The food of the future comes from the past, from a love for the earth and respect for the seasons and environment. This, according to Anna Chertkova, a Russian blogger and Italophile.
Hi there! I'm Anna, a Russian blogger based in Milan but actually from Moscow.Read the bio
1. What does food represent to you?
For me, food goes beyond simply fuelling the body and also means relief, beauty and inspiration. And I think I adopted this philosophy after moving to Italy where (good) food is not just ‘daily bread’ or a favourite topic of conversation, but also a source of inspiration, improvisation and - why not? - fun.
2. What products do you eat most?
Spaghetti! I’m joking... I’m trying to get my kids used to eating seasonal fruits and vegetables, so those are always on the table at our house.
3. What values do you consider when selecting a product?
Quality, or rather source and seasonality. I’ve learned to follow the seasons since living in Italy. Though I sometimes struggle to explain this concept to the readers of my blog.
4. What key trends do you think we’re going to see in the food sector?
I hope that the world and large-scale retailers evolve in the organic sector, learning to produce food while respecting nature and even preserving nature in what we eat.
5. Name one innovative food that you think will be successful.
I think we'll look to the past, towards the traditional cooking of our grandparents and great-grandparents as a natural and effective remedy against seasonal ailments for example. So honey, fruits of the forest, durum wheat, flax seeds, pumpkin, kefir, sauerkraut, etc. in terms of Russian cuisine.
I’m convinced that the usefulness and benefit of every single thing we eat is determined not just by the ingredients, but also by the circumstances in which it’s used, a lot depending on the climate and genotype. Food is not just energy for our body. Products can also be a way to prevent or even cure diseases. In traditional Tibetan medicine for example, they pay great attention to nutritional correction because they know that, in some cases, a disease can be prevented or its development stopped simply by changing diet.
In general, Russia has a damp, cool climate, or damp and cool with a few days of sun, which leads to specific illnesses. In Tibetan medicine, these are known as ‘cold’ diseases.
These are mainly metabolic illnesses, states of immunodeficiency, bronchopulmonary diseases, problems with the endocrine system, and diseases of the joints or blood vessels. So it is fundamental to eat ‘hot’ foods to fight this. This means that the most useful foods in a Russian diet are those that have heating properties, like salmon for example.
6. Do you see differences in the food habits of youngsters and adults?
I’m convinced that (healthy) eating habits are taught at home, right from childhood. So if a young person has learned to eat in a healthy, conscious way as a child, they will continue along this path as an adult, perhaps bending the rules on occasion when in company or influenced by a current trend. This is why it’s so important to teach today’s children about food culture, so that we have responsible adults in the future.
7. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack: try to imagine what these meals will look like in 10 years’ time and tell us about them.
OK, that’s a tough question right now. So I’ll tell you what I’d like large-scale retailers to look like in ten years. My first dream is that people learn to cook at home. That way, perhaps we might do away with the issue of harmful preservatives, present in all we eat today I fear.
In addition, I’d expect to find a wide range of products 'from farm to fork' and ready meals in supermarkets ten years from now, products that respect seasonality and don’t just offer the ‘expected’ calorific information, but also advice as to food pairings or a recipe that is easy to follow at home, perhaps with a pre-prepared set of ingredients.
All with maximum respect towards our shared home, or rather our planet.