What is Macrobiotics? It’s a question people ask me a lot. I don’t think there is any one answer to the question. Everyone has a different understanding of it. But then, that’s almost at the heart of the question: with Macrobiotics, there is no hard and fast rule, all is simply relative. And yet, there are some Macrobiotic guidelines, which happen to be very useful. Like the simple art of creating a balanced meal plate. I’ve been watching Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s televised adventures in vegetarianism, and intrigued by the slap-dash approach to meal construction which seems to be par for the course when it comes to providing any ‘vegetarian option.’ Invariably, this is a cheese-based pasta dish. Grains and pulses rarely feature, as highly nutritious, sustaining and delicious meal components. A quick flick through pages of something like Annemarie Colbin’s ‘The Natural Gourmet’ reveals a slightly more balanced approach, not lacking in taste and flavour. And it ain’t rocket science. A decent wholegrain, some pulses, some green leafy veg, a bit of fermented food. A combination of flavours, colours and cooking styles. The sort of plate Nicky Clinch put together, (shown here) in the form of delicious deep fried Rice balls with Onion; Sweet Aduki Bean Stew; Blanched Kale; and Daikon Pickle with chopped Gherkins. ps. I’m a big fan of Hugh, so I’m not hanging him out to dry. Simply proposing to cut down on our meat intake is a significant step forward, and a major contribution to the conversation taking place around food, and our relationship to it.