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Top chefs line up behind the FSA's salt campaign

16 September 2004
Top chefs line up behind the FSA's salt campaign

Some of the country's top chefs are backing a new Food Standards Agency (FSA) campaign to cut drastically the amount of salt being consumed.

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Millions eat more than three times the recommended daily intake of salt
Chefs Antony Worrall Thompson, Anton Edelmann, Nick Nairn and Raymond Blanc have all pledged their support to the campaign. Blanc, chef-proprietor of the Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons, in Great Milton, Oxfordshire, said: "I hope that one day there will be a law that products cannot contain more than 3% salt. I would campaign for that." He added: "There is a real opportunity to create a more caring food chain here, and we as chefs have a role to play in that." Nairn, already an active salt campaigner, said he also supported the FSA's initiative, and added that everyone across the food industry, from processors to retailers, needed to work together to bring salt levels down. Anton Edelmann, executive chef at Allium, in London, and principal chef at contract caterer Sodexho, agreed: "Both consumers and chefs need to understand that flavour and taste don't suffer if you remove salt. Salt simply covers up bad cooking." TV chef and restaurateur Antony Worrall Thompson added: "We all have a right to nutritious food that hasn't been loaded with salt and other additives just to disguise the bland recipes or poor ingredients. The industry must appreciate this." But Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines said he thought it would be hypocritical of him as a chef to be anti-salt. "I accept that salt needs to be eaten in moderation, but it is part of our diet. As a chef I am going to be biased, but it's an important seasoning in food. People come to my restaurants to have a superb meal, and to make it extraordinary you have to season," he said. The FSA is campaigning for people to lower the amount of salt they eat each day to 6g by 2010. Men currently eat about 11g a day, with women consuming about 8.1g. *Source: Caterer & Hotelkeeper magazine, 16 September 2004*
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