Preliminary images, and a recipe, for the current Food and Nutrition Project to illustrate sources of folate (folic Acid/folacin/vitamin B9).

A diet with plenty of green vegetables should easily supply the Recommended Daily Allowance to prevent the health problems associated with lack of folic acid (usually due to a poor diet, but also diseases such as Coeliac which interfere with absorption).

Folate is a vital nutrient for cell growth and reproduction, and the prevention of megaloblastic anaemia. Low levels of folic acid in the diet are also thought to be associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

The NZ Ministry of Health & NZ Ministry of Primary Industries websites are good sources of information about this important vitamin.


The Olive

Continuing working illustrations & food photography for the Healthy Fats section of the current Food and Nutrition Project. Olives are a rich source of monounsaturated fatty acids, omega 9, vitamin E, and the phytonutrient squalene.

These illustration roughs above are painted with a grainy, powdery watercolour palette leaving a ‘textured’ finish, quite different to the cleaner finish using a Windsor & Newton palette in a prior ‘Bottled – Savouring Summer’ image. 

The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation is a good source of information about the types of dietary fats and obtaining the right balance in your diet.

The Avocado

Food Photography – the avocado….imagery for a Food & Nutrition project about Healthy Fats.

Dietary fats are essential to maintain healthy body cells. They not only provide the body with its most concentrated form of energy but also fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E & K and the essential fatty acids which cannot be synthesized by the body.

An interesting source of information about the healthy fat lifestyle plus research and food science is ‘What the Fat’ a collaborative book by Professor Grant Schofield (Professor of Public Health & Director of the Human Potential Centre-HPC at Auckland University of Technology-AUT, & Chief Education Advisor Health and Nutrition), Dietitian Dr Caryn Zinn (Senior Lecturer & Nutrition Researcher at AUT), and Craig Rodger (Michelin-trained Chef & low carb healthy fat (LCHF) recipe developer)

It’s time to flip the pyramid and break free of the fat phobia”. The book is a valuable resource, with recipes, about eating healthy fats from avocados, olive & coconut oils, nuts, etc within a whole-food low carbohydrate diet containing good sources of protein.

The Egg & the Omelet

Food Photography… eggs….

Included in the study of Food at Otago University in the 1970s (Nutritional Science, Industrial Foods, Food Production……) was a unit of Food Photography. Tricks of Food Photography (film in those days) were taught by an industry professional.

In collaboration with several local Dunedin food companies, we students progressed through the process of creating new recipes using their product, followed by the procedures to bring this new food to the consumer, including nutritional analysis, food photography for print imagery, magazines, books, packaging, etc.

Today, digital food imagery is so immediate, enjoyable & prolific. The montage of photos above are from one of my current projects about the gold standard of protein foods, the Egg.

The amino acid profile of a protein source determines the quality, in particular the relative amounts of essential amino acids. Eggs contain all 8 essential amino acids (isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, valine and the semi-essential histidine), the particular amino acids which cannot be synthesized by the human body and therefore must be provided in the diet. An average egg, provides about 6 grams of such high quality protein that it is used as the standard by which all other foods are measured as a source of protein.

Eggs are also a very rich source of vitamins A, D, E, K and the B vitamins, biotin, folate and riboflavin & an especially good regular dietary source of the very important B12, basically nature’s multi-vitamin”, according to nutritionist Dr Carrie Ruxton. Being versatile and also a great source of minerals including selenium, iodine, zinc, iron, phosphorus, choline, essentially makes eggs a superfood, The New Zealand Nutrition Foundation suggests including eggs as part of a healthy, balanced diet, especially for the elderly.

I Love Eggs, NZ provides a nutritional analysis chart of New Zealand hen eggs, together with a list of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants naturally present in eggs, and their importance to our health. (The Concise NZ Food Composition Tables are also a valuable nutrient information resource – 12th edition 2016 at this link)