The era of the 'sensible consumer'

In this new scenario, everything is changing. Here we talk about globality, sustainability, biofuel, waste, concern about the amount of food that is thrown away and not used. It is interesting because I am learning a lot, especially from conversations such as the one held with José Miguel Herrero Velasco, general director of the Spanish Food Industry, in the framework of the delivery of the Repsol Suns.

On food waste with overwhelming figures of damage and impact to biodiversity, he explained that a third of what is produced is wasted both in Spain and in France and Germany; they have done a joint study. It is equivalent to 25 million kilos that are thrown away per country per week of dairy products, fruits, meat, prepared foods. 42 percent comes from households.

“They can have a second life in animal feed, biofuels. Innovation, technology is necessary. We must move towards a circular economy ”, says this executive, who reflects on his social networks:“ Throwing food is throwing the planet into the trash ”. He adds that the first law against food waste in the industry will soon come out, with which it will try to sensitize households.

I also learned that Spain is a food power that in the pandemic has fed the planet with fruit and vegetables, wine, oil. That the Mexican chefs settled here create with Spanish product. Avocado, for example, used to be imported, like the corn for the tortilla, the chili for the sauces, but they are already being produced here. “With Mexico we have a twinning relationship. It is the door to other great markets ”, says this agronomist, creator of a foodie club that met once a week to indulge in the pleasure of tasting.

Stresses that the trend is health. “People are more aware of the value of food.” The situation has pushed to explore new paths, it has been cooked more than ever at home and the ingredients are better known. And at this moment the figures of the chef and the supplier are relevant, the reason for their alliance with the Repsol Guide to deliver the annual sustainability award, this year for the Basque chef, Eneko Atxa.

Another bet is the local product, in fact, here there is tomato, lettuce, bread, marked with ‘Eusko Label’, ‘K de Kalitatea’, a stamp that refers to the origin of the ingredients, artisan production, organic farming or not.

Herrero Velasco talks about the advances in production standards. Those of bread, for example, have not been updated for decades. Currently that of ‘sourdough’, you must specify if it is with baker’s yeast or with natural / levain: The fermentation will be 10 hours, minimum. “This is the age of the sensible consumer,” he says.

Food from Spain, in addition to numerous international campaigns, is sponsoring Madrid Fusión, the gastronomic congress, which will also be held in Bogotá. Among what caught my attention of this XIX edition, held a few days ago in Madrid, was the exhibition by chef Ángel León of his famous marine cereal, which curiously is an endemic aquatic plant of Mexico: the Zostera marina, similar to a grass of the mainland, that the seris-indigenous people of the Mexican north processed into flour millennia ago.

Eneko Atxa, the most sustainable chef in the world, surprised with his vermouth and martini made from the Hondarribi beltza grape, from the rosé txakolí, the Basque wine whose DO is from Getaria, the land where the successful Mexican chef Enrique Fleischmann lives. navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano. It is another Spanish product from which I have learned a lot, but I will tell that story for the next time. Agur!

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