Cooking & Eating with Integrity

I'd love to know what you think, so let me know via email at whatithink@laurafaire.co.nz - most informative email will win a box of local seasonal vegies.

As a member of a society privileged enough to have choice in what I consume, I try to work with and write only about food that I have researched and thought about.  I understand that I am lucky to be able to do this.

Therefore from the position of known privilege I would like to offer my gratitude to companies in my community who are fighting the good fight for sustainability, transparency in packaging, place of origin, ingredient authenticity and a little bit of love.

Having worked in the food industry for many years I realise how hard it is not to buckle under the pressure of adding preservatives to give products longer shelf life, increase volume or just make things look and taste a little brighter than they should. Whenever I feel lost in the jungle off modern food I like to think of what esteemed food writer Michael Pollan says in his book In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto "Eat food, not too much", and to paraphrase him if I may  - if it doesn't rot - we shouldn't eat it.

Local Companies I Admire:

Kokako
Chantal Organics
Huckleberry Farms
West Lynn Butcher - 440 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland 09 3761439
Epicurean Supplies
Allpress Coffee
Koanga Institute
Weleda NZ (not  truly local but they have gardens here)
Olivado Oils

Not all of the products supplied by these guys are grown locally, but there is so much more to great food ethics than dogedly buying local food. When I researched the concept of local food for my work with SHOP LOCAL EAT WELL, I came to understand that speciality growing regions around the world are of huge value to a world market just as New Zealander export is obviously important to our economy.

It is vital to support our local businesses, to encourage diversity in our growing and to choose not to support cruel, or unsustainable practices with our wallets, however not having access to international inspiration would be a travesty and for many emerging nations (see reports from G5 summit) an insular purely local model would spell disaster for many in our one world.

In saying all of that, where the concept of local food is of immense value is with fresh produce, eating an orange that is flown in from Australia seems ridiculous when the one next to it (if in season) is cheaper, tastes better and most likely arrived more recently from Northland, Auckland or The Bay of Plenty.  Personally I only eat seasonal food, the upshot of this is that although I will have to wait another fortnight for a NZ Tangelo when the Australian ones are already in the shops, when I get it, I will savour it,  I can be assured that I am receiving the goods (nutrient wise) from the soil at the time of the year my body needs it, I am not paying for outlandish av-gas and my few cents of levy go back into my local citrus community.

Thats it really, thats what I think about it all.  I'd love to know what you think, so let me know via email at whatithink@laurafaire.co.nz - most informative email will win a box of local seasonal vegies.

2 comments:

  1. I am totally with you on this Laura, Everything I eat began to change about 2 years ago after I read "The Ethics of What We Eat" by James Mason and Peter Singer. Like you I eat seasonally, and as much as possible I eat local produce, but also recognise the importance of supporting imports to some degree.
    Sue

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  2. Thanks Sue for your comment, I haven't read "The Ethics of What We Eat" but I certainly will now!
    Laura xx

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