Monday, 21 August 2017 at 10:38 To: Bianca Tuckwell Re: Brief for Journal
Thank you for the coffee.
Here are my thoughts on regenerating our food story:
I recently rewatched ‘The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau’ – as a child, I loved watching it on a Sunday afternoon. Jacques Cousteau was one of the first people who warned us that humans have a negative effect on coral reefs. He never set out to be an environmentalist though, but simply loved the sea. Watching his films, I was surprised by how many practices they had that would be completely unacceptable in today’s standards and just how far environmental ethics have progressed and developed over the last four decades.
In an age of consequence, there are those who believe that our obsession with food and celebrity chefs may be signs of a society at the end of an era. I believe that there is more to this, that the story of food is regenerating. People from all around the world are becoming more interested in how food is made, by who makes it, where it’s from, by what means did it get here and what impact it has on the environment. How we think about food, resources and waste is constantly evolving – some suggest that we could almost affect climate change overnight by simply changing our diet.
Today the story of our food calls for more transparency from soil to store. Organic food started off with the idea of ‘not poisoning’ ourselves by not poisoning our environment. But with this came the beginning of buying organic food from half-way around the world, with the high food mileage causing more pollution. Fairtrade products are a great idea in principle, but don’t these high food miles contribute to climate change? To qualify for Fairtrade chocolate registration for instance, 70% of the cocoa and sugar used in the chocolate needs to be from Fairtrade Origin. Surely exotic ingredients like cocoa (which only grow in the tropics therefore needing to be shipped in) could blend with locally sourced ingredients such as European sugar, rather than creating additional shipping from afar, simply to qualify for a marketing trademark?
Today more than ever, we are reviewing and reconsidering current practices in the light of population growth, climate change and dwindling resources. The story of food is the story of our relationship with our environment and perhaps just how much we have become disconnected from our most primal resource. Food as a shared experience has the ability to bring us all together in reclaiming our food story.