Manuela Zoninsein is a Brazilian-American food, travel and environmental reporter based in Beijing on a Blakemore Fellowship. She loves tasty, healthy, inventive and fun food and appreciates all cuisines, but with explosive growth of middle classes around the world consuming more resource-intensive meals, she’s committed to eating that is sustainable so all can inhabit and imbibe long into the future. Call it a “crop to chopsticks” – not unlike “farm to fork” – approach.
Chinese culinary habits are changing with wealthier lifestyles, including increased meat and refined foods as seen in Western diets but also showing a renewed focus on seasonality, locality, freshness and especially safety. Manuela explores how Chinese cooks and consumers consider the environmental impact of eating, with an eye toward vegetarian and traditional dining styles as alternatives. Her writing explores Chinese cuisine from around the country: current favorites include Yunnan and Shaanxi dishes, though Manuela can crank out rocking yuxiang qiezi 鱼香茄子, mapo doufu 麻婆豆腐 and dan dan mian 担担面 alongside the best Sichuan specialists.
Previously, Manuela served as dining editor for Time Out Beijing and as stringer for the Beijing Bureau of Newsweek. Her writing has appeared in Travel+Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, ClimateWire and New Scientist alongside several regional Asian publications. She recently completed a Master of Science in Modern Chinese Studies at the University of Oxford focusing on sustainable agriculture in the Mainland, the basis of a forthcoming book. For more, check out www.manuelasweb.com.