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For the love of food

by Leigh-Ann Worrell

lovingmelionsharefoodMany Barbadians hardly eat “food.”

Some probably might not eat “food” at all, health food cook Steven Whittaker believed.

“Food is about nutritional quality. Food by definition is something that provides nourishment to the body at the cellular level,” he told LOVING ME, while serving up some herb pasta, pumpkin fritters and butternut squash pie for hungry patrons of the Lion’s Share cafe.

Ironically, his trailer sits adjacent to a popular fast food restaurant in the Warrens, St. Michael area.

“Some of the food people sell is not nourishment. It is just an idea of food. All it does is add strain and discomfort to the cells, and then they die off.”

Whittaker asserted some people only eat for a “full belly”, and this should not be its only purpose.

Always interested in health, fitness and exotic food from his days as a bodybuilder, the cook opened the food stall two years and three months ago. He wanted to bring healthier alternatives to the lunchtime market.

When he first bought the trailer, Whittaker’s intention was to rent it to another entrepreneur, with hopes of earning a “residual income.” Fortified by a vegetarian cooking course conducted by Biogeb Health Foods in 2011, he chose to open the health food cafe instead.

“At first, the average person wasn’t familiar with [what I was serving] and they were a little reluctant to try. They were looking for the regular macaroni pie, fried chicken and pork… Overtime, my business was recognised by naturalists, herbalists, vegetarians, vegans and even meat lovers.”

Eventually, the former construction worker’s aim is to open a full “fast food” restaurant, catering with solely healthy food. “I want…the restaurant to have only healthy products available, where you can just grab and go.”

At his current locale, Whittaker boasted a fully solarised and organic operation. Herbs and seasonings are even grown onsite. Additionally, the food served is alkaline, which the entrepreneur explained “contained a pH balance of 6.5 and above. They are organically grown and non-acidic.”

“When you use alkaline food, for example fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits, it is… assimilates better in the system, so that you get more nutrients.”

But in order to maintain the alkalinity, the food must not be overcooked, prepared under 120 degrees Celsius, Whittaker continued. Also, no chemicals should be added.

As Whittaker seeks to enhance his offering, he is always researching healthy food to add to his daily menu. He also listened carefully to advice given by his clientele.

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