From Google to Pangasius

Author: Green Cyprus  //  Category: Green Cyprus Blog

There are some things in life that can be described as green and others which at best, can only be described as a murky brown. A variety of foods come to mind that fall into both categories and in this instance, there are two food-related topics on which I would like to focus; Google (the company) and Pangasius (the fish).

You may be wondering what Google has to do with food? Well, one of the most often cited perks of working at Google is….the food. Google feeds its employees well. If you work at the Googleplex, you can eat breakfast, lunch and dinner free of charge. There are several cafés located throughout the campus and employees can eat at any of them. Each café offers different kinds of cuisine ranging from vegetarian dishes to sushi to ethnic foods from aroundthe world. Google’s culture promotes the use of fresh, organic and healthy meals. That’s a great green approach and it gets my vote.

I wonder how many other companies are following their example by offering their staff organic food. Perhaps more than you think. I say if Google is doing it, there must be plenty of others following suit…life tends to work that way.

Whilst we’re unlikely to see anything on this scale in Cyprus, supplying our ready-meals to companies is one area that we, here at The Yum Company are looking at expanding into, making organic healthy meals a reality here too – you know who to call!

Now….that murky brown colour I was referring to earlier. Still on the subject of food, there’s one particular item that does not get my vote; Pangasius – yes, the fish – the one you see so much of here in Cyprus. It’s everywhere; supermarkets, restaurants, take- aways, you name it. Why? Because it’s cheap. Fish has become an expensive luxury item, especially if you wish to buy locally-caught wild fish. Wild prices I’d say! However, perhaps a price worth paying when you begin to look into the conditions of the Mekong River, Vietnam where pangasius is farmed, rumours of a multitude of toxins in the river, hormone injections to make the fish grow quickly and highly suspicious feed. I’m inclined to think no smoke without fire. I started to have my suspicions about this fish a while back because of the large quantities available and the low prices. By all means, draw your own conclusions. There’s a lot of information about it on the internet, one article even suggesting it’s all propaganda but there’s enough evidence to suggest as far as I’m concerned that pangasius is permanently off my menu.

So what is on my menu? As always, I try to eat as healthily as possible. Pangasius may be off limits but there are a few types of fish which I consider safer to eat and these include organic salmon which, incidentally, we use in our Creamy Salmon Pasta at The Yum Company. Carrefour now stocks wild frozen salmon which although doesn’t compare to the fresh, high quality organic steaks you get in the US, they are at least a step in the right direction if you’re looking to eat cleaner fish.

So, thumbs up to Google for being green. Talking of green, it’s time to break for tea….green tea of course. My current favourite is Althaus Green Oolong (leaves), an amazingly flavoursome green tea with milk undertones. Highly recommended!

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