So you’ll be sampling lots of lovely food from a host of producers at this year’s Abergavenny Food Festival (21 and 22 September). This is a good thing. Don’t hold back. As epic food adventurer Anthony Bourdain said “Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” And what is the Abergavenny Food Festival if not the culinary equivalent? So we second that, but amusement parks need the odd bit of spanner work, like anything else – just to ensure things don’t go off the rails.
OK, yes, of course we all know there’s a price to pay if we’ve overdone it a bit and start piling on the pounds. Luckily for festival-goers The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (Wales) will be on hand to give you the low-down on how to balance the scales without going overboard.
Their interactive stand in Lower Brewery Yard will get you thinking the right way. It’s a positive message. See their calorie grid which starts off from the Millennium Stadium and takes in various landmarks. It’s all mapped out in units of a tenth of a mile. You play the guessing game. Get the whole family involved. Just how far do you have to walk if you’ve had a grab-bag of crisps or a cool glass of sparkling white?
Yes – walking is the message. Gentle aerobics. No gym membership, no sweating it out on the treadmill. CIEH Director, Julie Barratt says, “The great outdoors is there for free – so use it. Think of it as a party game. Stick your food item on the grid. See if you’ve got the calorie to mileage ratio right. Expect to be surprised. But the good thing is – win or lose – there’s a prize in it for you! CIEH will be handing out pedometers to encourage you to use your head and get using your legs.”
CIEH is also sponsoring the food hygiene element of the Food Academy ‘Grow it, cook it, eat it’ competition. To find out more about their wider activities visit www.cieh-cymruwales.org/