Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chef Michael Smith chats about Fast Flavours

It was one of my friends birthdays this month so instead of buying each other gifts that just take up space we now give each other food related gifts like cooking demos or chef cookbook chats.  It was his birthday this month so I signed up to go see Chef Michael Smith chat about his new cookbook Fast Flavours at George Brown College.  My friend loves watching his tv show and so do I so we were really excited to go and see him.  

I saw him recently at the Word on the Street where I was surprised to hear him rant about how not feeding your kids proper food was like slow child abuse.  He got on a huge rant about feeding kids so much junk food that they are all developing allergies to everything these days.

So I had a feeling he would have really passion filled Q&A answers after he did his interview with Cookbook Store owner Alison Fryer.
It turned out that I asked him the last question of the night about what he thought about Mayors like New York's Bloomberg banning the 64oz soft drinks.   He agreed that kids shouldn't be sold that kind of excess and he thought it was good that he took a stand.   While I agree that kids shouldn't drink that much sugar in their drinks there isn't really anything to stop them from getting 2 - 32 oz drinks back to back either.   Is this enough to stop the obesity epidemic?  I don't think so.   He thought that junk food should be taxed like cigarettes.   My thought is that some of the toxic substances that are put into the foods at manufacturing should be banned instead, like high fructose corn syrup which is what is actually causing the obesity epidemic.    Here's a thought... what if they couldn't put it into products ...then people couldn't buy them...  hence... the people who can't afford to pay these taxes wouldn't have to pay for the burden of the healthcare system while the manufacturers reap profits.    

My thought is that if toxic substances or food additives that are known to contribute to obesity are changed to non toxic substances then maybe everyone wins....   people won't have to walk around supermarkets with magnifying glasses and dictionaries to figure out what's in the products they are consuming if they are actually indicated what it is.   Some ingredients are disguised as other things or modified to some other thing or are genetically modified without telling the consumer.

I don't think everyone in North America is going to give up convenience food in one day and switch to a 100% plant based diet so I think the answer is to make some of these toxic products disappear so that the only choice is to buy whole foods and start going back to eating real food and making things from scratch where you know what's in them.   You won't get 100% of the population to switch but we don't need a thousand toxic products tempting the exhausted media brainwashed parents into buying easy convenience food to get food on the table for their families.

As Chef Michael Smith said banning something like Foie Gras in Los Angeles because of cruelty to the  duck is ridiculous because other animals like cows and pigs are treated just as badly.  But that's real food.   What about banning toxic chemical filled products that can sit on supermarket shelves for a year without going bad.   Well because the big corporate manufactuers would protest and won't have subsidized jobs for people.

The whole thing is a political toxic soup and there is no simple answer but my thoughts are to start to rethink what is allowed to go into the products before it gets to the consumers to have to do detective work to figure out whether it's going to kill them to consume that product.

It seems I hit a nerve when I asked Chef Michael that question because he got really passionate about it and Alison thought he should run for Mayor of Toronto and everyone in the room seemed to agree.   i think he would make a great Mayor.   He knows right from wrong and has Integrity and passion.    I am not sure our current Mayor has those qualities but that's a whole other story.

One thing that was funny was standing next to him while taking a photo,  I am only about 5 feet tall while Michael Smith is somewhere around 7 feet tall.   Do I look short or what?

About his Cookbook. ....  it's a beautifully put together book filled with recipes that anyone with basic skills can make in their own kitchens which makes it a cookbook that will get used instead of sitting on a shelf.   The photos are large and beautiful and the recipes are written easy to read instead of fine print on colored paper it's clear black large enough print on white paper, making it easy to flip through the book and organize your kitchen accordingly.   I hope to make one of the recipes in the near future.

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