It’s funny how some people just can’t enjoy the delights of food and drink. They are only interested in the nutritional value, the calorific value, the balance, the origin and the composition of their food. “Sustenance” rather than food, just fuel to keep the body going, but increasingly fine-tuned to all the critical factors above: nutrition, balance, roughage, and especially origin. Is it safe to eat – or worse – coming from an unethical source?

Here in Bali, there is a great and much-needed movement to source food from ethical, responsible, sustainable farmers and growers and that is really good. But please don’t focus so much on the science that the fun is lost from the whole concept of dining! Eating together should be the absolute centre of family life and of great friendship. Sharing a meal is a wonderful way of bringing together people in an atmosphere of harmony, and as the evening winds on, and the wine flows, relaxation and happiness!

Let’s not spoil that moment with pernickety pickiness about food sources or organic origins. Let’s not cloud our friendships with disapproval of our companions’ choices of cuisine! Or worse still, actual criticism over the table. Everyone surely is allowed their own choices?

I’m sorry to say I still love steak, even though the nay-sayers chastise the humble cow for being an inefficient  eater and a major source of methane! I still eat fish though I don’t honestly know if it’s ‘line caught’ or not, but of course, prefer that it is.  I am eternally grateful, for delicious vegetables though I don’t know if they have been carefully raised with no pesticides or pure organic compost, but would prefer if they have.

Now I do try very hard to keep all these things in mind as I select my restaurant and my meal, and I absolutely favour those venues  who have joined our ‘Say Yes to Less’ movement and have vowed to eliminate single-use plastic and reduce and repurpose  their food waste, but in the end what I want from a meal is a wonderful, peaceful, gentle time and good company.  Don’t you?

I wish you all an absolute feast in Bali, where the choice of restaurants as you will read inside is absolutely fantastic!

Alistair G. Speirs, OBE

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G. Speirs

Alistair G Speirs, OBE, is the Publisher of NOW! Magazines. He has been in the publishing, advertising and PR business for the last 25 years. He started both NOW! Bali and NOW! Jakarta as each region's preferred community magazine.