed more recently - that in itself a turn off if ever there was one; let's make food as clinical and scientifically removed from earth as possible.
I don't know what is taught now and I hope after Mr Oliver's heartfelt attempts with school dinners things might have improved; if not, there is serious work to be done, as important as maths and languages, possibly even more.
Due to fast foods, perceived and real lack of time and too much watching celeb chefs and not actually doing cooking we may have really lost the basic knack of simple, inexpensive and healthy cooking. I read an article the other day that said 'young people' are starting to buy ingredients and cook stuff in order to post the results on Instagram, rather than paying attention to what they are making nutrition and bank account wise.
The other thing I find perplexing is the 'fruit and veg' phrase; I know hangs better - fruit 'n veg rather than veg 'n fruit, but that's what needs to be pushed - veg 'n some fruit. Fruit is great but it's also loaded with sugar, leaving the opportunity for: 'Great, I'll eat two apples, an orange, a banana and six peas and I'll have my quota.
A VERY organic cabbage from friend Maggie's amazing garden
So . . . education and admiration about, and, of, the humble cabbage, other brassicas, onions, carrots, etc, etc. Cabbages, after onions are, to me, top ingredient: cheap (mostly) full of iron and fibre, and if an organic one with its colony of slugs can be purchased, so much the better - just seeing those happy folks (before I flick them off into the chicken enclosure) makes me feel reassured that the cabbage has had a healthy up-bringing.
Organic or not, washed thoroughly and boiled, steamed, fried, baked, stir-fried or whatever its a great staple and bulker-outer for a plethora of dishes.
My daily stir-fry, and the ultimate 'fast food'
Recently, possibly through laziness, or I suspect wanting to remain as healthy as possible, I just seem, when I'm on my own, to exist on stir-fries - whatever veg I have, chopped, put in a pan, oil, dash of soy sauce, spot of sherry, lemon, salt, pepper, chilli; maybe a little meat if there is any - ten minutes later, lunch and one pan to wash up.
Very small (about the size of a mug-base) bit of 'happy' steak from local org place.
As for meat . . . that's a whole other subject, but in a short sentence: I like it, but eat it a couple of times a week, just a small portion of something that's had a life on open grasslands. Organic or free-range is expensive but if we can embrace lentils (interesting) other pulses, tofu, etc, we don't need (or want) as much. We don't need loads of protein, do need some carbs, but veg must be the way forward and out of the current obesity problem our societies are suffering from.