Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Monday....and another speaking event! (by Jo Girl)

A few weeks ago Paul Thomas of the Leeds Salon and Culture Vulture contacted me to see if I would like to take part in one of the debates he was putting on about food.  The Leeds Salon is a discussion group which debates a huge variety of cultural, social and scientific issues.  Each session focuses on a different topic, and last night's was foodie based (hence my participation!).  Looking specifically at Rob Lyons' recent book, "Panic on a Plate: How Society Developed an Eating Disorder", we were considering attitudes to food and how it impacts on society in general.  In a very, very small nutshell, Rob's book argues that the West has a bountiful supply of food, much better than was ever available historically, and yet somehow has developed an obsession with what we eat: how much, where from, what kind and so on...

The other panelists were Ursula Philpott, senior lecturer at Leeds Met and expert on nutrition and diet, and Nick Copland, of many things, including Shelf Life, The Source in Kirkgate Market and Homage 2 Fromage.  It was a really fun evening, and clearly a subject everyone feels quite passionate about.  Some of the key themes were that there is a certain distrust of the messages in the news about how bad everything is for you, and that attitudes to food have changed over the years.  I stand by my views that people simply don't exercise as much these days but eat the same, or more, and that the easiest way to get people to appreciate their food is to engage in it, understand where it comes from, and experience pleasure from cooking and eating the end result!

Anyway, rant over, and back to the important thing - our dinner!  We got home at some point after nine last night so it was a quicky - prawn, ginger and spring onion dumplings in hot and sour soup.  Hot and sour soup is most definitely the best thing to eat when it's cold and you've been caught in a downpour - it warms you all the way through with heat and chilli.  Add to that some tasty prawn dumplings, noodles and veg, and you're on to a winner. 

Before the big debate started: (from left) myself, Nick, Ursula, Paul and Rob
Precooked dumplings
And the soup

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