If you go looking for it, there is a lot of goodness going on in the world. I’ve been busy meeting them, listening and learning, and less time for writing.
A few weeks ago I was teaching a cooking class, talking about how to make some simple vegetarian/vegan meals. The group was wonderful, we prepared our curry and romesco sauce, learnt some new techniques. Over dinner we discussed food, whole food and money.
I can’t remember where I heard the quote, but some people think that food poverty is choosing Lidl or Asda over Waitrose or delis. I prefer to buy an organic chicken, as I believe it to be important to the environment, my family’s health and the food chain. That, however, shows the considerable privildges that I have enjoyed.
The privilege of education and time is obvious here: my mum taught me to cook, I care to cook, have the tools and the means. I can afford to leave chicken bones simmering on the hob for a couple of hours, thus my expensive chicken goes further. I care to bother, and I’ve been lucky to have a lifestyle that, although hard work, facilitates this.
The work of charities such as Alexandra Rose, and in the US, Wholesome Wave, is trying to bring fresh produce and choice to low income communities. On Tuesday I met a trustee of Alexandra Rose – with only 2 staff, there are 12 volunteer trustees who are committed to helping to increase this project’s ability to help individuals to choose their own produce, make their own decisions, and teach if they’ve not had the chance to learn how to cook.
It’s easy to sneer at cheap food, and I have done so myself. But what’s the alternative?