You Are What You Eat And What You Eat Is Too - Part 1

We’ve all heard this adage before, and in recent years, it has started to seem like the message is getting through. But there’s another layer to this – it’s not just about eating the right foods, it’s about eating the right foods that have been produced or sourced in the right way. 

And given that industrial production methods dominate our agricultural system, much of the readily available food in western nations has been produced in ways that are far removed from how they would grow in the wild – making them nutritionally inferior or, in some cases, detrimental to health. So it pays to pay attention to the details when it comes to sourcing food.

I’ve taken a look at some of the most problematic foods that you should be aware of and present them here in a six part series. 

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Lou ChalmerComment
What's the Fat? - Part 1

In keeping with last week’s theme, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at different types of fat and what they have to offer nutritionally. 

Firstly , I’ll explain the different types of fat in the human diet and how they’re used by the body. Then, I’ll go through some specific dietary fat sources and how to choose the best ones, and use them appropriately.  

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Lou ChalmerComment
What's the Beef?

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked if I’m a vegetarian. The first few times I thought it was a joke. Then I realised that it was actual thing, that there was some kind of impression that I made on people that led them to this assumption. 

The irony is, it couldn’t be further from the truth. 

I grew up on a beef farm in rural Western Australia. My parents were scientists from the city who decided that they wanted a sea change just before I was born. Originally they tried their hand at a few other things on our land, but in the end they settled on producing beef. 

So eating meat, particularly beef, is akin to a ritual for me. It’s just an accepted part of my daily life.

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Lou ChalmerComment
An Ode to Comte

I love wine, but cheese is another great passion of mine. And one cheese in particular, Comte, captures my attention every single time it’s put in front of me. 

I don’t really remember the first time I tried Comte. I remember discovering Beaufort, Sartori Goat, Ossau Iraty- all favourites of mine. I even remember the first time I tried unpasteurised Roquefort which convinced me of the merits in flavour and texture of raw milk when making cheese. But Comte, which I only liked at first, became a love that developed over time. 

I’ve always been one for strong flavours, preferring Parmesan or Cheddar over a creamy brie any day. Comte is quite strong in taste yet subtle at the same time. Good Comte will have layer upon layer of flavour, with it’s fine thread of acidity,a creamy nuttiness from winter milk or the sweet piquancy of fresh apples from summer milk. Add to this the creamy texture studded with salt crystals and… heaven! 

I had hoped for some time to visit an affineur (a person whose profession is to optimise cheese quality through ageing) while in France to gain a little more understanding of the Comte ageing process but didn’t get around to organising it ahead of time. Luckily I stayed with a French cheesemaker…

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Lou ChalmerComment
Little Drop of Poison

As I’m sure you know from what I’ve written previously, I’m not really a fan of synthetic chemicals used in agricultural production because of the environmental, social and health costs associated with them, which of course we don’t pay for in real terms in our productivist economy. I also just don’t want to eat or drink that stuff. It’s like a little drop of poison in that which is meant to nourish us. At a more fundamental level, I disagree with their use because I think that it shows an ignorance and disdain for the principles that govern ecological systems, while degrading the cultural aspect of farming. True connection to the land comes from nurturing and caring for it, understanding how it can be supported, not conquering and taking from it. Just like any good relationship.

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Lou ChalmerComment