食尚趋势: 回归天地人和的植物基

冯久玲写在马来西亚首个植物基蛋白菠萝蜜快的诞生

传统饮食再成时尚

我们这些六十多岁的人都会记得以前餐桌上的食物主要是以植物为主,有很多的蔬菜和根茎,只有一小点点的肉。 在各种小炒的简单菜肴,像土豆炒肉丝,咸鱼绿豆芽,番茄黑木耳炒蛋,麻婆豆腐等,肉含量不到一成。 我称这种菜肴为为用肉调味 (meat flavoured); 以使菜肴的味道不那么“平,淡,寡”, 用些许的肉来调鲜,是烹饪美味的一个好方法。这是因为那些年的日子肉很稀有,仅限于节庆活动或大日子。这也是为什么人们期待节日的到来,因为他们可以好好的饱吃一顿丰富的美食。这是多么的基本,多么的合理情怀!

随着物质丰富度和经济富裕程度的提高,很多连锁快餐店的诞生(Quick service restaurant QSR),社会开始转向大鱼大肉为上的时代,也带动了一个新饮食选择。 其中餐食中的主角变成肉,大块的牛肉牛排(重 220 克)变得最受追捧;最富贵;蔬菜则沦为配菜。对于某些文化,例如在我们的马来兄弟姐妹的饮食中,他们几乎不习惯吃蔬果。虽然我们也知道这样的饮食选择是与人类健康背道而驰的。从蔬为主到肉为多,是今天调整饮食选择的讨论。 

吃肉才像个男人

一些广告电影一直发送这样的信息; 要长肌肉,您需要吃肉,要有力气,你必须多食肉。吃肉意味着强壮,像个男人。不知道从什么时候起,亚洲的妈妈们都转向用奶粉来养育下一代!我们反而忘记了数千年来,人类是以母乳为主;当孩子们长大一点了,我们的妈妈们才用谷物磨成糊或粥来喂养孩子的。

一些现代社会也有这样的一种看法; 男人必须吃肉,这才是一个真正的男人。 在中国民间“大碗喝酒和大块吃肉中的男子汉豪情;影响很多人( 我个人也有时也觉得很过瘾!很好玩)。 这是中国名小说《水浒传》无意推崇的一个价值; “是梁山好汉生活的重要组成部分,它常常被已经上山的好汉用来作为一种美好生活前景,向未上山的豪杰推荐展示,以吸引人才。如第十二回王伦劝杨志入伙,以扼制林冲时说:“不如只就小寨歇马,大秤分金银,大碗吃酒肉,同做好汉。” 第十五回写吴用到石碣村游说阮家兄弟“撞筹”时,阮小五一副垂涎三尺的口吻,说起梁山王伦那伙人“论秤分金银,异样穿绣锦,成瓮吃酒,大块吃肉”。从古到今,中国民间出现吃肉是富贵的看法。

美国著名影星,健美先生和政治领导人阿诺德·斯威塞纳格 ( Arnold Swazenager) 说,“我们都被媒体误导了。” 阿诺德发起的纪录片“游戏改变者”(  Game Changer)这部片子试图消除这种吃肉长肌肉的神话。 片中谈到很多杰出的运动员中很多人都是吃蔬的。尽管“许多男人有兴趣减少肉食,但他们顾虑其他男人对他们的看法!

吃植物可以减少排放

农业大量用化肥,畜牧业使用酶和抗生素加入生产,增产提升经济价值较高的瘦肉等等。当食物链现代化后,经过加工的食品越来越多,经过大量化学处理的食品让它们失去了原来的营养价值, 味道必须经过提升加味;现在人们逐渐习惯了重口味,反而失去体验食材原汁原味的机会了。 这些所有都是造成当今人类饮食变得酸性高,对人体不太健康的因素。

从环境角度看今天饮食的新趋势,得出的结论是,畜牧业占总温室气体排放之14%,牲畜饲养占全球农业用地的83%,但只生产人类食物中20% 的卡路里。 结论是,“这种人类与肉食之间的关联可能对全球可持续发展的前景至关重要,要世界可持续发展人类的饮食要有新的选择。最近有一份报告发现,如果100%的人类转向纯蔬食,全球总排放量将能减少70%。目前用于畜牧业生产的十亿公顷土地可用于种植植物基蛋白质,水果和蔬菜!

植物基 ( plant based)的历史

从历史来看,植物为主的饮食曾是主流。亚洲人因为人多而缺乏物质,即使是柚皮,中国人也可以用发酵使其变得美味。 由于耕地的稀缺,中国人在烹饪方面具有极大的创造力,他们使用各种蔬菜,根茎,水果等制作美味的食物。 其他文化,例如在印度和欧洲,时尚领袖因为不同生活哲学的驱动; 很多名人放弃吃肉; 像达芬奇(Leonardo da Vinci),本杰明·弗纳克林(Benjamin Frnaklin),乔布斯(Steve Jobs)等等。 唐朝时代,日本天皇禁止人们吃肉。 在约公元前600年:一个新印度宗教成立,主要推广对所有生物的非暴力信仰。中世纪早期/公元前500年, 希腊有一信仰对吃动物持哲学上的立场。这也包括对于对长寿的渴望。莫里亚王朝/公元前304-232年:佛教素食主义者拥护印度皇帝阿育王(Ashoka)鼓励人们爱护动物,试图阻止动物的牺牲。1847年:第一个素食会在英国拉姆斯盖特成立。1850年:第一个素食协会在纽约成立。虽然这样到今天,世界 70 亿人口中,只有 5% 是食蔬的。

新国家饮食政策

疫情加剧了人人对健康的关注。它进一步推动了本来已经强劲升温的植物基(plant based ) 饮食趋势。植物基是一个很广泛的饮食类项,它不是吃素,因为素常常带宗教色彩;但可以是纯蔬食, 英文称 维根( Vegan);有人连乳制品,鸡蛋,和蜜糖都不吃。 世界素联副会长,上海大蔬无界、枣子树创建人,广州素食学校素食营销研究所所长宋渊博,蔬食倡导者,大蔬无界董事长宋渊博 称蔬食为中华文化的第九大菜系。也是今天很多非素食者的选择。 

天地人和我们的食物才可达到可持续发展。 对许多人来说,基于对环保的原因,尤其是全球暖化达前所未有的严重大家做出改变。大家都知道,温室气体的最高排放量来自畜牧业,其中主要是养牛来生产牛肉和乳制品。只有人类改变饮食内容,才可助地球恢复平衡。 在欧洲和美国,植物基饮食的运动促使许多人增加植物基的膳食份量,包括用植物基蛋白代替动物蛋白。少动物肉食成份也可以促近健康。 

动物蛋白,特别是牛肉是非常耗能的。生产相同数量的蛋白质需要太多的耕地和水,同时温室气体的排放对环境影响非常的严重。少吃肉,多食植物基食物对地球是好的,是负责任的。 我们来看看一些国家政府对全球饮食的政策调整和市场趋势: 

1。中国政府计划到2030年将全国人们对肉类的消费量减少到一半。

2。英国蔬食协会要求国家发起一个新的国家饮食战略,把蔬食转成主流。 

3。2017年的一项研究发现,每周一次或更多次百分之69的德国人和百分38的美国人吃无肉餐。

4。到2020年,全球植物基食品的销售额将达到50亿美元,而美国目前为3.1亿美元。

5。根据植物基食品协(PBFA)的数据,2019年美国植物基食品的零售额增长了11.4%,使植物基市场总价值达到50亿美元。即使发生了COVID-19的疫情,销售也没有放缓。

6. 根据PBFA和SPINS发布的数据,在疫情期间,美国植物基食品的零售增速超过了总食品销售额的增速,这表明在危机中更多的消费者转向植物基食品(PBFA 2020)。 2020 年 3月中旬,植物基食品与去年相比增长了90%。在恐慌性购买高峰之后的四个星期中,植物基食品的总销售增长了27%,比零售食品的总销售增长了35%。

天地人和的饮食方向

要健康,多吃植物基食品。 人类可以通过改变饮食成份让地球生态再平衡。今天的运动是从多食植物基食物,做弹性饮食(flexitarian)可蔬可荤,但鼓励多蔬少荤。这个运动是一个全民觉醒的运动,是厨师们发挥创意的大机会;食物是养命的;但当大家吃饭时,可口美味是重要。不要去仿造肉( fake meat) 做代肉 ( meat substittute); 我建议我们从一个植物蛋白的方向来努力; 我们很高兴宣布推出我国首个由本地波罗蜜制成的植物基蛋白质。 Nangka- Ria是这个新主张的名字;中文译名为 菠萝蜜快, 快乐的快; 能带来快乐的菠萝蜜。

菠萝蜜快不是肉,菠萝蜜快为第六种蛋白质来源 ( 6th Protein) ,即牛羊猪鸡 和海鲜前五种之后的植物蛋白。因为它不是肉,它有自己独特的口感和质地。 请不要把它和肉比。 它不甜,但它有水果中最高的蛋白质和膳⻝纤维,它能让 其他的味道在它的身上⻜舞! 好厨师能让这个材料做成一种让你的的舌尖上演一场美味的惊艳! 

菠萝蜜是世界上最大的水果,也是一种超级⻝物。所有水果中蛋白质算它最多。 它还富含纤维,矿物质和维生素。 它在10°赤道圈生⻓,在⻢来⻄亚的赤道气候,阳光让果树整年无休工作,旺盛成⻓,赤道太阳促进强劲的光合作用,又有充沛的雨 露日夜滋养。它创造让人类健康的终极营养。它是一种新⻝品。 菠萝蜜快是第六种蛋白质来源,它是健康饮⻝中需要的蛋白质,还可以减少畜 牧业引起的碳足迹和给环境的压力。 Covid-19 疫情使人们更加认识到,要拥 有一个更安全的地球,我们必须调整我们的饮⻝成份,增加植物基饮⻝的含量 将有助于倡导一个更绿色,更友好的的世界。 ( Greener and Kinder diet) 

冯久玲 亚洲大趋势研究所 原创所长,

马来西亚首个用本地食材做植物基蛋白菠萝蜜快的发起人。

http: www.the6thprotein.com

Vegan Mouth Vs Vegan Heart (齋口不齋心)

The Chinese has this saying about “ abstinence of the mouth and not of the heart” (斋口不斋心/口齋心不齋) literally describing people who would not eat real meat, but their vegetarian food is made to resemble meat in shape. There are vegetarian fish, shrimps, BBQ pork, chicken and dishes on the table that mimic their “meat” versions.  Some people question this and ask is this the way to go Vegetarian?  When you are eating plant based, should you be making your food to look like the real meat and taste like real meat, and named the dishes as real meat dishes?   This is at the centre of today’s plant-based meat movement; how should Vegan “Meat”  be constituted?  Or we should drop “meat” from the description totally? We need a new language to describe the new food, or should we be advancing a new category of food?

Vegetarianism has existed for a long time in Chinese diet. Central to the menu is dishes made from Soy, especially dried soya sheets. Cooks can make all kinds of meat-alike dishes using these material, and on the menu vegetarian bbefore the dish’s name. So you are in fact not eating real meat, but in your imagination you are eating meat! A Vegetarian roast duck does not quite taste like the real roast duck, but the dry taufoo sheets create a crispy chewy dish that is positive to the pallete. It is actually an all time favorite to diners. 

The 6th Protein

Since time immemorial, humans consume beef ( meat from cows) lamb ( meat from sheep); chicken ( meat from poultry birds) pork ( meat from pig), and seafood ( fish, shrimps and other harvest from the sea) ; a variety of animal based ingredient to form their diet. In fact in the past when the world had fewer people, most of these meat are foraged or hunted from the wild, these livestocks are not domesticated and collectively they do not posed threat to the environment. People who are near the water eat from the water, people who lived by the mountains eat from the mountains, ( 靠山吃山,靠海吃海); the land and water in a particular region breed and nurture the people there (一方水土养一方人)。 When people hunt or forage in the wild, there is no distinction between carnivorous and vegetarian, to survivie the people in the early ages ate what was available in the area and in the season. 

With modernisation, livestocks are domesticated and bred on a large scale in industrial factory-like farms. People’s habit changed, and a new culture emerged suggesting that more protein, mostly from animal are a better diet; and a more affluent diet, only the rich eat more meat, so it becomes an aspiration for the poorer families; to be able to eat more meat is upward mobility. If the eating culture has gone in a different direction, that is more plant protein taken mainstream and central to the urban people’s diet, then we wouldn’t have this food-induced environmental crisis and health tragedy. We need not worry about the large footprint of cattle rearing, the consumption of water and grain by rearing animal livestocks and do not have to deal with the carbon emissions from their discharge. And fewer people will get sick from an acidic diet of eating too much animal protein. There is now general agreement that only with “diet change,” can we have less ” climate change.”

So if we labelled protein from beef as meat No 1, Lamb as No 2, Chicken as No 3,  Pork as No 4 and Seafood as No 4, then today’s plant based protein will qualify as Meat No 6.  Plant based protein is a new category and should have its own taste, texture and aroma, different from Meat No 1-5. And we should not imitate or try to recreate meat 1-5 using plant-based ingredients.

Why should there be blood in Meat No 6?

Manufacturers use beet root and mangosteen peel to extract dark red juices to infuse into the vegetarian substance, add flavouring to make the blood in the meat.  These beef like taste and texture; let the consumers have the experience of eating “meat with blood,” that taste just like beef. Personally I think this is remarkable innovation but wonder whether we are going in the right path for the development of plant-based “meat.” Is this necessary?

I would like to advance a thought to you. Since we are leaving livestock and animal protein behind, maybe for some no totally, but drastic reduction in the amount to consume. We are focusing on creating a plant-based protein substance for food that is by itself delicious and interesting,  the question is should there be any resemblance of taste or texture to any of the meat from No 1 to No 5; should plant based meat be on its own; a new taste, a new texture, a new umami that is memorable to the taste buds, and bring health benefits to the body. The true test of success is people come back for more because it is just tasty and delicious. 

I wonder what you think?  Do you agree that plant based protein should be called Meat No 6, a new protein or “meat” that have its own taste and texture profile? 

Foong Wai Fong, Founder of NangkaRIa.

苦尽甘来的马来西亚榴莲:一个励志的故事

优质上等的马来西亚榴莲,无论是什么品种,都会带有一丝苦味——正如同马来西亚那一群榴莲园主的人生。而这个苦味是埋在味道的底层,深深的埋在果肉內层。 不知道原由的可不能体会。知道马来西亚华人自立更生故事的人会有共鸣;我形容这个味道味苦尽甘来的幸福。

近些年,马来西亚榴莲在中国“火”了起来,让大家也认识了这个水果界的奇葩。 榴莲制品也遍地开花,琳琅满目,榴莲的香甜绵软的口感大受中国人的追捧,迅速在人们的味觉飨宴中占领了一席之地。其实榴莲看似火速的“崛起”却整整走过了50年的艰辛历程, 其中是一代人的艰辛耕耘,多少的失败,多少的泪水,榴莲种植的好景是近五年的事!是这批人守的云开见月明;苦尽甘来。

马来西亚得天独厚,热带的阳光和雨水滋润的养育这些果树。在马来西亚中央山脉的山脚坡地,有这样一群默默耕耘的榴莲园主,他们多年来始终辛勤劳作,艰苦付出。五年前的榴莲市场行情不好,许多人坚持不下去,砍掉榴莲树,改种棕油树。只有他们不离不弃,不论雨季还是旱季,像对待自己的孩子一样对待着一棵棵榴莲树,不为别的,为的就是那还没有完全湮灭的一丝希望。其中一个例子就是在北部的黑刺森林,园主经过了15 年的失败,坚守了32 年,在100 亩的险危山波,一个一个山头上,种植了6000 多棵榴莲树,立志要把这片土地植为一个“森林”, 一个“黑刺森林” 。黑刺是榴莲中的极品,是大自然的馈赠。

榴莲种植人是了马来西亚华人的一个缩影。华人先祖们赤手空拳地来到这片土地,自力更生,不畏磨难,砥砺奋进,历经三百年,终于在这片土地上扎根。然而他们也并没有忘记根本,他们带着敬祖的情怀,努力建设发扬着中华文化。现如今,马来西亚的华文教育是除中国外全世界华文教育普及最广、发展最完善的地区。

而鲜为人知的是,这庞大教育体系中的1300所以华文为媒介语的小学和60所独立中学都是靠当地华人社会一元一元的微额捐款建立起来的。支撑如此不易的办学过程,靠的就是华人对中华文化守护的坚定信念。如今这些学校不但在华人社会中兴旺,也获得了部分原著族群的肯定,中华文化的日益兴盛终于报偿了华人们的赤子之心。

你看,马来西亚的土地上到处充斥着这样的精神,那就是坚持。
若非榴莲园主们的坚持,我们可能就少了一席味觉上的华筵。
若非不忘本的华人们的坚持,我们可能真就随着历史的洪流淹没了初心。
轻轻咬一口马来西亚的榴莲,留在舌尖的是香甜,香得细腻,甜得绵长;
而留在心里的是那轻微的苦,苦得痴缠,苦得凝静。微苦过后又感受到回甘,
那是因为他们鞠躬尽瘁地守护了大自然的馈赠;那是因为他们呕心沥血地传承了文化的辉煌!
在向马来西亚的“榴莲人”致敬的同时,我们也知道建立榴莲行业的任重道远;要把榴莲事业做到可持续状态,要从种植走向市场,我们得建立可持续发展的销售渠道,服务爱好榴莲的食客。 这个工作必须让这一代年轻人来做了。
作者:冯久玲
编辑:赵鑫

Why developing Plant-based Protein will be impactful for Malaysia?

While there is a lot of buzz in the West about Plant-based proteins, that 1 in 3 people in the UK are willing to reduce meat consumption and eat more plant-based meals. In the US the growth for plant-based meals are also booming to double digit growth rates. Chinese entrepreneur Alibaba’s Jack Ma and Soho’s Pang Shiyi have both indicated publicly that they will channel investment to developing plant-based protein. Interest in plant based diet outside of Malaysia is due to rising concern on sustainability and health, especially when the world is still reeling from the impact of the Covid -19 pandemic, which many people believe is due to a lack of balance in our eco system.

For Malaysia, there are important, and maybe even critical reasons for to consider devoting resources to re-engineer our people’s diet. Malaysia’s high fat, high starch and sugar rich diet are the reasons for the poor health of Malaysians. Going for plant-based protein is not desirable because it is fashionable or trendy, it has merits that impact on the health of the nation, the economy and the well being of the people. Food players ought to follow the footsteps of IKEA, the Swedish furniture brand to introduce healthy options to their customers. In pre-Covid Singapore, 90% of the restaurants have option of Vegan on their menu. The change need to be led by major food players such as the Quick service restaurants ( QSR); Pizza Hut UK introduced a Jackfruit Pizza, and many of the other QSR chains are working with Beyond Meat to introduce a plant-based option on their menu. Those in leadership have to understand that it is very critical for the health of the nation to engineer this change.

Why it is so important for Malaysia to commit to plant-based diet?

First, the high calories, high sugar and high oil diet has caused over the last 2 decades a high incidence of chronic diseases, and according to the World Health Organization, Chronic disease accounted for 71% of all deaths in 2002, and that at least 80% of these premature heart disease, stroke, diabetics and cancer can be prevented through healthy diet, regular physical activity and avoidance of tobacco products. The Health Ministry has once disclosed the alarming news that close to 1 in 3 is diabetic by 2025. an alarming 7m people will be affected. Currently, 3.6 million Malaysians had the disease, the highest in Asia and one of the highest in the world.

Former Health Minister Dr Dzulkefly said a macro-economic study done in 2011 showed that diabetes cost the country approximately RM2 billion, potentially representing 13 per cent of the healthcare budget for the year 2011.“The sensitivity analysis reflects that this national cost could be as high as RM3.52 billion. In total the national cost of diabetics can be set at 2-5 billion per year.

Second: Animal protein production in Malaysia relies heavily on feed import. Just broilers alone, we need to feed some 830m of them because Malaysians need 1.8m chicken per day. To produce 6m tons of feed, valued at RM9b, we import 100% of the corn ( 3m tons) costing around RM3b-5b depending on prices. This is the part of the reason for the big import food bill, which some put at RM60billion a year. While we cannot completely eliminate the demand for animal protein, we can work to re-engineer taste and preferences ( especially among the young people) and redesign our production to meet our needs. Malaysia must re-examine its own competitive advantages and see how best we can produce the kind of food for our food security. Corn is a main ingredient for feed, and our weather is not suitable for feed-corn production as we need dry weather to turn matured corn into feed. Importing such large quantity of feed makes us very vulnerable to the vagaries of global prices, currency movement and the larger demand and supply conditions.

The government leadership has to understand that it is something very critical for the health of the nation to engineer change. Years back I was in New Zealand, and the leadership there was talking about how to re-engineer the yam rich diet of the island people to reduce the high incidence of diabetics. The same problems are also experienced in Jamaica, Barbados and the other Caribbean islands, where the diet of the people is starch-intensive. The University of East Indies conducted study to show that re-engineering the diet could provide permanent solution. All these has to link with the agriculture policy of the country. People may have the will to change, but the system and environment must enable the change; for food, attractive alternatives must be available.

The opportunity of Jackfruit as the new meat

Jackfruit grows well on Malaysian soil and weather, and the country produces some of the best quality jackfruit for the world. In spite of Malaysia being a smaller player in terms of production volume, discerning consumers can appreciate the difference between Malaysian Jackfruit and those grown in the higher latitude countries. The intensity of the equatorial sun and abundant rainfall makes the difference; robust photosynthesis year round produces the sweetest and most aromatic fruits with high nutrients. This is one reason why Malaysian jackfruits are exported to Europe via air freight, each week, some 20 tons travelled by air freight goes destination markets in the West.

But for too long, Malaysian jackfruits are only use as table fruits, and lack of proper distribution logistics and development of market stunted the growth of this wonderful fruit. The fruit has for too long been undervalued, and under-appreciated. Malaysian farmers only pay attention on the planting side, they can only depend on the middle men to come around and buy their produce. There is no effective farmers cooperative to organise the demand and supply and a professional body to work on creating value for the produce. Importantly the related industries need to be build to support the full development of the sector. The modern food production is an integrated value chain of 12 industries; from farm input ( seeds and planting materials,, soil, fertilisers, pest control, farm infrastructure development, irrigation) to farm management ( weed control, planting, crop management, harvest) to post harvest processing ( primary processing ( as commodity), secondary processing (as ingredient) and final processing ( as final products ready to cook, ready to eat); there is also the design and packing, cold storage, logistics that include transport and forwarding. On top of all these, are overall farm design and management skills that take agriculture into 4.0 where additional revenue are created from agro-tourism and the sales of farm products. All these areas require different skill sets and only scale can drive the engagement of talented professionals to the sector.

Jackfruit to make the New Meat

The Malaysian Jackfruit sector has a good foundation now. Mardi and other government department has come up with good planting stocks, such as the J33. Effort must now go further to help farmers upgrade quality, reduce incidence of pest and diseases and increase yield of the edible part of the fruit. For example in utilising young jackfruit as plant-based meat, we can use up to 75% of the fruit; which is much more efficient than using the Jackfruit as table fruit ( which is only 30% without seed, and 40% with seeds). Malaysian planters have yet to learn how to produce good quality young jackfruit for the manufacture of plant based meat. This require further research and guidance from experts. It is my wish that the authorities understand the potential and find the critical point of intervention to move the industry forward. There is only one way; and that is going forward, otherwise all the effort and investment of the past years will be wasted in vain as producers left the playing field because it is not sustainable.

For the health of the nation, for productivity and well being, the Malaysian diet need to be re-engineered, and Jackfruit provides a good source ingredient for this. The Agriculture department must work to research to produce the highest quality young jackfruit for this purpose. Jackfruit itself is high in fibre and minerals, science can do more to enhance its protein content. 

Jackfruit the SuperFood is the hope for a kinder and greener world

Asians have Jackfruit trees in their backyard and has been eating the fruit for granted for decades.  Jackfruit is a popular table fruit, it is sweet with sweetness level (Brix between 17-25),  the exotic ones also come with a tinge of sourness; and people just can’t get enough of it once they start. In one sitting, it is not uncommon that one individual could eat up to 500 grammes of Jackfruit Pulp! 

Although the emergence of Vegan and Vegetarianism has been for some time, the Covid 19 pandemic disruption in the supply of other greens and livestock proteins as well the desire for more sustanible consumption have prompted spikes in demand for Jackfruit. So chefs from San Francisco to London and Delhi is now touting Jackfruit as the alternative meat or plant based proteins ( PBP).  When UK Pizza Hut announced Jackfruit Pizza will be introduced into its menu as a permanent item, it is now mainstream and official. Jackfruit the super fruit will appear on the table as a kinder and greener choice of food. 

Jackfruit, the largest fruit in the world, weighs an average of 10 kg for Malaysian grade A fruit is very versatile in use. The entire jackfruit has its applicaitons; it is eaten raw as table fruit, used in cakes, breads, juices, purees, ice creams and crisps. IT is also used in cooking, fried, minced and sauteed. Now people love to have jackfruit as a topping on pizza and in taccos. The Jackfruit seeds are especially nutritious; it can be eaten roasted as a snack or made into a powder that has versatile applications. 

Rise in Veganism 

Rising interest in veganism has given rise to movements such as Meat Free Mondays and Veganuary; promoting the idea of plant-based meat or alternative meats. Over 600m people in the world prefer a vegetarian diet, and with the pandemic, the interest in Vegetarian meals are rising rapidly, it is reported that 1/3 of the carnivorous Brits are now eating vegetarian based meals. It is really a good time if the meat eaters can spend a day in a week or a month in a year on 100% plant-based diet, this will gradually shift dietary habits; and reduce the stress on the environment. 

The 2019 UN report advocated adopting more of a plant-based diet could help mitigate climate change –and consumers are turning to brands such as Impossible and Beyond Meat for plant-based replications of chicken, beef, and pork. In Asia, soy-based tofu and tempeh, and wheat derivative seitan, along with jackfruit are rising stars on the dinner table. So let us retire the cows, and make them friends than food!

Texture that take on other taste 

Young jackfruit pulp is firm and chewy; you get a hard bite like meat, this nice texture absorbs flavours and spieces that the chefs can be creative with. Mixed with rice flour, chick pea or soya issolates, they can be made into patties, meat balls and chunks to cook Chinese, Thai or any of the popular curries Asians are good at. Jackfruit can have a good impact on diabetic patients, and firms are now verifying this with Glycemic Index Research. This is especially significant for Rice-eating Asia with very high incidence of diabetics in the world. 

The World’s Hope to feed millions

Global warming is wreaking havoc on agriculture and the shortage of water is a big concern. Food scientist are hoping that jackfruit could be the hope as it can be a nutritious staple crop which does not require too much water and is drought-resistant and requires little maintenance. Because of its new found fame, planters and governments will do well to come up with sustainable produciton plans, with attention paid to the environment and post harvest processing infrastructure. Extensive marketing and affordable pricing should be born in mind so that the fruit can be accessible to a wider population through integrated balance of plantation and forestry programs.

A Super Nutritious Food

Historically, Jackfruit is an exotic fruit typically grown in the backyards in the tropical regions of the world and is a part of the Moraceae plant family. It is extensively cultivated in an unorganized or informal way in Asia; South and Southeast Asia countries including India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Indonesia, and Nepal. Jackfruit possess an impressive nutrition profile; traditionally used as a remedy,and in native medicine.  Jackfruit provides multiple health benefits including antioxidant protection, maintaining cardiovascular health, boosting immunity, lower blood pressure and sugar, and anti-inflammatory.

IQF will bring innovation 

It looks quite certain that the world’s romance with Jackfruit is blosooming; and there will be an explosion of interest and creativity on jackfruit based cuisines. Food dishes from curry, chips, jam, soup, candy, ice cream to savory such as nuggets and meatballs. 

These are all great however the jackfruit is highly perishable and only can last 2-3 days when ripen. Here is where a breakthrough solution can come to its rescue;  use Instant Quick Freeze ( IQF) technology to preserve the fruit upon harvest. IQF could lock in the nutrient, aroma and taste in a very short freezing cycle and preserve the goodness under -18° cold storage for up to 18-24 months. This innovation will make export and transport to urban markets possible. So the way forward to create this future is scaling up productivity; innovation and technology and creativity in applicaiton. The government will do well to invest in the creativity for this industry to build it into a billion dollar final product business. 

Malaysia to build the ingredient industry  

Malaysia has the oil palm industry for over a century, and it is still by and large a commodity industry with low value add. The country will no longer able to compete on the commodity front because our surrounding neighbors have better conditions; larger land mass, larger local population and proximity to large markets and big domestic markets. The only way forward for us is to invest in higher value creativity added industry; nurturing a new generation of young chefs using new ingredietns. Our agriculture sector will produce these fantastic ingredients nurtured by our equatorial climate. 

(Madam Foong Wai Fong is advisor to Malaysia’s largest post harvest facility in Lanchang where the country’s largest plantation holidng of Jackfruit is. The Sun Fresh Fruit Hub in the permanent food production park has the largest IQF tunnel freezer and cold room in the region.)

More on Jackfruit can be accessed at https:www.alliedmarketresearch.com/jackfruit-market

Fresh Whole Jackfruit Export to China: Not A Good Idea!

The Agriculture Department has recently asked the industry to give feedback as it will be finalizing its export protocol to be submitted to China in July. The application for market access to China has gone on for over 10 years, and in this decade-long period, the competitive landscape has changed. One of the key changes is is the competition from suppliers from Vietnam and Thailand. In this short piece, I present the case on Why Exporting Fresh Whole Fruit For JACKFRUIT may NOT A good idea for MALAYSIA, and recommend that the government to put effort to value adding for the industry and work on global access on fruit-based derivative products. 

Why fresh whole fruit export makes no sense for Malaysian Jackfruit producers: 

  1. China market has recognized Thai and Vietnam Jackfruit, including smaller volume from Hainan which has quality quite close to Malaysian Jackfruit specie. Looking at the chart below, in terms of extraction rate ( Edible Pulp to whole fruit); and Brix ( sweetness); Malaysian jackfruit has a weak case to justify a higher price. Moreover if all Jackfruit are to go to the big Jiaxing Jackfruit Market which in 2018 already traded over 38,000 tons ( more than Malaysia’s national production). We would be drowned by the shere quantity from Vietnam and Thailand. For the Chinese consumer, Jackfruit is a everyday table fruit, they may not be persuaded to pay more.
  2. Vietnam and Thailand has become bigger scale producers; manifold of the production from Malaysia. Vietnam and Thailand has bigger land mass, larger working population and a bigger domestic market; all these combined with their proximity to bigger markets; gave them the scale advantage to bargain in the market. They send their produce via land route and a sea freight Fruit Express, which is less than 7 days to reach Chinese ports ( from Sa Pa in Lao Cai Province in Vietnam via land route to China) Via Port Klang or Kuantan, the transit journey to Shanghai can take up to 15 to 20 days, and better at chilled temperature; which will increase the cost of logistics. Again, at what maturity index to cut the fruit to ensure that the fruit will reach destination market in best condition requires more research and test. 
  1. The price difference for Whole Fruit is not going to be big to justify this exercise. Now average price at the Jiaxing market is RM2-5; even at RM5, the margin is small for the importer, and there will not be any premium for local producers in Malaysia, without god margins, impoters are not going to champion your product. Why would farms want to support this export drive if they are not going to get more value? There is a huge exercise to certify the farms; making them syriah/halal compliant and MyGap certified, and ensuring no return from importers because of quality issue. When Malaysian Farms sell their products locally or to processing house, they can get this price. So why the hassle?
  2. The challenge explaining the stagnation of the industry is the lack of support for prices for farmers to focus on caring and growing their acreage. Lack of attention and focused effort to developed local and foreign market, without a market, producers have no incentive to care for their farms. Weak prices and uncertain demand do not make sustainable production. In comparision, there is government support prices to mop up harvests in other countries, enabling the industry to grow and upgrade. To get a perspective, current production of jackfruit is 10% of durian, and Jackfruit prices stands at 10% of durian ex farm prices.
  3. Why w o u l d Malaysian jackfruit want to stay at the ex farm agriculture commodity sale? When the whole world is looking at using Jackfruit to make plant-based meat, the government should change direction and give support to this area. An average plant based meat retails at RM40 per 125 gm which is RM320 per kg. Say at the factory level, one can get 50% of this value, which is RM150 per kg, 75x that of ex farm price of the Jackfruit.
  4. WE urge the govenrment to review its current policies; put more time to review and dedicate resources to research and development in the following areas:  i)  Malaysian farmproductivity are functioning at below optimum; The existing planting acreage nationwide of 3469 hectares are functing only at 51.28%. With focus effort to improve quality and productivity; improve extraction rate, stabilize brix, and productivity per tree, we can easily double output with perhaps only a 30% increase in cost. Today cost per kg of final fruit production at the farm averages from RM1.50 -RM1.80. ii)  Invest and support R & D on the use of Nangka: a)  as a table fruit — use IQF technology to process so that there is minimal waste of the fruit in the distribution process. IQF also improves shelf life from 3 days to 18 months. b)  as processed food such as fillings for curry puffs, pastries, bread, pizza and have them export or sold as forzen food. Long shelf life and higher value. As puree and jam also has multiple uses. A R & D fund in this area to find products of high value for the Jackfruit will help to create employment and promtoe culinary creativity in the country. c)  As puree for the creative beverage industry; add jackfruit puree to any plant based milk -almond, soya, walnut, oats will make a delightful and nutritious drink for the Bubble Tea Shops. d)  as plant-based meat. This sector is now reciving the most attention in the world, and plant based protein sector is registering double diggit growth. Report from foodvive: “ From plant- based burgers to chick’n nuggets, companies have launched a variety of new products in recent months and acquired brands to get prime products in the alternative protein space. Investors have also poured more than $16 billion into U.S. plant-based and cell-based meat companies in the past 10 years — $13 billion of it in 2017 and 2018.The numbers show that trend continuing. Growth of plant-based protein and meat alternatives is projected to increase from $4.6 billion in 2018 to a whopping $85 billion in 2030, according to investment firm UBS.With consumers pushing for both healthier and more sustainable diets, the space is primed for continued growth. A recent study from DuPont Nutrition & Health found that 52% of U.S. consumers are eating more plant-based foods and they believe it makes them feel healthier.” ( https://www.fooddive.com/news/plant-based-protein-tracker/564886/)

7. Invest in national and global marketing of Malaysian tropical fruits — Durians, Nangka, MD2 Pineapple etc. Today marekting, creative design and applications will add value to
the agricultural products. For 100 years the country allow oil palm to stay at the commodity sector, low value and vulnerable. For the tropical sector, we have to move from agriculture to ingredient and final product. Take the tapioca pearls for bubble tea for example, its value went from USD0.20 100x to become the pearls in the bubble tea. Agriculture must get into the creative industry to drive value. 

Malaysia has to do more and get on to tell its story well to the world. Malaysian produce are unique becuase of our GPS or geographical position; the fact that we are in the equatorial zone; having long hours of direct sunlight and good rainfall ( we are the top 10 region in the world with the most rainfall). This uniquness need to be told to the world as this is the value in our fruits and herbs. This is our comparative advantage that allow us to give the world products with goodness. Malaysia governmetn should also invest into organic farming to drive higher value. 

Foong Wai Fong, Executive Director of the Dusun Matahari Group and Author of “Culture is Good Buisness” WhatsApp 60123838229 Copyright reserved. 

把娘惹菜列为中华文化第九大菜系,你同意吗?

人杰地灵,地大物博的神州大陆有八大菜系人人都知道。 每个地方的天然水土,让一方水土养那一方的人,自然条件,资源特产,气候环境,人文特色; 各人自得其乐,用好在地的食材,适合当地的人文需要;烹饪出一道道的美味,独特,地道;各自各精彩。

八大菜系各有特色: (一)上东一带的鲁—咸鲜、浓油赤酱,是最悠久,难度最高的功力菜。   (二)川菜—重油、重盐、麻辣鲜香, 你要有多刺激就有多刺激。 川菜是中国最有特色的菜系;也是民间最大的菜系。全中国一半以上的餐馆都是火锅店! (三)粤菜—-原汁原味、咸、鲜、清淡 ,是后起之秀,但享誉全球。因为到国外开餐厅的大部分来自香港广州,以烧腊技术谋生,一直到2000 年前,国外的中餐馆都是一粤菜为主, 让很多人以为粤菜就是中国菜的代表。 (四)苏—甜、黄酒味,是功夫菜。选料讲究,刀工精细,口味偏甜,造型讲究,特色鲜明。是宫廷第二大菜系,今天国宴仍以淮扬菜系为主。 (五)闽菜—南部咸甜、北部香辣 ,以福州菜为代表。选料精细,刀工严谨;讲究火候,注重调汤. 有名的佛跳墙和福州鱼丸就是代表作。 (六)徽—重油味、重盐 … 在明清时期一度居于八大菜系之首。徽菜有古徽州的地方特色,其独特的地理人文环境赋予徽菜独有的味道,明清徽商的崛起,把徽传播出去;具有广泛的影响。 (七)湘菜—重油、重盐、重辣、腌制腊味 ..特色是“酸辣”,以辣为主,酸寓其中。“酸”是酸泡菜之酸,有开胃,养胃的作用。 (八)浙-酱香味浓,合理搭配;味道互补,充分发掘出平凡原料的美味与营养。杭菜中有湖上帮和山里帮两大风味技术体系,都强调原料鲜嫩,现取现做。利用水中和山里的食材把多种营养整合。 (九)娘惹菜是600 年前留下的重要文化遗产。中国名将郑和南下西洋时留守的将士在马六甲时把中国菜,尤其是闽菜带到这个地方。 经过一段一段中国将士与当地土女通婚的情缘,在她们的厨房里,把当地丰富的香料,椰奶,椰糖,斑斓叶,香茅, 小葱头、蒜头、姜、南姜、山姜、香花菜(姜花)、辣椒、薄荷叶、亚参膏、峇拉煎、肉桂、兰花、酸柑、班兰叶……等等等融入中国菜,而发展出来来有独特风味的菜肴。娘惹菜色,香,味 都全,但最大特色是其缤纷灿烂的植物色素,娘惹们的巧手,加上热带女孩奔放的情怀,让这个融合的菜肴添加生命力。

我在这里倡议,希望大家支持娘惹菜正式成为中华文化的第九大菜系。 理由如下:

  1. 世界上还没有第二个在中国以外的地方有像马来西亚这样有完整的中华生活文化的地方。马来西亚有完整的中文教育,从幼儿园到大学,报章媒体;中文电台电视台,社交媒体;传统的舞龙舞狮,节令鼓;庙会,传统节日,中国话,中国菜,中国味到处可见,可以说传统文化的保存比在中国很多地方还兴旺。这是中华原文化的延伸,在这的发展中衍生另一个新文化; 娘惹文化。
  2. 娘惹菜不是在中国人的圈子里发展出来的。 它是中国人和当地人通婚的结晶。这是和合的交融,这是600 年前中国外交已经跨出的传奇,符合今天一带一路的发展精神。像其他中国地区一样,历史的渊源流长,两个文化的交融的洛印深深的留在菜肴中,变成一个永恒记载这份情缘的活文化。 难得的是,娘惹菜,娘惹粿从一个小族群走到全民,走向区域,从马六甲,滨城到新加坡。从以前的富人家到普通百姓家;变成一个普世接受的风味菜。
  3. 后来大部分中国移民下南洋,也和这些娘惹巴巴蜜切交流,合作发展。 再而形成马来西亚华人的国际化和多元化。 这是中华文化国际化的第一步, 有一批在海外的中华儿女,虽然国籍身份不同,他们这些马来西亚的华裔本着优秀中华文化的价值,在这片土地上发展,自立更生;他们也同时心系原乡,认祖归忠。 但在饮食文化上和中国大陆是一体的; 在中国饮食文化的基础上发扬光大。
  4. 娘惹菜有中国元素,但获得赤道地区缤纷多彩,香浓营养的的添加。娘惹菜中的热带香料是独特无二的。赤道直射的太阳和充足的雨露让马来西亚产出香甜的食材,这些食材的添加让娘惹菜变得独特;有个性。
  5. 从福建的民间糕粿到五彩缤纷的娘惹粿;把热带的宝贝植物香料发挥的淋漓尽致。 像从椰树来的椰糖,椰丝,椰浆,像香草中的斑斓叶,卡费柠檬,酸干,桔子,玫瑰茄,蝶豆花等等,尽量不用化学的添加。
  6. 娘惹糕粿也带出一种生活文化;下午放下手上的活,休息一下,坐一会,喝杯茶,吃块粿。这是一种忙中带乐的生活,值得弘扬。
郑和下西洋是宣德年间的一场海上空前的远航活动,首次航行始于永乐三年(1405年)             末次航行结束于宣德八年(1433年),共计七次,长达28年,共12万人参与。是世界上最早建立的一支大规模的远航船队,也是一支史无前例的海上特混舰队。

郑和船队由200余艘不同用途、不同船型的远洋海船组成,将士二万余名,规模宏大,人员众多,组织严密。在七次航行中,三宝太监郑和率领船队从南京出发,在江苏太仓的刘家港集结,至福建福州长乐太平港驻泊伺风开洋,远航西太平洋和印度洋,拜访了30多个国家和地区,其中包括爪哇、苏门答腊、苏禄、彭亨、真腊、古里、暹罗、榜葛剌、阿丹、天方、左法尔、忽鲁谟斯、木骨都束等地,已知最远到达东非、红海。 这个船队在当时的种种成就和影响经过600 多年的岁月洗礼;大部分也都消失无踪了。只有娘惹菜还出现在人们的菜桌上;活生生的把历史融入生活里。

郑和下西洋时默许士卒与西洋妇女通婚,他们的结晶被称为峇峇娘惹;生下的男性后代就称为“峇峇”,女性后代则称“娘惹”。郑和自己是太监,不能结婚成家,但他对船队的士卒婚姻却十分关心。在七下西洋中,郑和采取默许士卒与西洋妇女通婚的政策,也默许他们永远留在那里居住。为什么默许而不是同意呢?因为中国大明法律不允许,郑和不能公然违抗,只能采取默许的办法。在郑和的默许下,这些士卒成为西洋早期的华侨,在那里繁衍后代,并为以后来到西洋谋生的中国人创造了有利的条件。所以,郑和及其船队在东南亚一带留下了后人。“峇峇娘惹”就是最著名的族群,有人称他们为“土生华人”或“海峡华人”。

一段宿世情缘把中国南方的菜肴尤其是南方的粿带到南洋,时间的长河也把马来半岛的风土人情,地方特色,丰富地方香料和植物融入做糕粿的材料,娘惹做粿的手艺是有名的。 当时的家庭都要选有巧手的女孩做媳妇。现代的马来西亚经过了现代化和国际化,娘惹糕粿进而衍生一系列的缤纷创意。我称之为创意娘惹2.0。 把一段历史传奇变成人类饮食文化的一个永恒的部分。

600 多年前明代永乐时的郑和七次南下西洋衍生的一段宿世情缘让我们今天能有很丰富的味觉享受, 也让我们从这段历史中缅怀优秀的古文化价值,让我们努力去复兴,去给我们的孩子们讲这个故事。也希望能让大家回到过去做糕粿的温馨,妈妈教女儿,婆婆教媳妇的手艺传承, 感情的联系。

Post Covid-19 World: Time To Let The Cows Retire?

Yes, heightened awareness of the carbon footprint of our food consumption may and hopefully drive more people to embrace a diet that has lesser environmental impact, making people realise that what we eat can make the world better or worse. As of today, out of the 7 billion world population, less than 9% ( about 600 million) chose the Vegetarian/Vegan diet, there is certainly more room for improvement. However a new trend however is gathering momenutm , up to a quarter of the younger generation in the age group of 25-35 in the US have declared to be Vegans. In Singapore, 9 out of 10 restaurants have Vegan options on their menu. During the Covid-19 lockdown, greater awareness are rising on the relationship between our diet and the emergence of Coronavirus.

Post-Covid 19; Would we see more people joining the movement towards a “kinder and greener” diet where people realise what they eat will change the world dramatically. While the change to new diet choices may be an individual, family or community one, in today’s modern economy, the key drivers of this change would need to come from the major food companies and the government policies that instruct the conduct of the food industry.

People are rational and have good intentions, most are willing to give the new diet a chance. The enabling factor is the availability and attractiveness of the new diet; people must be able to access this new diet. My optimistic hypotheses is if the major food companies worldwide are committed to this change, they have the power to fashion a new diet-style, especially among the young people. If the world’s culinary chefs can succeed in creating interesting and exciting taste profile with new ingredients, our chance of success will be higher.

For the billions of people who are used to animal protein, the answer is in the invention of a new meat, a plant-based meat. The success of this new plant-based diet-style will be determined by the extent culinary experts can create a new meat taste profile that will be acceptable or even welcome by a larger population of people. And food scientist and nutritionist add to the effort by ensuring the new formulation will be healthy and wholesome. This is the “new meat” we are all excited about now.

Taste profile are nurtured, not inborn.

A food marketing specialist in China observed, ” taste profile is decided very early in the life of an individual.. And for most of us growing up with home-cooked food, our taste is influenced by the pinch of salt that our mothers add to our food. So the word tasty is almost an oxymoron; because it is not universal, what is tasty to one may not be welcomed by another; a particular food is tasty the it is compatible to the taste that you are accustomed to. It is really not the intrinsic taste in a particular cuisine, but whether the taste in that dish matches the reference in the embedded memory of the eater.

So for the innovation for replacement meat to succeed, chefs have to begin with creating the taste of meat using plant based ingredients. Adding to this is the cultural preferences of taste, some regions reject chewiness for example, they cannot deal with tough fibrous texture where more work is needed; this is why in some regions only chicken breast meat is popular and the wings are discarded. Mimicking the taste profile of meat has gotten chefs, nutritionist and food scientists to work for over a decade now, we should be seeing more innovative breakthroughs in the market soon.

New Hero Ingredients

Food Scientists have worked for years to find new ingredients for plant-based proteins; and ingredients such as millet, oats and the jackfruit to be good ingredient for the new diet. In Asia and for the non Vegan, soya bean has been a hero for thousands of years. In the Chinese culture, soya bean has been consumed for thousands of years as a plant protein. The new ingredients need to be all plant based, and ideally the seasoning and flavouring too must be plant-based. Cooking style are also being reviewed, more baking will be preferred to less deep frying in oil.

All over the world, the millennia entrepreneurs are racing to launch the new meat, hopefully to capture the awareness heightened by Covid 19 to persuade more people to reduce or give up meat totally. While we have to formulate a plant-based meat for the majority of the adult population; we can start to work on the children early to help them onto new eating habit from young. This takes leadership from parents and community groups and governments; especially in school meals. A new set of values need to be promoted to make plant based diet fashionable

Time to let the cows retire?

For over 5000 ( and maybe even 10,000) years cows have been domesticated to provide protein for the world; in 2019, there are about 1 billion cows found in the major producing countries of the US, Brazil and the European Union. If cows are taken as an independent nation; it would be the third largest country in the world. Reducing cow population will reduce a lot of environmental stress.

The US alone produces nearly 20% of the world’s beef, followed by Brazil; and together with the European Union, they account for 47% of the world’s beef. Meat products have larger carbon footprints per calorie than grain or vegetable products because of the inefficient transformation of plant energy to animal energy. The methane released from manure of the livestocks adds to the carbon emission and pollutes the air, and discharge from the animals pollute the water systems. So fewer livestock population will certainly make the world cleaner and greener. And when humans don’t have to slaughter these living creatures for food, the world will also be kinder.

Leadership from Food Companies

If the world’s food companies are committed to get this going, and each vegetarian/vegan practitioner can get more people to reduce eating meat, without converting totally to vegetarian/Vegan, say out of the 600million people, each can persuade another one person to adopt this, we will have 1.2 billion people, creating less impact on the environment. And at least 30% of the world’s population reduce 50% meat consumption, then we will have another 1 billion helping to reduce the carbon emission. In total we can get 2 billion people, i.e. a quarter of the world embracing this lifestyle, let this become a virtuous cycle to a new world. And the vegetarian world keeps expanding, working on the children, in one generation, we can change the world to more plant-based diet.

There are many news circulating about non meat eaters have better immune system that can better withstand the Covid-19 attack, there is yet scientific proof to this claim. The American CDC has advised that Coronavirus iw zoonotic, and  Jonathan Safran Foer wrote in the New York Times reporting that an astonishing six out of 10 counties that was identified as coronavirus hot spots are home to slaughterhouses. “In Sioux Falls, S.D., the Smithfield pork plant, which produces some 5 percent of the America’s pork, is one of the largest hot spots in the nation. A Tyson plant in Perry, Iowa, had 730 cases of the coronavirus — nearly 60 percent of its employees. At another Tyson plant, in Waterloo, Iowa, there were 1,031 reported casesamong about 2,800 workers.”

The writing is now on the wall, reduced consumption of animal protein is a must if humanity could have a future on earth. The impacts in land and water use, on air, soil and water quality; on the biodiversity of living creatures in an area and green house emissions that cause climate change. The leadership of food companies and restaurants of the world is to offer Vegan/Vegetarian choices on the menu, when they are available, you give access to the fence-sitters, and help to add momentum to this developing trend.

How about Milk and Cheese?

Yes, when the majority of the cows in the world retire, there will be less milk and cheese being consumed. Already on the supermarket shelves you can now find Almond, soya, corn milk as a milk substitute. Do we or should we rely on cow’s milk to bring up our children? We don’t have to make this an either or choice, there are multiple choices. Learn from our ancestors; many children of the bygone era grew up with plant-based proteins; rice and soya congee are examples. While the carbon footprint of dairy is second to beef production; more studies are needed to be conclusive to find the most sustainable milk, a substitute for dairy milk. Although in dairy products, humans do not kill to get the milk and cheese, but lesser stress will be created to the animal when global demand for the products are reduced. Switching the demand to plant -based will also cause pressure on the water system as agriculture consumes a huge quantity of water. My personal opinion is not to totally retire these products, but to reduce its consumption gradually for the overall good.

Reasons for the new diet-style:

Would the dramatic impact of the global lockdown of Covid 19 drive home the message of the urgent need to seek balance between Nature and Man? While most people were pleasantly shocked by the cleaner and calmer world arose out of months of the lockdown; the rivers and canals have become clearer, marine life has returned, you could see the magical Himalayan mountains from Punjab because of clearer air, and many amazing pictorial reports from around the world showing us the beauty of the world with reduced human activities. It is really an amazing wakening that our world can be so magical, and we humans through many of our wasteful activities have denied ourselves of its pristine beauty. Many people are now saying that we should be have once a quarter a total lockdown so we can let the earth breath? Can we change our work, study, play, and eat-style so that we can emulate life during the lockdown and give the earth a chance to survive too? The lockdowns are an aggressive approach to achieve that goal, but we can indeed do more in the following way to achieve the same results:

I. Reduce the consumption animal proteins, explore plant protein and put greater innovation to cooking plant-based protein; to make plant-based protein fashionable and chic. The slogan “kinder and greener” is today’s new value, it is the new politically correct position. I find this very attractive, as we can use this educate ourselves and our children about kindness; a rare value that is often not promoted in the mainstream. Take the first step, begin by taking more plant-based diet.

2. Buy local and seasonal; Yes food with shorter food miles, and maximum nutrients at their seasonal peak. Globalization has enable humans to satisfy their carvings any time and anywhere; it doesn’t matter which part of the world you are in, or what time of the year or day; you can eat food of your choice off season through the market economy. This is not green and not sustainable. Restrain is good; draw your food within 100 km of where you are; this is good for you and for the world.

3. Develop community based vegetable and fruit gardens — Local governments should rethink how community zones should be developed; housing developers should restyle their housing layouts to include food production zones where professional companies can be developed to offer expertise to run them, like franchised farms. Food is only fresh and valuable in its nutrients if the food miles is short; Spinach can lose 90% of its Vitamin C within 24 hours of harvest. We are very familiar with corn, they oxidise the moment they are plucked, the sugar becomes starch within 24 hours of harvest. Buying food and keep them in your fridge does not keep them fresh; prolong storage cause nutrients to be lost. Having food supply nearby is an important feature in urban and community design.

4. Encourage the farmers’ market to return, support community farming and small farmers so that we can get fresh food at only one tier price ( today with globalisation and multiple levels of distribution chain, food cost 3 to 4x more than their ex farm prices, in the end, farmers don’t make money and consumers get expensive food, the food chain must be designed.) We can encourage more specialist farms run by young people with more down to earth values of good living, instead of chasing those ego-inflated desire of owning big cars and big homes driving the need to make a lot of money. Ways to show the young generation to find fulfilment from producing good food and living in harmony with the beauty of nature.

5.Support Ready to Cook meals; Cooking at home is good for family cohesion and should return to the centre of our our lives, good to have a family meal together once a day to unite the family. How to have central kitchens who does first level processing and package ingredients in a ready to cook manner is one way to cut waste from the kitchen, at the same time mindful of the new waste from packaging. The” last mile” heat treatment on your stove will eliminate the risks of potential contamination of cooked food brought from outside. The global ready meal market is already valued at USD160b in 2019 and is expected to register exponential growth. Growing demand for minimally processed and additive-free meals with extended shelf life will also drive greater innovation on quick freeze technology.

6. Consume smaller portions. This is an obvious fact now; we consumer more than the body needs; and the extra nutrition has become burden and the cause of many chronic diseases and obesity. The excessive consumption of sugar, starch and meat; quick service restaurants promoting value meals; larger portions to attract customer. Without realising it, we are consuming more than we need. Restaurants have to take the lead, presenting less is more, better quality and more in-depth in terms of nutrition and how people should have the right relationship with food.

If the preference for a kinder and greener diet-styles can gain momentum, a lot of disruptions will result from the existing economic systems; companies involved in agriculture and the food chain will do well to develop new scenarios on how they may change and adapt to herald in a better and safer world. As Jonathan Safran Foer said, many thoughtful individuals are aware of this new door to plant based diet, while many in the world are still hesitating, the Coronavirus has kicked open the door. The rest is up to us.

中医疗法对抗冠状病毒的大突破

武汉疫情告急,中国卫生局决定使用一种包括中医药的整合疗法来对付新冠状病毒。凭借在 2003年SARS抗疫的经验,中国卫生部采用了SARS时 研发出的中药方,在这基础上往前推 进。大家觉得毕竟在没有有效疫苗出现前,如其在黑暗中摸索,我们不如相信祖先的智慧; 回归到传统疗法。政府决定大规模的使用中医药做抗疫的工作;用中药汤,针灸和太极拳中 的古老疗法,通过有现代技术的医师们的用心执行,整个战略取得了让人振奋的成果: 

**中国政府中医药局党组书记余艳红表示1,“政府从中医药系统从全国调来4900余名中医药 人员驰援湖北,约占支援武汉医护人员总数的13%,其中有院士3人,数百名专家。这次中 医药援助队伍规模之大、力量之强,是前所未有的。” 中医药发挥的重要作用,成为这一次 疫情防控的一大亮点。 

**官方发布的数据显示:“全国新冠肺炎确诊病例中有74187人使用了中医药,占91.5%。其中 湖北省有61449人使用了中医药,占90.6%。临床疗效观察显示,中医药总有效率达到了90% 以上。中医药能够有效缓解症状,能够减少轻型、普通型向重型发展,能够提高治愈率,降 低病顽率,能够促进恢复期人群肌体康复。” 研究结果显示,主要临床症状的消失率、临床 症状持续的时间、治疗组均优于对照组。肺部影像学的好转达到83.8%,对照组是64.1%,临 床治愈达到78.9%,对照组是66.2%,治疗组明显优于对照组,降低轻症转重症方法较对照组 提高了1倍,同时在最近完成的体外实验也证明中药连花清瘟对于体外的新冠病毒具有抑制 作用。 

**在防疫战略中,武汉的江夏方仓医院被指定为对患者进行中医治疗的特点医院。医院于2 月14日开业,在抗疫的26天里,共收治了542例轻度病患。当医院于3月10日收仓时,没有发 现任何病例恶化的报告,所有患者都康复了,其余非常轻微的病例被转移到其他医院继续治 疗。令人惊讶的结果是,治疗得到较高的康复率,稳定了病情,防止他们从轻转重。完全遵 循中医从稳定中改善的原则;不让它恶化而促进康复,医师们用心认真监测患者的病情。坚定的要减少死亡率。 

**中医团队提倡早发现,早治疗的治理取得了较高的复原率。天津中医药大学校长张伯礼教 授说:“我们应该大胆的,尽早使用高剂量的中药。除了在江夏方仓医院获得成功外,在其 他医院使用这种方法时,超过一万名患者以中医为主要治疗手段,而轻转重的病例的比例仅 为2-5%。这是非凡的成功。 

**北京中医院院长刘清泉教授负责江夏方仓医院的领导工作,他总结了中医的贡献:中医应 用在湖北省百份90.5的患者,全国确诊病例的百份91.5的患者 ,结果有目共睹。病者不仅从 Covid-19中康复,这项成就还恢复了大家对自己文化遗产的自豪和信心,现在中医治疗计划 已被纳入国家卫生部发布的新型冠状病毒肺炎诊疗方案(试行第七版)。 

**中医专家观察到,与世界卫生组织的病例恶化平均水平相比:从轻转重的13%,从重转危 的7%,在方舱医院,这些比率急剧下降。没有患者从轻到重。刘院长在与意大利医生的视 频会议中披露了这一点2 。在中国感染者中,约有74,187名患者使用中医,占感染总数的百份 91.5。其中,湖北省61449人,占百份之90.6。《临床观察》杂志报道,在全部感染者中,中 医的疗效高达90%。中医有助于缓解症状,防止轻转重,重转危;降低死亡率,促进康复, 并减少患者康复后的后遗症。 

**刘亮教授团队发表在《中国法医学》 上的 《新型冠狀病毒肺炎死亡屍體系統解剖大體觀 察報告》3 告訴我們:死者肺部 切面出現灰白色黏稠液體,氣管腔內見白色泡沫狀黏液,右 肺支氣管腔內見膠凍狀黏液附著。 正是這些黏稠的液體堵塞了肺泡,堵塞了氣道,堵塞了 肺間質,堵塞了支氣管,讓肺逐漸散失換氣功能, 讓病人處於缺氧狀態,最後出現呼吸衰 竭而死。 

**這些黏稠的液體奪去了新冠患者的生命,他們大口大口喘著粗氣,即便有氧氣罩有呼吸 機,他們吸進去的卻不是氧氣。 為什麼有呼吸機的支持他們還是 吸不進去氧氣?因為那些 黏稠的液體擋住了氧氣的道路。道路不通,大量的氧氣吸入反而加劇堵塞,氧氣吸不到血液 里,最後他們活活被這些黏稠的液體憋死了。有专家建议如果中醫第一時間介入的話, 武 漢的死亡率可能會大大降低。這些黏稠的液體中醫叫做痰濕。 給氧之前必須先處理掉這些 痰濕,不然再多的氧也是徒勞的。其實並不是患者真正缺氧,而是氧氣進不來,肺裡面的氣 道被堵住了,我們只要把這些氣道打開, 把痰化掉,把濕氣去掉,讓肺泡乾乾凈凈,讓支 氣管暢通無阻, 根本不需要給氧,患者自己就會恢復肺的功能,自己就會吸氧。 

**中医采用了3种已制定的处方,该药被称为“Q-14”,Q取英文谐音CURE,治愈、解药的意 思,“14”表示这张方子由14味药组成。“由此引申一句俗语,就是’One for all, all for One’,即 ‘我为人人,人人为我’。中国愿与各国人民并肩作战、共抗疫情、共享中医药的经验和成 果。”中国中医科学院院长黄璐琦院士说。对于不同病情的患者,调整基本处方;医生可以 根据患者的身体状况和身体对综合治疗的反应进行9种调整(为草药功效加减草药的成 分)。从试用处方开始,经过26天临床经验,该处方已经升至第7版;也是国家卫生部现用 的最新版本。 

**配药方面中国现在也做的很现代化。药剂师不必再从古老的抽屉中取出不同的药草,然后 煎熬出汤药,这种汤药通常苦且难喝。现在,中医将中药颗粒储存在由AI管理的有组织的橱 柜中,这是一台名为《应急移动智能中药房》,该药房车停在医院外面,存储着300种不同 的药草,有10名员工轮值;他们可以在3至5分钟内照医生的处方配药。该药物为胶囊,用水服用。 

**的确,中医的医理和哲学与西医不同,因此它在处方治疗中方法也有异。中医认为必须调 理好身体。因为只有身体具有自然的治愈能力。在增强身体的免疫力,使其可以对抗外部进入的病毒。根据中医,病毒感染是无法防止的,就像鲁莽的司机撞你的车一样!无论您有多 谨慎,都无法避免的。因此,这告诉我们,您必须拥有一辆可以承受碰撞的坚固汽车!身体 也是一样;如果您身体健康,免疫力强大,则可以更好地抵御病毒攻击。 

** 中国人在2003年受过SARS的侵袭,17 年后仍然没有有效的疫苗,因此举国防疫的决心坚 定。西医重视标准化,中医强调个性化; 一人一方,您必须有中医先来诊断再开药。在武 汉的方仓医院,有来自全国各地209名中医人员来援助。中国的公办医院体系很大,这使得 在应急情况下要动员可以很快速。团队的组织和高纪律的表现是值得大家赞许的。 

在马来西亚,只有少数医院提供中医疗法,尽管这种做法在华人社区中还是非常普及。据不 完全正式的统计,马来西亚大约有6000名中医从业人员,而许多年轻人则在中国前沿的中医 大学继续深造。尽管国家卫生部仍需进行标准统一和接轨以便认可这些学位,但政府有一选 择。可以考虑把中医防疫工作放在一指定医院,那些轻病例可以留在这里, 让他们遵循详 细的中医治疗程序,进行治理。这将能释放出现有卫生系统的资源来处理更严重的病例。 

**北京中医界也很迅速的向世界提供援助。他们刚刚启动了全天候24/7双语网站北京远程健 康服务平台(Beijing Long Distance Health Service Platform),使来自世界各地的用户能够 与1000位的中医专家寻求个人咨询(扫描下面的QR码以访问平台)。 

中医在华夏文化流传了数千年,我们的临床试验已经在数千年的历史上对千万的人进行了实 践,中医中药仍然普及,这一事实证明了它的适用性(relevance)。一位资深的中医专家指 出,”为什么我们必须遵循西方的临床试验标准,来肯定一个已经有几千年历史的经实践的 文化。“西方临床试验是针对未经验证的东西。古往今来,中医一直蓬勃的流传;这西方要 求的临床验证对中医不适合。” 

疫苗的开发是一件劳民伤财的不确定事。 有心人方法总比困难多;如果可以创造性的去想 出可以克服一些国家标准规范和规则,则值得我们尝试在马来西亚的防疫工作中推出中医疗 法。我在 2003 年《文化是好生意》一书中报道中医药会回到世界医疗主流的趋势,中医药 在这次疫情的表现是值得我们骄傲的。在马来西亚, 说不定;这可能是我们中医界一个走 向主流;与中国中医药发展同步发展到国家医疗体系的契机。 

吉隆玻 2020 年4月5 日。

(这项研究是由趋势研究所所长,作者,和评论人 冯久玲主持。冯女士在2003年的畅销书《文化就是好生意》中报道了中医的复兴。Pahlawan Volunteers 是马来西亚一个非政治,非党派,非赢利的志愿者组织,专门为为公共利益项目进行倡导。 曾参加马来西亚1999 年的立白病毒救灾工作)

1 抗击疫情,中医药作用几何?https://article.xuexi.cn/articles/index.html source=share&art_id=10613454646712840555&showmenu=false&study_style_id=feeds_default&t =1585553874545&share_to=wx_single&from=singlemessage&isappinstalled=0 

2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmkOagUdxYk- 3 https://tech.ifeng.com/c/7uQtIJA0TEp 

War with Covid 19: Try Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

When the pandemic situation in Wuhan escalated, the Chinese Health authorities decided to employ n an integrated appraoch to deal with Covid-19. With the benefit of their experience fighting SARS in 2003, an integrated appraoch bringing in Traditional Chinese Medicine ( TCM) was adopted with vigour. The argument was in the absence of a known or proven vaccine and instead of shooting in the dark, let’s trust our ancestors’ wisdom; we should go back to solutions handed down to us. TCM clinical appraoch and medicine including herbal decoction, acupuncture and taiji movements; the deployment and mobilizaiton was on an unprecedented large scale, to very encouraging outcome. 

** According to Secretary of the TCM Administration of the state, MadamYú Yànhóng (余艳红), “ the state mobilised 4900 TCM professionals nationwide to come to the aid of Wuhan. This is 13% of the medical help from outside Wuhan. This includes 3 fellows of the academy; hundreds of experts; the composition of the team and the sacel of mobilization is unprecedented. TCM has played a major role in the pandemic control in Wuhan.” 

** Madam Wu revealed these official figures: Nationwide, 74,187 or 91.5% of the patients used TCM, Hubei alone, 61,449 or 90% of the patients. Clinical observations show that traditional Chinese medicine was effective; success rate was more than 90%. TCM can effectively relieve symptoms, reduce case development from mild to severe, and from severe to critical state; and promote the recovery of the body during the recuperation stage. “The results of the study show that the disappearance of symptoms and the duration of its disappearance compared far better than the control group not using TCM; The improvement of lung imaging was 83.8%, compared to 64.1% in the control group, the clinical cure was 78.9%, compared to 66.2% in the control group. The group under TCM treatment was significantly better than the control group, and the method of reducing mild to severe state was doubled compared with the control group. At the same time, the recently completed in vitro experiments also proved that the traditional Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen ( 连花清瘟) has an inhibitory effect on the new coronavirus. 

** In the overral strategy, Wuhan’s Jiangxia Fanchang (temporary shelter) hospital was designated to use TCM treatment only to its patients. The hospital opened its doors on February 14 , and for 26 days brought 542 patients through, all mild cases. When the hospital closed its doors on March10, No case deterioration was reported, all patients recovered, with the remainders of very mild cases transferred to other hospitals to recuperate. The amazing results is the medics manage high recovery rate, stabilising the cases, preventing them to go from mild to severe. Fully following the TCM principle of stabilisation of existing condition; improving and recuperating and not deteriorating, there was lazer sharp focus to reduce death rates, and diligently monitored the patients’ condition. 

**Dr Liu Qing Quan, head of Beijing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, who was in charge of Fanchang Hospital in Jiangxia summarised the contribution TCM has made: Application of TCM covered 90.5% of the patients in Hubei Province, and in 91.5% of confirmed cases nationwide, the results are for all to see. Not only recovering from Covid-19, The Chinese recovered their pride and confidence in their heritage, the TCM treatment plan is now included in the national health advisory on treatment for Covit-19. 

**The TCM experts observed that compared case deterioration with WHO average: 13% from mild to severe and 7% from severe to critical, in Fanchang these rates dropped dramatically. No patients went from mild to severe. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WmkOagUdxYk – Dr Liu disclosed this in a video conference with Italian medics). 

** TCM employed 3 established prescription now named as Q-14 ( Cure One Four – meaning Cure One for All, All For One) ; For patients in different conditoins,adjustments are to make to one basic prescription; medics could made 9 adjustments ( + and – the portion of herbs as their specific function and effects) according to the physical condition of the patient and the response of the body to the integrated treatment. Started with a trial prescription, in 26 days, the prescription went to its 7th edition; which is the current edition advised by the Health Ministry at the Central governement; serving as a gudieline for hospitals and doctors nationwide. 

**The dispensing of medicine has also been modernised. One does not have to get the different herbs from ancient drawers, brew to get a dark liquid which often times is bitter and not pallatable. TCM now comes in granules stored in organized cabinets managed by AI, a mobile pharmacy, called Mobile Smart Pharmacy for Emergency ( 流动智能应急中药房) is parked right outside the hospital with 300 different herbs in storage, 10 staff manned the pharmacy in shifts; they could fill out the doctors prescription in 3 to 5 minutes. The medicine comes in capsule form and is taken with water.                                         

**Indeed, the philosophy of TCM is different from Western Medicine, so is its appraoch in prescribiing treatment. TCM believes that efforts must be made to strengthen the body; as only the body has the natural ability to heal. In this regard strengthening the immune system so it can fight an externally induced virus. Virus infection according to TCM cannot be prevented, much like a reckless driver knocks on your car! No matter how careful you are, you can’t avoid it. So the morale of the story is, you must have a strong car that can stand knocking! So is the body; if you are fit and your immune system strong, you can stand up better to virus attack. 

Given SARS attacked the Chinese population in 2003 and there is still no vaccine in sight, the motivation is to find a way out is strong. Unlike Western medicine which is “cookie cutter,” one for all, TCM is very individual, you need a TCM doctor to diagnose and prescribe. In Wuhan Fanchang there were 209 TCM medics from all over China coming to the aid of Wuhan. China still has the benefit of a large segment of government run hospitals which makes mobilization of personnel quicker and faster for emergency. The TCM teams were managed with meticulous organizatiion and discipline. 

In Malaysia only a few hospitals offer TCM treatment, although the practice is very much alive among the Chinese community; it is estimated that there are some 6000 TCM practioners in Malaysia while many young ones pursuing further studies in TCM in leading Chinese Universities. While there are still work to be done to align standards and work on recognition of these degrees, there is one option open to the government; draft in the TCM Medics to a designated hospital, those mild cases can stayed here and guided to follow a detailed TCM treatment routine. This will free up resources and capacity of the existing health system to deal with the more critical cases. 

Beijing’s TCM community was quick to come to the world’s assistance. They have just launched a 24/7 bi-lingual website, Beijing Long Distance Health Service Site ( 北京远程健康服务平台)enabling users from all over the world to log on for personal consultation with 1000 TCM experts who have signed up to serve.

A senior TCM doctor said, “ TCM has been around for thousands of years, our clinical trial has been done on hundreds of millions of people over thousands of years, the fact that it is still prevalent and popular is best proof of its relevance.” The senior doctor laments, “ why do we have to go with the western standard of clinical trials, that is for something new and unproven. TCM has been resillient throughout the ages.” Good point to reflect on. 

If regulation on standards and rules of ethics can be creatively overcomed, it is worth our effort to give it a try. Moreover, it could be a golden opportunity to keep in steps with the development of TCM in China, and accelerate its adoption in around the world. Public health is a key competitive advantage of any nation; we hope countries and cultures around the world can be open-minded for the well being of their citizens.  

Foong Wai Fong 

Pahlawan Volunteers Tel/whatsapp 6012 3838229.  Foong Wai Fong led this research for Pahlawan Volunteers. Mdm Foong is an author, commentator and has written about TCM in her 2003 book, “Culture is Good Business.” This effort is made to support Pahalwan Volunteers Lobby effort to use TCM to combat the Covit-19 pandemic.