Quick Bites: You Are What You Eat

By Kerry-Ann Augustin

Quick Bites: You Are What You Eat

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Celebrate Earth Day on April 22 by eating green and making food choices that are good for our planet.

In January, the American Association for the Advancement of Science released a study that shocked the world – over 11 billion plastic items are resting on coral reefs across Asia Pacific. In just seven years, the figure is expected to swell to 15.7 billion. Earth Day 2018’s theme says it all: End Plastic Pollution. It’s not hard to see the link between our everyday use of plastic items and the food we consume – after all, many of us use straws, plastic bags and plastic bottles, and just toss them in the bin. Unfortunately, a majority of these items end up in our oceans.

Although plastic in the open seas decomposes faster than the estimated thousand years it takes to disintegrate in landfills, toxic pollution in the ocean has more severe consequences – researchers at Ghent University in Belgium revealed that seafood lovers may ingest as much as 11,000 tiny pieces of plastic every year that cause detrimental long-term effects on our health. Plastic may be the biggest villain in our quest for good, wholesome food, but here are other simple ways we can keep our globe green and eat happy.

Don’t Get Wasted Food waste is one of the biggest emitters of methane, a greenhouse gas so potent that it makes carbon dioxide (CO2) look like an angel. Compost food scraps and avoid leaving leftovers when dining out.

Meat-Free Mondays You don’t have to become a vegan overnight, but cutting meat out just one day a week can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses produced by agriculture and farming.


Cooking and storing food the right way can also add to your green efforts. Here’s how.

Good Batch Cook your meals in batches or large quantities and freeze it. Cooking it at one go and reheating the food when you need it is more energy-efficient.

Cool Keeps If your fridge is more than 15 years old, consider buying a new one. These old energy guzzlers also emit hydrofluorocarbons or HFCs (a type of greenhouse gas) at the end of their lifespan.

Pressure Pot Substitute your cookware with more energy-saving ones like a pressure cooker, which can save up to 70 per cent of energy and cooking time compared to using a stove or oven.

Oaty Biscuits

Made from rolled oats and golden syrup, Anzac biscuits are tea time staples in Australia and New Zealand that borrow their name from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). While some believe that these biscuits were sent to ANZAC troops stationed in Gallipoli, Turkey, during WW1, historians argue that today’s version is nothing like the hardtack biscuits that were a staple of the soldiers’ rations. Rolled oats-based biscuits like Anzac biscuits were in fact sold and consumed at fêtes, galas, and community events to raise funds for the war effort. Because of their connection to the ANZAC troops serving overseas, these hearty cookies came to be known as ‘soldier’s biscuits’, and later, Anzac biscuits.

Anzac Day is celebrated on April 25 to commemorate the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during WW1.

Epicurean Eats

The Ubud Food Festival (UFF) dishes up culinary insights, ideas and flavours inspired by Indonesia’s young, tech-savvy population, which is transforming Indonesia’s food industry. Held from April 13 to 15, with a range of free and ticketed events from cooking demonstrations and workshops to in-depth forums, the festival features some 100 chefs, restaurateurs, innovative farmers, and social entrepreneurs. In one of the festival’s most diverse collaborations, UFF Founder and Director Janet DeNeefe will be sharing her kitchen with Charles Toto aka The Jungle Chef from the Papuan highlands, and food activist and author Dicky Senda from West Timor, for a very special long table lunch spotlighting Indonesia’s lesser known eastern regions.

Inflight Delight: Vietnamese Chicken Wrap

Inspired by Vietnamese-style wraps that are chockful of fresh herbs and veggies, this tortilla wrap includes ingredients like lettuce, coriander, sweet basil, jalapeno, pickled vegetables and succulent slices of grilled chicken – all coated in a delicious peanut and mayo dressing. Light and healthy, this wrap makes a tasty addition to AirAsia’s inflight menu, Santan. Available onboard AirAsia Malaysia and AirAsia X flights.

Chocolate Dream

Inspired by the sights, scents, and flavours of some of the world’s most iconic cities – London, New York, Shanghai, Tokyo and Brussels – Godiva’s Wonderful City Dreams Collection includes nibbles like Sweets of the City that Never Sleeps – a cheesecake-flavoured mousse with crispy biscuit crumble, encased in caramel-flavoured blond chocolate couverture – and Exquisite East Meets Wondrous West, lychee and white chocolate ganache enriched with roasted hazelnut nibs, and encased in a crisp dark chocolate shell.

Much Ado About Tea! The beverage is so beloved by the Brits that they reportedly chug down 165 million cups a day. Raise your cuppa to the Brits as they honour their favourite drink during National Tea Day on April 21.

Did You Know? The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates an annual global wastage of 1.3 billion tonnes of food, which can fill 14 million sq km of land space. If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s second largest after Russia!


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About the Author

Kerry-Ann Augustin

Kerry-Ann Augustin is a writer and journalist who has dabbled in all forms writing in industries across the board, from print and digital media to broadcasting. When she is not working, she can be found at home making prank calls, watching re-runs of FRIENDS or gallivanting across the country in search of great food and heritage gems.

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