More smoothies and super foods but with one eye always on the label. Detailed and clear. This, the opinion of Yasmin Saadi. Let’s get to know her better.
I’m Yasmin, Nutritionist, Vegan Food blogger, Photographer, Videographer and recipe developer behind Vgnbites. I’ve studied cooking in Milan and specialized in Vegan kitchen.Read the bio
1. What does food represent to you?
For me, food is representative of myself, a relationship we develop from birth. The first thing we do when we leave our mother’s womb in fact is try to eat.
Food is also a companion, a friend, sometimes an enemy. We need to be careful of the relationship we have with food, the deepest relationship we have.
Being vegan has reinforced this relationship, as I feel calm, both physically on the inside and outside. Don’t forget that, also in my case, every dish represents a memory that I relive every time I smell that scent, memories that take me back to my childhood in Israel, or my first date with my husband, or the day my son called me for the first time while eating his banana.
2. What products do you eat most?
As a vegan, I eat a lot of fruit and vegetables, wholegrain and organic products, and I don’t eat anything that comes wrapped in plastic.
Bananas are the thing I eat most.
3. What values do you consider when selecting a product?
- That the product is not of animal origin.
- 100% natural
- That all nutritional values are indicated
- That it has as little salt as possible
- That is has as little sugar as possible, almost sugar free
- That it is produced locally and not imported.
4. What key trends do you think we’re going to see in the food sector?
- Clear indication as to nutritional values and the exact percentage that the food contains, as well as clarification as to whether the food is 100% vegan or not (this is not currently the case).
- People are learning to read the labels and this will mark an important change in the food sector in Italy. Labelling should be more detailed and clear, with the ingredients listed in a way that leaves the consumer in no doubt.
- A rise in products that are 100% natural, sugar free and gluten free. I think the food sector still needs to grow in Italy, and there are not many options for those with intolerances.
5. Name one innovative food that you think will be successful.
I think simply detox smoothies and super foods in powdered form that you dissolve and drink, and that you have for breakfast rather than as a different meal or snack.
6. Do you see differences in the food habits of youngsters and adults?
Yes, definitely, youngsters tend to eat less healthily in my opinion because it's easier for them to find these foods. They are a “video game generation” and have less patience when it comes to preparing a meal, cutting vegetables or eating an apple. I’m not saying all young people, but many are like this. Personally, I teach my children to make healthy food choices, but when my son goes out with friends he might not stick to what he’s been taught at home, while adults are more aware of the importance of eating healthily.
7. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack: try to imagine what these meals will look like in 10 years’ time and tell us about them.
We are moving towards a smart future, and the arrival of COVID-19 has reinforced this with smartworking and home schooling. People won’t need to go out and will be able to do everything from home, but in doing so they’ll eat more. As for food, this can be a friend (having a healthy breakfast) but also an enemy, in that eating at home, and staying at home all the time can see us eat more, something that will lead to serious health and weight problems.
I can, and want to, imagine a healthier future where people enjoy a quick and healthy breakfast. We are a ‘time is money’ generation and are always anxious to be able to do it all. We’ll be having smoothies for breakfast ten years from now.
Lunch: I think we’ll be more food conscious in the future, and people will seek foods that taste as if they’re home made; with all the processed foods you see around, we are already seeing that people prefer eating something they prepare at home. And then we add COVID-19, which means people bring their lunch from home to be sure that it is 'safe'. So I think the food sector will focus on natural, fresh foods, as if home made, in recyclable packaging and with more local fruit and vegetables.
Snacks: energy bars and powdered super foods that you dissolve in water and that give you the energy of a snack or piece of fruit.
Dinner: dinner is an important meal in our home where we each talk about our day; I don’t know if we can keep this ritual going in the future, because I already see many families have lost the habit.
If I have to imagine dinner ten years from now, I envisage a very light meal.