I went to see the phenomenal Michael Pollan at the In Conversation With series at the Sydney Opera House this week, and all I can say is WOW. I love this guy.
Anyone who can pack out a full auditorium, speaking about food, in a non-heated but inspiring way has to be doing something amazing.
It's funny - the more I study holistic nutrition and health, the more I find just how heated this area is. People all believe that what they think & do is right. And don't get me wrong, I completely understand how hard it is to look outside the box. We are told by our own government, by our tv's and media that the right way to eat is A, B, C. Yet let's face facts - we're an overweight country, we're addicted to sugar and processed foods, we pop pills left right and centre to 'heal', and there are agendas that want us to believe certain things.
We have lost touch with the truth, and Michael's bringing it back!
Michael Pollan isn't a scientist; he's a journalist and teacher who is generous, down-to-earth & engaging. There's been some wonderful feedback on his talk (you can read some quick tweets! Or a great post here or another here) but it really got me thinking.
I'm studying health, nutrition and naturopathy, and yet I'm a sugar addict. I suffer from depression which often leaves me so tired and depleted that I either a) don't eat, or b) grab takeaway. Neither of these options are healthy, and if I am at least part way educated on this stuff and still fall into these traps, no wonder we're an obese country with a love of processed foods. And no wonder it's so hard to inspire people to believe otherwise.
But in the quest for change, I'm continuing to stay educated and inspired. I've just ordered my first box from Food Connect (yippee!). Have you heard of these guys? Food Connect offers sustainable produce, direct from local farmers. So none of this shipped from overseas stuff - it's organic or chemical free, it's local, sustainable, and money goes to the farmers (& not just 10c in the dollar which many of our supermarkets pass on to them).
From the Food Connect site, "We challenge people to:
- Think about where their food comes from,
- Find out what food quality means to them and
- Consider the impacts of chemical farming on their health and that of the farmers and the natural environment."
Why have I not used Food Connect before? I'll be honest - I looked at the food boxes (I ordered the small mixed seasonal box) and thought, "I'm still going to have to go shopping - it has stuff I don't eat in it, and not everything I do eat." I mean, who cares if my strawberries are pumped full of herbicides and chemicals, and they were shipped from Italy weeks ago because they're out of season here? I want what I want! Yes, it's true. I'm humbled to admit it aloud! And I know I'm not alone in living an on-demand life of convenience.
But change starts with where we're at, and so today I signed up. I'm actually totally excited to start supporting our local farmers, and to start cooking with new ingredients (which has been a goal of mine for a wee while). In being part of this scheme, I've also managed to get only what's in season, reduce my carbon footprint, and get to know who is growing my food (and how they're doing ht!). Pretty cool, huh?
So stay tuned to check out some (hopefully) wonderful dishes coming out of Shiny's* Kitchen in the near future. I'll be posting "what's in the box" here online each week and would LOVE to hear your recipe suggestions.