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WEEKEND: FOOD: What will be on menu in 2020? CELEBRITY CHEF AMONG EXPERTS PREDICTING THE SHAPE OF MEALS TO COME.

Byline: ANN EVANS

WITH worries about junk food, sugar, salt and allergies, as well as the organic versus non-organic debate and diet fads, just what will we be eating in 2020? That was the question put to food experts at the BBC Good Food Show at the NEC in a debate chaired by Sheila Dillon of the BBC Radio 4 Food Programme. Topics included fast food, school dinners and lifestyles. ANN EVANS reports on how they saw the future.

ONE person who is already actively looking ahead to food trends is Gareth Williams, Channel Editor for UKTVFood, who already has to plan a couple of years ahead with programmes.

He sees the current trend towards using good regional produce growing even more.

"I feel that we have already lost some of our good solid food, but there is a resurgent interest in good regional produce," said Gareth. "People have already been fired up by going back to the source and re-finding these places, and I can see that continuing.

"Good local produce will form the centre of our food in the future."

ANTONY WORRALL THOMPSON, the outspoken celebrity chef, was clear that the future of our food relies very much on today's children.

"We need to wake up and think about educating our kids. Schools give them a bit of fancy cooking education and then it stops. I would like to see compulsory cooking education - how to eat, how to cook and how to enjoy and look at the benefits.

"Choice produces fussy eaters. I would like to introduce free school meals but take away the choice of the junk and just give them a good balanced meal each day.

"The government could finance free school meals by taxing processed junk food."

On the subjects of obesity Antony also had strong views.

He said: "Obesity is a ticking time bomb. There are tens of thousands of deaths every year through diet-related illness, such as heart problems, cancer and diabetes."

On modern agricultural methods, he added: "We now have thousands of new chemicals. Okay, maybe one chemical on an apple will not hurt, but when you think about the cocktail of chemicals we are digesting, you do not know what they are doing to us. So I think more people will be going down the organic route.

"In the past nobody had eczema; if you got stung by a wasp you got on with it - you didn't die from it. Hardly anybody had asthma, these are all modern diseases. It's true what they say - you are what you eat."

ALISON AUSTIN is senior manager for product safety, integrity and environment at Sainsbury's. She was asked what sort of foods supermarkets would be selling in the year 2020.

"By 2020 all shops will need to be able to answer all the questions put by its customers or they won't be successful.

"Regarding what we will be eating, we have such a diverse society. We haveadapted and taken on board lots of other different cuisines. And I think we will see a lot more diverse modern British cookery. It will be old-fashioned Elizabethan combined with Vietnamese, Thai, Indian and so on - and we'll make it our own."

NEIL MARTINSON, director of communications at the Food Standards Agency, was asked what the organisation was doing about obesity.

"There isn't one single thing that will solve the problem," he said. "Poor diet leads to 100,000 deaths a year through heart disease and cancer. We are looking at ways of making it easier for people to choose a healthy diet, for example through food labelling. Things have moved forward in the last couple of years."

Turning to cookery education, he pointed to positive moves to get children interested. He added: "There is a Cooking Bus which reaches 6,000 children a year. This teaches then to cook and shows teachers how to teach cooking. That may be just one thing, but it makes a difference."

GILLIAN CARTER, Editor of BBC Good Food Magazine, was asked if everyone would be eating more exotic, ready-prepared food.

"People do buy so many of these ready meals - the expression buy one, get one free is now so widely used that bogof is in the dictionary. In the future I think the choice will be huge.

"But there are still plenty of people who want to cook, and they want to get as much information as possible, particularly from a health point of view and especially in relation to children. Good Food Magazine does recognise the need for social eating around the table. If you stop that, your family life becomes disrupted."

COLIN TUDGE is a science writer and author. His book So Shall We Reap looks at what has gone wrong with the world's food - and how to fix it. Not surprisingly, he too had strong views on the way our agricultural industry was going, and stressed how important it was for things to change.

"I hate what much of agriculture science is doing, most of what is happening now is a con," he said. "Just look at the way we feed the world these days, and all the problems it leads to - BSE, foot and mouth disease.

"Food and agriculture should be about being kind to animals, for rural communities to prosper and it should be about the environment.

"The structure that would activate this is from 50 years ago - small farms, 20 per cent of people on the land. It is not putting the clock back, it is designing good, small agricultural work.

"Good nutrition and great gastronomy go hand in hand. Good farming, good cooking and everything else will fall into place. Get one right and you get the other right.

"I would like to introduce a world food club - such an organisation could really start driving people forward.

"In 2020, if sanity prevails, all countries should be self-reliant, not self-sufficient, with food. I do think that global changes will play a big role."

THE PANEL

Tamar Kasriel, head of knowledge venturing at The Henley Centre.

Colin Tudge, scientist and author of So Shall We Reap, Food, Money and the Future of Humanity.

Neil Martinson, director of communications at the Food Standards Agency.

Gillian Carter, Editor of BBC Good Food Magazine.

Alison Austin, senior manager for product safety, integrity and environment at Sainsbury's.

Richard Eisermann, director of design and innovation at the Design Council.

Antony Worrall Thompson, chef and restaurateur.

Gareth Williams, Channel Editor UKTVFood.

Add extra sparkle to your party

WE don't buy Champagne every day, so to help you make that special choice, here are some tried and tested bottles which we heartily recommend.

CHAMPAGNE GOSSET, from the village of Ay, is the oldest wine house in the Champagne. Its Champagne has been awarded numerous medals in worldwide wine events. Jean-Pierre Mareigner, chef de caves, says: "All bottles carrying the Gosset label contain a great Champagne wine, produced exclusively by Champagne Gosset in Ay."

Champagne Gosset Grande Rose

Won a gold medal at the London International Wine Challenge 2001 and silver at the Japan Wine Challenge (Tokyo) 2002.

Appearance: Strong, bright clear salmon-pink hue, embellished by flighty ruby-red reflections. Generously effervescent with fine, constant bubbles.

To the nose: Reminiscent of fresh summer fruits and wild red berries.

To the palate: Generous, full-bodied, rich and mellow.

If served with food: Goes well with saltwater fish such as sea bass and sea bream, also with game. It is also a perfect accompaniment for desserts made with berries and fruit.

Champagne Gosset Grande Reserve

Took the gold medal in the Japan Wine Challenge (Tokyo) 2002 and was highly recommended in the Decanter Fine Wine Encounter.

Appearance: Clear, radiant and glimmering golden yellow hue, made up of a myriad fine, light bubbles.

To the nose: Intense and complex, fresh and well-balanced offering a host of perfumed floral and plant-based scents.

To the palate: Full-bodied, fruity and smooth.

If served with food: Ideal with free-range poultry, duck and rabbit, as well as with lamb and veal.

NEWS BITE

SUPERMARKET giant Tesco is predicting its best year for Champagne sales. The chain expects to sell more than four million bottles of bubbly - 25 per cent more than in 2003.

CAPTION(S):

KIDS' STUFF: Chef Antony Worrall Thompson wants children to be given compulsory education about the benefits of healthy eating; BIG BUBBLES: Philippe Manfredine from Champagne Gosset with a Nebuchadnezzar bottle of champagne, the equivalent of 20 normal bottles
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 1, 2005
Words:1409
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