Top navigation

Nordic food to the people

Image: Grete Roede AS
  • Published 14/09/2011
- My heart is set on making Nordic food available to most people, both the concept and the food. Healthy Nordic food is not reserved for gourmet cooks, says Jeanette Roede, concept and communication manager and one of the owners of Grete Roede AS.

Jeanette will help people to take back the values and traditions of the Nordic food and this spring, she wrote, along with Ellen Beate Wollen, the book "The Nordic diet". This book looks at both the Nordic diet and the Nordic lifestyle.


- To spread the joy of food is important for me, especially the fact that food is more than just proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Food is also joy, fellowship, culture, stimulation of the senses, not least good healthy food also tastes good, she explains.


The world's healthiest

Research shows that the Nordic diet is among the healthiest in the world, and Nordic cuisine has received much attention in recent years.


- Mediterranean cuisine has long been considered the world's healthiest, but new the Nordic diet is reconed as the healthiest diet. It contains all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need, including healthy fats that Mediterranean cuisine is so famous for. The diet consists of fish, fruit, berries and vegetables, and we have fairly strict rules which ensure that the food is managed well and in a natural way.


Jeanette also mentions bread as a central part of the Nordic diet and an important source of fiber.


- One of the characteristics of the Nordic diet is the Nordic ingredients. They are healthy and good, and we eat them in the seasons. Then the raw materials are at their best, both the taste and the nutrition. When you eat in season you also eat well locally. Then you avoid the long shipping and save to some extent the environment.


On the question of what the Nordic food really is she explains that the new Nordic food is the best of the traditional, just updated and modernized.


Cultural differences

Jeanette is one of two Norwegian mentors and jury members in a Nordic chef competition for young people aged between 18 and 24. The winner gets a trip to Washington DC where they, among other things, will help to create a healthy Nordic meals to 30 000 U.S. students in connection with the "Nordic Days in DC," which is a joint project between the Nordic embassies in Washington DC and Nordic Innovation.


Last year Jeanette and her family lived in the United States, and she got a glimpse of American culture.


- The year in the United States was very exciting, and I thought a lot about the differences between Norway and the United States. Among other things my children went in public school where they whore offered food. This food was not good and healthy, so I sent a lunch with them from home. Although we are not that far behind the U.S. in relation to obesity, our cultural identities are very different. In Norway people have a much more active lifestyle, at least in the public mind. The saying "there is no bad weather, just bad clothes," still lives. I also experience that cooking and meals has a stronger place in the nordic, than in the U.S. This contributes to the enjoyment and good health. At the same time these elements starts to fade, so it is important that these good values are transferred to the next generation.


The year in the United States also gave inspiration to join as a mentor.


- In the U.S. I saw that the majority of American children are exposed to unhealthy food, and to a greater extent than children in Norway. Being exposed to good and healthy food is important. Therefore I have great faith in serving American children healthy Nordic meals in schools. Moreover, the United States are large country and a society composed of many nations. I feel that they are not as informed and concerned about what happens beyond their borders as we are accustomed to in Europe. Hopefully this project will contribute to open some eyes when they meet a new culture.


For body and palate

As a mentor and member of the jury, Jeanette is clear about what she looks for in a potential winning chef.


- The most important thing is that he or she is fond of good food. With good food, I mean not only food that tastes good, but food that also well for the body. It is easy to make good food with butter and cream, but as a chef it is increasingly important to be concerned about their contribution to a good public health. The one I'm looking for is able to create food that is both healthy and tastes good. Moreover, he or she is enthusiastic, motivated, passionate about food and is a good communicator. The winner cooks food that pleases both the body and the palate.