We’ve discussed various diets and trends in healthy living in previous blogs focusing on buzzwords like ‘Banting’ and ‘Paleo’. We all know people who follow these diets for various reasons. However, choosing not to eat meat is often more of an ethical life choice rather than a health choice. (the two don’t always go hand in hand but it’s important to be aware of them).
We are not standing in judgement of anyone, but rather focus on catering for different needs.
Healthy Living – Meat Free?
Healthy living and reducing or cutting out meat altogether has probably crossed many of our minds when faced with media around mass meat production and animal welfare. However, many are a bit worried about how they can maintain interesting meal times. Also, dining out with friends sometimes can pose a problem.
Many of our retail and commercial customers need to cater for their own customers’ preferences, so it’s really important to offer tasty and interesting meat-alternatives.
Italian food really lends itself to simple healthy ingredients and as a result there are many vegetarian options. You can’t really go wrong with pasta, olive oil, tomatoes and herbs! It can be hard giving up a food group, but as long as the food is tasty, you can soon learn to live without it.
Much of Africa hasn’t really gotten into the non-meat thing. A friend once asked for vegan options at a small restaurant in the Karoo, which was met with confused looks. (they offered to remove the lamb from the Breedie before serving!). However, if you are in Cape Town or Jo’burg, you will have seen the many gorgeous restaurants and cafes popping up all over the place specialising in vegetarian, vegan or raw foods.
So, whilst meat has traditionally played a huge part in South African cooking and culture, if you run a food business, you will be aware of the growing trends of the meat free consumer. Proof of this is the South Africa’s first vegan magazine which launched at the beginning of last year – so offering a decent meat-fee alternative will be a huge draw-card! – I know that my veggie friends complain about the lack of options – or the ‘after-thought’ of one disappointing meal on the menu that they can eat!
Local is Lekker!
Another strong trend we are seeing at the moment is for fresh, locally made ‘honest’ food with no hidden ingredients. Ethical eating is a growing trend, people want to know where their food has come from and that it’s not full of the strange additives we are becoming more aware of these days and the harm they cause to our bodies.
We produce so much great food in south Africa, and with the unfavourable exchange rate, it seems crazy to import products you can buy on your doorstep. At Pasta Factory, we are well known for making fresh food to order, so there is no need for any nasty additives. We source our ingredients locally and are firm believers in supporting the local economy.
So, whether your customers are thoughtful meat-eaters, cutting down on meat, vegetarian or vegan, you want to feel confident you are providing them with fresh, wholesome food from an ethical source.