Roll up! The raw food bar round trip is coming

Raw food might seem like just the latest craze, but it's always been a big part of how we eat

Winging it’s way to our offices this week is our raw food bar – a big, fresh spread of uncooked ingredients, from marinades to veggies and all the colours of the rainbow. (Stop by twitter for all the goings on).

Converting into a kale lover 😁 Apple walnut kale salad with a creamy strawberry vinaigrette

A photo posted by Munchii (@ms.tiffanysun) on

This is part of our growing roster of healthy eating initiatives, spearheaded by our Director of Food Matt Byne. It also fits into our wider belief that the business of contract caterers is more than just serving lunch.

As food specialists, with specialist knowledge, it's our job to help office workers build good habits and eat healthily without them having to do a ton of research to make it happen - they've got other things to think about.

But enough shop talk - you know how we love a bit of food trivia. Let's talk raw.

Since it’s being talked about all over the blogosphere at the moment, and the Instagram army can’t get enough of it, it’s easy to assume raw food is just a health food fad that comes and goes like any other.

In reality, it’s a major part of cuisines around the world and always has been.

The most obvious example is Japan, who have turned sushi into both an art form and a worldwide culinary craze.

A less known example though are the Maasai in Kenya – whose cattle-farming communities tend to eat all of their animal products raw, from meat to milk. Likewise, many of the Inuit people of Greenland, Canada and Alaska eat large amounts of raw meat, either fresh or preserved.

Most food cultures are based on practicality and what's available – cooking was traditionally difficult in rural Japan. The Maasai and Inuit people also live and travel in areas without much fuel for fires. Eating raw food is nutritious but for many communities is mainly a sensible response to the surroundings.

Here in London, in our urban, connected world, when cooking is as easy as the flip of a switch, raw food is more about health. The theory goes – and is often accurate - that raw ingredients hold on to more vitamins and minerals and so are much more nutritious than the cooked versions. Though there are exceptions.

So getting used to eating a bit more raw food could boost your intake of healthy vitamins. A lot of eating habits aren’t about what’s best or tastiest – they’re about habit. Hopefully the raw bar will help to form some of those healthy habits!

As for giving up the cooked food completely – we wouldn’t go that far. Raw food enthusiasts sometimes argue that we're "supposed" to eat only raw food because that's what all of our ancestors did, and it must be how our bodies are adapted.

We're not convinced - cooked food was one of the most important technological leaps forward in the history of mankind. It made food safer and let us to eat types of food that before were poisonous or inedible.

We don't believe there is a "perfect diet" somewhere in history. Depending on where people lived, people usually had access to a lot of one kind of thing and not enough of something else. Very few prehistoric diets would have been perfectly balanced. Cooking is one of many great tools we can now use to make food easier and nicer to eat - and eating food raw is another one. It's all about variety and balance.

So how about you? What's your favourite raw food recipe? Join the conversation and let us know.