Writing Task 2

Sample IELTS Essay – Food Trade

The following essay is written by Ms Quynh – IELTS tutor.

In some countries, it is now possible for people to buy a wide variety of foods transported from all over the world. To what extent do the benefits of this development outweigh the drawbacks?

The rapid development of new technology and global trade has made it increasingly easy to buy imported foods no matter where we are. Imported food consumption is, in fact, growing in popularity and it is claimed to be a positive trend. In this essay, however, I will argue that it causes more threats than benefits to the global market.

There may indeed be good arguments for encouraging importing foods from other countries as consumers would have a wide variety of food choice. It could also be argued that improving global food trade will boost the economies of developing countries. Some African countries’ economies, for example, rely heavily on exporting food to the European market.

However, local cuisine is an important aspect of local culture. Hence, protecting the competitive advantage of local foods is preserving traditional culture. It has been observed that Western food is becoming popular in Asian countries and young consumers are using more and more ingredients imported from the West in their recipes. It might come to a point where people use more imported foods and the local cuisine gradually disappear.

Moreover, as foods imported from Western countries have been engineered with new technologies, it may taste better than the local ones, therefore, become more favored on the market. If local foods from the developing countries lose the battle in their home market, local manufacturers and farmers are unlikely to have enough resources to continue their innovation efforts and export to other countries. This is probably why Asian countries, such as Vietnam, encourage local consumers to use domestic foods.

So in the end, if the goal is to ensure sustainable development all over the world, we must first focus on providing high quality foods to local markets and ensuring its advantages there. Only then would global food trade bring benefits to all parties.

(310 words)


IELTS Speaking – Part 2 – Describe a restaurant experience


You must have been to a restaurant at least once in your life. Some even go to restaurants everyday. However, when it comes to describing the experience at a restaurant, some students might still struggle with the topic as they lack of vocabulary to describe food and places. Let’s analyse a sample talk about a restaurant experience (extracted from IELTS Express – Intermediate).

Describe a recent restaurant experience. You should say: 

  • where you ate 
  • who you went with 
  • what you ate 
  • and explain how your felt about the experience 


The student presented in a logical order: provide a context, then describe the events and finally give his opinions. Here is my note on the key points of his talk:

  1. The context:
  • 2 weeks ago
  • a fast food place on Oxford street
  • with his girlfriend
  • early in the evening
  • Oxford street was busy
  • He’s a vegetarian

2. The events & his feelings

  • He had a veggie burger with french fries, and a large chocolate milkshake which was so good 
  • All cost about 4 pounds
  • His girlfriend had a salad a bottle of mineral water because she doesn’t like the type of food they have there.
  • He thinks she didn’t like it because it was covered in a very oily dressing.
  • She was pretty angry. 

 Tips for Speaking Part 2: 

  • Instead of trying to cover the points on the card only, you should tell an interesting story in a logical order. Of course you still need to cover all the points. But keeping in mind that you are telling a story would help you organize your talk and add your feelings and opinions easier.
  • As you can see from my notes above, apart from his opinion about the food, he also added extra information, for example, how much it cost, what his girlfriend had and why, and what he thinks about her feelings and why. It is encouraged to add extra information as long as they are relevant and all the details are well organized.


Previous lesson:

IELTS Speaking – Part 1 – Food


Learn more:

IELTS Vocabulary – Food 

IELTS Writing – Food

IELTS Speaking – Describe a family member



IELTS Speaking – Food


The questions in part 1 are easy, so the examiner cannot be sure of your level yet. You can give very easy answers, but this is a chance to make a good impression. If you give simple answers, the examiner will not know if you are Band 4 or maybe Band 5. If you give specific answers with explanations and examples, the examiner will think you could be Band 6 or Band 7!


Giving examples is great for explaining ideas, and it is much easier to give example than explain reasons. It is useful for those who find it difficult to explain things or tend to give short answers. If you give an example, you are just describing something you know about and that takes very little mental effort. Saying because is much harder as you now need to think of the reasons. Be easy on yourself!


As you can see from previous post on IELTS Speaking – Family, the speakers give examples of their family members’ characteristics. For example, the first speaker said “She’s really outgoing and sociable – she’s always going out with friends and colleagues.”


The speaking test is not formal, so you can give personal examples. You can talk about your experience or an event in the past. If you don’t have any experience or ideas related to the question, think about someone you know who has that kind of experience.

Question: Do you enjoy studying English?
Answer: Oh yes! I went to England last year and loved being able to communicate with local people. And knowing a second language means you have access to a whole new culture, new books and films.

Question: Have you got any interests or hobbies?
Answer: Not really. I like watching football and I read books quite often. I usually read books like self-help books, keys to success, spiritual books and cook books.

Question: What types of jobs are most popular among young people in your country?
Answer: I’m not sure about the right answer. But I think the most popular jobs are sales and marketing because many of my friends work in this sector. Also, I have many friends working in the IT industry so I suppose software programmer is a promising career for young people.


Practise giving examples for the following questions: 

  • Can you cook? Do you enjoy cooking?
  • What’s your favorite food/ meal?
  • Do most people eat vegetables in your country?
  • Are there many vegetarians in your country?
  • Do you think we worry too much about what we eat?

You can use vocabulary related to Food from two other lessons:

IELTS Vocabulary – Food

IELTS Writing – Food


Learn more:

IELTS Vocabulary – Family

IELTS Speaking – Describe your family member

Writing Task 2

IELTS Vocabulary – Food

ielts-class-net-vocabulary-food copy

Many experts advise that you should never learn a single word by itself but learn groups of words that “travel” together. It’s simply because we don’t communicate using individual words, we communicate with phrases and sentences. So, instead of giving you a list of words, I’d ask you to learn new words through reading and listening. By doing that, you will learn how to apply those words in different contexts.

You can learn many new words and phrases related to nutrition by reading this IELTS essay about whether everyone should turn to vegetarian diet.

Listen to the following recording. You will hear some common expressions about food and eating. You can listen to it as many times as you need. After completing the transcript, you can click on the blanks to see the answers.



My mother radically changed her eating habits a few years ago. In the past, she ate a lot of(food that is not nutritious/healthy) and was overweight. Sometimes she would try to(eat less food and healthier food), but it would never last. But now she understands how unhealthyare – they’re full of(chemicals added to food) that contribute to weight gain and heart problems.

Nowadays, she eats aincluding a lot of(meals that are healthy and nutritious) that she prepares herself. She doesn’t buybecause she thinks the prices are outrageous, but she stocks up on(fresh fruits and vegetables) so that she can grab an apple or some veggies when she wants a quick snack (something small and fast to eat). She has also learned toand watch her portion sizes (how much food you take).I often stop by her house when I’m in the mood for a. The other day she made a hearty stew (a thick soup with lots of flavors and ingredients) that was full of beans and vegetables. My brother, who has a(the capacity to eat a lot), had a(a second portion) – but I found the stew so filling that I could barely finish my bowl.

My mother recently told me that she’d like to try some. I was surprised to hear that, because a few years ago she had a bad experience after getting(when you get sick because of contaminated food) at a Japanese restaurant. So tomorrow I’m taking her to a Brazilian steakhouse. I told her to eat light meals (small meals) during the day so that she doesn’tfor dinner (eating food earlier, and then not being hungry for a meal later).


Learn more:

IELTS Writing – Food

IELTS Vocabulary – Family

IELTS Reading – Family

IELTS Listening – Family and Children

IELTS Speaking – Describe your family member 

Writing Task 2

IELTS Writing – Food


The following essay is extracted from Achieve IELTS 2 (Student’s Book). Read the essay and then try to summarise the points for and against vegetarianism. By summarising what you read, you can develop your paraphrasing skill, which is extremely important in IELTS and studying at international university.

  1. Why, according to the author, some people choose to become vegetarian or vegans?
  2. Why, according to the author, not everyone should turn to vegetarian diet?

Today many people are vegetarian of some sort of description, from people who eat mainly vegetables, along with dairy products such as milk, cheese and eggs, to vegans who do not eat animals or any animal products at all. In this essay I am briefly going to look at the argument for and against eating animals from moral, health and environmental perspectives.

The first and foremost reason is that eating meat is murder. Some people think it is wrong to take the life of another creature for pleasure, and as we can get the same proteins and nutrients from other food sources that can get from eating meat, the only reason to eat meat is for pleasure. Alternatively, it could be argued that what we eat is a matter of personal choice according to how we feel and what suits our bodies best. Some people enjoy life more and feel healthier when they eat meat.

This brings me on to the second point: health issue. It is said that we can get all the nutrients from plants that we can get from meat. In other words, we can obtain the same proteins and nutrients from other food sources that we can get from eating meat: proteins from pulses like lentils and beans; calcium, protein and other vitamins from dairy products; vitamins, minerals and fibers from vegetables. However, plants on the whole are very poor sources of protein, especially protein containing amino acids. These are available in some plants, but not in great quantities. Conversely, there are plenty of proteins containing amino acids in milk, eggs and fish which is why many vegetarians still eat animal products.

Now let’s look at the environmental issues. Perhaps the most serious reason for becoming vegetarian is ethical. People go hungry because a lot of land is used to grow food for animals rather than people. For example, in the US, 157 million tons of food per year – all suitable for human consumption – is fed to animals. This produces just 28 million tons of animals protein in the form of meat. Then again, if we look at this more closely, it is clear that millions of animals on farms are bred for food. To put it simply, if people became vegetarian, there would be no need for these animals and we would have to kill them all. Rather than saving these animals, it would result in killing them instead of looking after them responsibly and killing them for a good purpose at the end of their natural life cycle.

In conclusion, I believe that is it everyone’s right to eat what they want. However, cutting down on the amount of meat we eat has benefits for our health and our environment and is fairer to other animals.