About

Wondering why I write these reports? 

There are my way of contributing to change and work towards a more sustainable future. 

In each report I explore one food in depth and look at the options consumers have from different standpoints: nutrition & health, environmental impact, ethics and cost. The purpose is not to tell you what to buy, but to answer the questions you might have about a particular product, and help you navigate the marketing claims that we too often fall prey to. Sometimes the research also leads to reveal aspects of the product that is kept in the dark and deserve to be better known. My hope is for readers to feel empowered and better equipped to make the purchasing decisions that truly reflect their beliefs.

My journey

I recently embarked on an anti-inflammatory diet to relieve symptoms of a chronic disease. In the process, I have become more inquisitive about the food I buy. I love my food and if I am going to adopt a restrictive diet, I want to make sure I eat the best possible food, food packed with as many nutrients as possible. And since that can get very expensive very quickly in Singapore, I want to make sure I am investing in the right products.

I have always been this conflicted consumer who is trying to buy the ‘right’ thing. I would read bits and pieces. I would click on the click-bait articles revealing the newest superfood or the awful truth on big corporations. And this would just build more fear and bring more confusion. Add clever packaging and marketing claims targeted to the health-conscious person I am and you have a recipe for self-doubt. I would walk into the supermarket to buy yogurt, stand in the middle of the aisle, and after minutes pondering which one to buy, walk out without anything.

This is an attempt to dig deeper and answer some of my questions once and for all. Well, that was the hope at least. Of course, it’s never that simple. And more research unearths more complexity. But it’s very empowering to finally be equipped with some knowledge. To stop falling prey to advertising claims and decide for myself.

Note

I am not writing this to blame farmers in any way. Feeding the world has become one of the biggest challenges for the coming decades. One that will require our collective creativity to solve. 

I don’t believe in a black and white world with good people on one side and bad people on the other. They are some intensive farmers who are proud of the yields they have been able to achieve and for good reason. There is a lot to be learned from their efforts. I don’t think GMO seeds were engineered for the sole purpose of driving more profit but also with the hope of feeding more with less. If we want to feed the world population in 2050 we need to increase our current food production by 70% (according to the FAO). Doing that without killing species - including ours - in the process is going to be quite the challenge!

We know that the current way we are approaching production is not sustainable. Intensive farming systems are straining our planet and have a great impact on our health. One thing we can - and probably will have to - do is reduce waste and change our eating habits. 

Debating who is the most to blame - the consumers, the producers, the distributors, the policy makers -  leads nowhere. It’s an ecosystem, and we all have a part to play. To engage a dynamic of change, we can start by being better informed, by voting with our wallets, and by adapting our consumption habits whenever we can. I personally believe that being more conscious of the way we consume can not only make us healthier but also happier.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Story Behind Eggs

Salt Revelation: How seasoning your cooking water can make your food more nutritious