The power we have as consumers and eaters is consuming.
A few weekends ago I was lucky enough to attend the Australian food bloggers conference, Eat Drink Blog. One of the presentations was from Brenda Fawdon from Mondo Organics in Brisbane. Brenda talked a lot about of the importance of being aware of how far your food comes from and when. She argued it’s not sustainable in an age of global warming to eat blueberries from Bolivia in April, or rhubarb in the height of summer. Surely the greenhouse gases emitted so that we can eat our favourite food out of season can hardly been worthwhile, thoughts I’ve been trying to live by for a while now. By far the most valuable recommendation from that presentation though was to get my hands on a book from Michael Pollen called Cooked. I’m entranced.
Michael’s research argues that cooking has transformed us, making us more sociable. The forager who previously survived on raw food would have fed alone, rather than sitting down at the common table, the fire, making eye contact and communicating. Cooked food made us a civilised race. Around that fire, we grew tamer.
For the past week I’ve been in rural Queensland, Charleville to be specific, for one of our conferences. I am beyond exhausted, but so thankful for these trips. If you ever feel unconnected and totally lost in your world, go west.
The lack of caterers in the area added the title of chef to policy and media officers and managers, roles far beyond signed job descriptions. We were instant CWA committee members all pitching in to create lunch for the community in which we were holding the forum for.
It was an incredibly powerful moment to feel part of something like that. It was grounding and makes me feel blessed to be able to experience those glimpses of a ritual sometimes lost in the business of the city. It seems sometimes when you have less, you have more.
This week, I’m building a fire. I’ll be eating my lunch at a table, not a desk this week and putting away the phone. How will you be getting back to basics?