Column Pieter Vos: Functional, fast, easy
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Column Pieter Vos: Functional, fast, easy

  • 12 September 2022
  • By: Pieter Vos , directeur Nutrilab

Food, water and air are primary necessities of life; we cannot exist without them. But there is more to food than its functional aspect. We regularly celebrate its sensory, emotional and cultural components. Eating and drinking together is enjoyment; it is cultural bonding; worldwide. In the Netherlands, restaurant visits are on the rise again; we go out for a drink at a tea-garden more often. 

Our dinner can certainly be enjoyable, but the functional aspect still prevails. Easy and quick; that's what it's usually about. Three standard components have to be fulfilled. Carbohydrates in the form of pasta, rice or potatoes; vitamins and fibre in the form of vegetables; and protein through meat, fish, or - ever more frequently - a vegetable-based ready-made substitute. 

If you eat in a restaurant, you make different choices. Everything revolves around cosiness, atmosphere, taste and food culture. Vegetarian is here to stay, that is a fact. On the menus, you will find stuffed portabellos or oyster mushrooms, roasted aubergines, nuts and/or cheese. But a ready-made alternative meat/fish substitute? Not really...

Once an eating occasion is primarily functional, we want convenience and speed. That applies to breakfast and to fast food chains. I see plenty of opportunities for protein powders (from insect meal, for example) to enrich a fruit shake or a vegan yoghurt.

It is child's play to replace a beef burger in a bun with a vegetarian version. I would not be surprised if in a few years' time the entire menu at fast-food chains will be vegetarian. 

Which proteins do you choose then? A source that has the least environmental impact, of course. One that ensures that the other primary need of life, the air, also clears up a little. 

Pieter Vos
Director Nutrilab

Source: Vakblad Voedingsindustrie 2022