The essential role that food plays in our overall health is widely understood and accepted, and people are learning to make healthier choices to take care of themselves. This return to balanced eating means not only introducing more fruit and vegetables into our diets but also taking a different approach to what we put on our plates.
Alain Ducasse, chef (Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée)
"It's nature that decides what we eat."
Having long been neglected, fruit and vegetables have become ultra-fashionable, acclaimed for their wide range of tastes, colors and textures and their high vitamin and mineral content. Around the globe, not only the specialist press but also general trend-setters are putting forgotten vegetables back in the spotlight and are proposing different types of cuts, new cooking methods and original blends of flavors.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that out of the 250,000 or so plant varieties that can be grown for food, only around 7,000 are currently cultivated.
of the French population is vegetarian. In India the proportion of vegetarians is 40%, a choice that is party linked to Hinduism.
Fruit and vegetables are now not just a healthy staple but also a pleasure to eat, with top chefs focusing on veggie creations. For example Alain Ducasse has taken the plunge and transformed his Plaza Athénée restaurant into a meatfree address, and Alain Passard has turned the spotlight on vegetables at his three Michelin-starred restaurant.
Other chefs have also introduced vegan and gluten-free recipes or vegetarian dishes, all proving that a high-quality meal does not have to include meat. The popularity of a vegetable-rich diet can be seen not only in the increasing number of vegetarians and vegans but also, and more markedly, in the growth of semivegetarianism or flexitarianism.
Flexitarians are omnivores who have decided to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables they eat and reduce their consumption of animal proteins. They could well be the ones paving the way for the future: their number reose by 25% between 2011 and 2015.
Being more careful about food and diet is not just about taking care of ourselves. Today’s consumers are fully aware of the impact their food choices have each time they have a break or a meal and are becoming ever-more vigilant and exacting in the purchases they make.