CHEFS HAVE huge influence over what people cook at home – not least through their books. Research at the University of York has shown that some of the top names are promoting sustainable fish significantly more now than they were five years ago.
Polly Bowman, who carried out the research as part of her MSc degree in marine environmental management, said: “Celebrity chefs are a major part of British media culture and are able to amass formidable book sales. Sales of endorsed products often increase following the release of their books. A chef’s ethical leanings may therefore influence the behaviour of consumers.”
Look what happened to frozen food after Delia Smith’s “How to Cheat at Cooking”. Smith actually props up the university’s table, with a score of 20%, compared with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s 87% average.
The results were created using data from the Marine Conservation Society’s Fishonline website to score the sustainability of the average gram of seafood in each book. This was combined with a grading of the introduction, recipes and alternative suggested species in each book to produce an overall sustainability score.