Welcome to the Nourishment Network. Thank you for finding us.
The idea of this blog, and the website in general, is to provide sensible, balanced information about nutrition, in a way that relates to how people actually eat. The Nourishment Network is a loose collaboration of academics, writers and food professionals, all of whom believe that a counterpoint is needed to the reductionist, risk management narrative that dominates the food and health agenda.
In our modern lives, we are bombarded by a huge amount of information about diet, telling us what we should eat, when we should eat it, and what hidden dangers lurk within our everyday choices. Yet despite this deluge, even experienced professionals struggle to give out definitive, consistent advice about what ‘healthy’ actually means. Although the scientific community and public health professionals endeavour to provide evidence based information, often the sheer volume of sometimes conflicting advice only leaves people more confused. What is sometimes forgotten is that people consume different foods for a variety of reasons, and it is completely unrealistic to expect every choice to be made with long term health in mind.
To make matters worse, public understanding of nutrition is clouded by a great deal of superstition and myth. Despite what many people think, food is not medicine, we are not what we eat, lemons do not detoxify your body, and sugar is not more addictive than cocaine. Although diet and health are certainly connected in many ways, we are a magnificently omnivorous species, capable of sustaining ourselves perfectly well on a variety of different diets. Often, carefully monitoring and controlling our micro/macronutrient intakes may well be of less value than just embracing a number of different foods. Striving to eat a varied, enjoyable and interesting diet is a simple piece of good advice that has been lost over the years, and when it comes to eating well, it is perhaps one of the most important.
The reality is that for many of us, our daily food choices are more about pleasure and sustenance than they are about long term health. Any advice about food will be of far greater value if it is given out with that in mind. The Nourishment Network will attempt to do this, drawing on the knowledge and opinions of our network of academics, chefs, writers and food professionals. We will try to cut through the overload of information, celebrate the joy of eating, and help calm some of the anxiety that our media’s obsession with health strives to create.
The next time a tabloid headline screams at you that an everyday food choice causes cancer, heart disease or dementia, this is the place for sensible answers and comment. And the next time someone is promising a miracle superfood that will transform your health if you eat it everyday, we will help calm some of the confusion and noise.
More than anything, we firmly believe that how and what you eat is your choice alone. Guilt and shame have no place in a healthy diet and they are certainly not welcome here. Unlike many sources of nutrition information, we promise never to judge anyone for their choices, their appearance, or the state of their health. All we want to do is keep you informed and aware, whilst remembering that pleasure and joy are the most important ingredients in any good relationship with food.
Anthony and Judy