Musings of a bon vivant in Hong Kong

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Table For Two: A Meal For A Meal #biteforchange 15/07-16/08

If you haven’t heard of Table For Two yet, then you should cruise by their website and take a look. A clever and worthy cause, TFT is an international organisation that focuses on ‘Global Food Imbalance’ by encouraging healthy dining and partnering with restaurants that have prepared nutritionally balanced TFT-branded meals. What does this do, I hear you say? TFT adds HK$2 to the price of these meals and it is this that is donated to provide school lunches for children in China and other countries such as Uganda, Rwanda and Ethiopia. Thus, you are simultaneously eating healthily yourself and giving a child somewhere in the world a nutritious meal aka Table for Two! The ‘food imbalance’ on which this whole idea is based upon, originates from the realisation that our world is currently in the midst of two extremes: starvation and malnutrition and overnutrition leading to conditions such as diabetes and obesity.tablefor2

In the last month (July 15- August 16), TFT has been working on a digital campaign called ‘A Meal For A Meal’ #biteforchange. To participate, all one needs to do is send TFT HK a photo of a healthy meal on Facebook and a nutritious meal will be donated to via TFT programs to school-children suffering from malnutrition  

Partnering with TFT meant that after I sent a picture of a healthy meal (in my case, it was a modified tuna nicoise salad with cabbage, new potatoes, olives, carrots, baby tomatoes and a balsamic vinegar dressing), I unlocked the 7th Meal For A Meal donation and I was sent a care package by the team at TFT.

My Meal For A Meal healthy dish
My Meal For A Meal healthy dish

This care package contained a lovely message from the team as well as white rice grains, a packet of pickled vegetables and chili sauce which many Chinese children survive on, on a daily basis. While these may sustain them, this sorely lacks nutritious and fresh food.

TFT Meal For A Meal care package
TFT Meal For A Meal care package

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The question posed by the team was what I would add to these ingredients to make it a healthy meal? I confess I am actually a big fan of pickled vegetables and I do cook with them from time to time, and I almost always stir-fry some minced pork (protein) and add a variety of greens such as sugar snap peas and broccoli together with sliced carrots and bamboo shoots and serve with brown rice. Or I will add glass noodles to my stir-fry instead. It is a delicious and I think, quite a nutritious meal once all the vegetables are in. Unfortunately, since I received my care package I haven’t had a chance as yet to use my pickled vegetables and rice, but once I do, I will show post a picture of my stir-fry!

In the meantime, I hope that you take a moment to think about TFT’s message and not only look after your own body but also have a think about those in need and maybe visit one of their participating restaurants in the scheme. There are a fair few to choose from including Kyoto Joe, Herbivores, Xi Yan Private Dining and Lux Bar and Tapas. There are also some food-related businesses involved including my friend’s company Health Addiction which is a vending machine operator that stocks healthy snacks and bars in offices and schools.

There are only 2 days left of the ‘Meal For A Meal’ #biteforchange campaign, so send a photo of your healthy meal and make a difference to someone’s life.



Food Revolution Day HK- 17th May 2013

Food Revolution Day

Food Revolution Day

Since Jamie Oliver started raising public awareness of the poor standards of school canteen food and the lack of healthy alternatives back in 2005 (can’t believe Jamie’s School Dinners was that long ago!), he has been on a veritable mission to shift people’s perceptions of healthy foods and to wage a war against the bulge. Improving one’s diet and eating habits can be a struggle at the best of times, so I really applaud Jamie for tackling such a difficult issue head-on.

Jamie’s TV series, Jamie’s Food Revolution (2010) was launched to improve school food and to teach people how to cook from scratch. This idea continued when he set up the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation to inspire and encourage people across America at that time, to discover good and healthy food. With everyone leading fairly hectic lives and fast-food being such a convenient way of lining one’s stomach quickly, coming round to the idea that one can whip up a decent, nutritious meal in under 30 minutes can be difficult. Since the World Health Organisation (WHO) officially recognised obesity as a global epidemic in 1997, it has been little wonder that the challenges of over-feeding have been met with panic. But, with movements like the Food Revolution, slowly but surely, with baby-steps, households are going down the path of cooking fresh, healthy food and even corporations such as McDonald’s are attempting to offer food that does not instantly clog one’s arteries. The Green Monday Organisation in HK is one such example of an enterprise that is campaigning for healthier lifestyles and meatless Mondays.

The Food Revolution has since become a world-wide movement and has now landed in Hong Kong. The 1st Food Revolution Day was held on 19 May 2012 and this year, Food Revolution Day will be held on Friday 17 May 2013.

So what do you need to do? Not much! Food Revolution Day is a lovely excuse to get some mates together or your family and have a good ol’ cook-out. Obviously waiting specifically to cook at home on 17 May is a bit daft, but the idea is that if you haven’t done so thus far and are looking for a lifestyle and diet change, perhaps this is the time to start doing it. So embrace your rice cooker or your hob and whip up something with your bare hands, be it a simple tomato soup or scrambled eggs on toast, at least have a go. To the kitchen-phobes out there, it’ll be fun, I promise! I will be finding some friends to throw together a hotch-potch meal, and will post a few photos of our attempt.

If you want to share your Food Revolution day of cooking with me, drop me an email and I will post your efforts too 🙂

Below is a list of local activities that are happening in the next couple of weeks to promote the Food Revolution. More information can be found on the website. 

2013.05.05 (SUN) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 港島東農墟(上)
FRD @ Island East Market (Part I)
2013.05.11 (SAT) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 香港理工大學理工大學食物與餐飲學院烹飪班
FRD @ The Food & Wine Academy(Poly U) Cooking Class
* 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.12 (SUN 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 港島東農墟(下)
FRD @ Island East Market (Part II)
* 部分活動敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED for certain activity
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 長洲太平清醮飄色巡遊 
FRD @ Cheung Chau’s Piu Sik Float Parade
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet
FRD @ Mum Veggie + Coffee + Sweet
* 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.17 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ Mana!Fast Slow Food
FRD @ Mana!Fast Slow Food
2013.05.18 (FRI) 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 豆苗居烹飪班
FRD @ Grassroots Pantry Cooking Class
 * 敬請預約 RSVP is NEEDED
2013.05.11-06.02 香港 HK 為食起革命 @ 執嘢 x 銅鑼灣地帶 夏季 Mini Swap Walk
FRD @ JUPYEAH X Causeway Place Mini Swap Walk

Here’s the detail on what the Food Revolution goal is:

The Food Revolution is a global movement that allows people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources and also to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people work together to make a difference.  The Food Revolution is about connecting with your community in schools, restaurants and local businesses.  We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.