The collective I’m staying with provided the organic vegan catering for an arts festival last weekend. So, it was days worth of harvesting veg, washing, peeling, chopping etc. It’s such a good feeling to be connecting to the process of food going from plant to plate and all that’s involved to feed and nurture the body. We potted some seeds earlier this week too in amongst all the prep for the festival, and when I saw the first green shoots I was buzzing with excitement.
Down the road there’s an industrial factory farm of pigs who live their lives cooped up in a barn with no room to move, their chemically treated food is dropped down into their troughs at the same time every day from a machine. You can hear them screaming.
Food is where it begins, without it we die. It’s becoming more and more clear to me how what we choose to eat and where we source it from could not be of more importance. Everyone has heard of the phrase you are what you eat and it’s true that what we put into our body is what we get out of it. Coeliacs know that fact well, given that eating gluten, something poisonous to us, sends our body into severe sickness.
For me, as a human being and as someone who has been reminded of the importance of food via an autoimmune condition, it is essential to only put into my body that which is nourishing. That means no GMO’s, less or no processed foods, organic where possible, locally sourced, cruelty free (because a factory farmed animal is not going to make a healthy meal, stressed animal equals sickness which equals bad meat/dairy) and as close to its original natural form as possible.
Most places in the UK have some fantastic local organic veg box schemes and those of us lucky enough to have our own garden or allotment can get involved in the process of growing ourselves to make our own produce. If not, there are also some really good community gardens projects so have a dig about to see what’s available in your area.
When we were serving up our tasty, wholesome vegan grub at the festival, it struck me that the way to make changes on both a personal and global level is to lead by example not by force. No amount of me ranting about the importance of food is going to make much of an impact. However sharing recipes for nutritious meals and inviting people to try vegan, locally produced and organic food is a positive way to inspire each other to bring awareness to our consumer choices when it comes to feeding ourselves. What’s more, there was a conscious effort made when catering with this collective to cut down on waste. We had a compost bin for food waste and provided normal plates and cutlery for diners with a washing up station for people to wash up their plate when they were done so that we could reuse it for the next customer.
Working in a big team of people all committed to living in a more sustainable way has been a truly enjoyable experience. Many hands really do make light work and I am absolutely inspired to be here. WOOFing is such a fantastic way to travel and I couldn’t recommend it more highly. Every day there is more food for thought.