Health and Wellness is a byword in the general community, across all age groups. In the current health environment, the community is urged to eat more vegetables and less meat to improve Health and promote Wellness. “Meat free days ‘is being ‘decreed’ by city councils, for reasons of personal health, health of the community and environment. Our Government has put big dollars into health strategies that urge the general population to eat “ 5 vegetables and 2 fruits” daily. But making “5 vegetables and 2 fruits”, an essential, interesting and tasty part of every- day cuisine, continues to challenge many.
There is considerable research on the Health Benefits of Vegetarianism and the use of vegetables and spices as Neutraceuticals. There is big money to be made from this, one only has to look at the array of products on the shelves of any “Health Food shops and web sites’. Eating a healthy diet is a challenge for most Australians but for a person with a disability, it may be even harder. People with disabilities have a higher incidence of diet related health problems than the general community is more likely to experience:
- High cholesterol
- High blood pressure
Most culinary courses – Asian and Western, concentrate on non- vegetarian products- meat, poultry and seafood. In these courses, cooking of vegetables is secondary and made interesting by inclusion of meat, poultry or fish. The modern life style – where time is premium, makes for fast foods and takes away meals. Fusion foods, an eclectic style that borrows from all traditions, becomes recipe orientated cooking. Recipe orientated cooking often fails to allow for variety and adaptation to new ingredients.
SMV in partnership with Annalakshmi, the premier Indian Vegetarian Restaurant, has run vegetarian cooking courses for many years, as our contribution to promoting Health and Wellness. Our strength lies in our ability to present an array of traditional Asian Vegetarian Cuisine, from East to Far East and from North to South. Tradition has allowed us to apply the science of cooking to local produce. We took on the super food “Lupin “– almost 85% of the world’s crop, is grown in WA, yet we export most of this overseas, the majority of what is sold in WA, is cattle feed! SMV/Annalakshmi Culinary Science, came up with 25 different recipes, to make Lupin acceptable to a very ‘traditional food’ orientated market.
Our next project is to take Vegetarian Cuisine, in particular Indian, East Asian and South East Asian Vegetarian Cuisine into Hospitality Training. Make Asian Vegetarian Cuisine, an essential pathway or an alternative pathway in a Culinary Science Degree. Following the ethos of SMV we aim is to develop courses, that will meet the requirements of the Health and Wellness conscious public, meet the demands of a culinary professional and tailored to meet the needs of the Disability Sector. Reducing your carbon footprint is not a catch phrase anymore, but if enough of us in the community eat more vegetables and less meat – could we put in motion a new community engagement to help in ‘carbon trading schemes’? impacting the nation’s health and environment budget to boot.
Join us at SMV/ Annalakshmi Culinary Science courses.
Health and Wellness for All.Mallika Jegasothy SMV/Annalakshmi Culinary Science Jan 2014.