Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Who Chooses What Your Family Eats?

We like to think that we are in control of our lives – that decisions we make about what we’ll eat, or wear, are ours. But it’s just not so.

If pressed, when buying clothes, we may admit that glossy magazines, or TV features, have swayed our choice. But what we eat – the foods we put into our body – surely, one would argue, these are our decisions. Hate to pop your bubble, but again, it’s really not so.
Just as designers and fashionistas control what colors and cuts we’ll be wearing, a small cadre of food experts determines what we’re going to eat.

It turns out, food companies, supermarkets and specialty food stores are just as bent on selling trends as clothing manufacturers. Unlike the fashion industry, though, which proudly boasts about the people who determine fashion trends and then sews their names into the garments, the food industry has traditionally been tight-lipped about who controls what ends up on our plate.

However, veteran food expert with almost 30 years in the industry, and respected food critic, Jim White, has broken cover to lift the lid on the food fashions of tomorrow. This year, high on Jim’s list of Hot New Trends are tasty, authentic, preservative-free ethnic flatbreads.

“Every culture in the world enjoys some form of flatbread. In South America it is the tortilla, in Italy its focaccia, in the Mediterranean its pita,” says Jim. “I believe that the spongy bagel’s time has come and gone… and that the Next New Bread Thing is authentic, ethnic flatbread.”

In fact, Jim is not just telling bread makers to get into the act; he is so sure of this trend that he and a partner bought a bakery three years ago, with the aim of making authentic ethnic flatbreads – to meet the perceived future demand.

In order to make certain flatbreads, though, like India’s tasty naan, the first challenge was to invent, blueprint, and build the world’s first continuous commercial tandoor oven, capable of baking large quantities of flatbread on a clay surface at 1400 F degrees. As they’re made in an Indian restaurant – just not one at a time.

Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, with distribution across the country, have already been named “Best New Food Product in the US” by a leading food magazine. With Jim’s 30-year, proven track record, it’s a good bet that his latest food predictions – and flatbreads – will be in everyone’s homes before long.


About Jim White

Jim has been responsible for inventing, developing, branding, or marketing more than 8,000 grocery products. Many bear the names of the chains for which they were produced – Wal-Mart, Safeway, Stop ‘N Shop, Vons, Wegmans. As a respected food editor, food writer and professional restaurant critic, with 30 years of experience, Jim was twice named “Best Food Writer in North America” for metro newspapers with circulation over 500,000. Jim has written for, directed and hosted countless TV and radio broadcasts. He has directed films for the National Film Board of Canada and has been a columnist for Canada’s largest newspaper.

The bakery, which Jim and his close friend and partner Sam Ajmera founded is called FGF Brands. The FGF stands for “Functional Gourmet Foods.” Their lead item has been Fabulous Flats Tandoori Naan, but they also make focaccia, pizza crusts, and lavosh, authentic to their region of origin. “We make Food with a Purpose,” says Jim. This is, succinctly, the bakery’s Mission Statement. The bakery’s website is

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