The Jozi Real Food Revolution Continues..
I’m back! We’re back! And the Jozi Real Food Revolution is on!
I missed you like I knew I would and I loved my break. I loved the clarity that you get from holidays, when you put some distance between the routine of your everyday world and dismantle your identify from all of that and see what you’re left with. I loved re-discovering my family and watching them rediscover themselves. I loved watching my daughter find out too who she is outside of her school routine where there is suddenly all this room to just ‘be’. I even loved re-discovering all those parts of me that aren’t about food.
I loved heading off for holiday with the question ‘am I really doing what I love, how do I really feel about what I’m doing and am I who I think I am? I always feel like re-questioning all of that when I take a leave of absence from the commitments I’ve established because I know that things look different with distance and that’s the grand opportunity that holidays bring.
So we headed off to the South Coast and I tried to stop thinking about food and farms and a food revolution and as per usual failed beautifully at it and realized once again that what I do is a vocation. Caring about food, farming and people is where I’m most passionate and it would be easier to change my name than that.
It’s just who I am and that’s real. I went to some incredible restaurants and got reminded by some incredibly passionate chefs about how the best meals are made using whole, fresh, real food. I went to some nasty restaurants and was reminded all over again about how lacking processed and commercial food is on all levels – taste, texture and experience.
You can throw as much sugar as you want in a kitchen on to food, you will never compete with chefs who use whole, real ingredients. Never. Without fail, the best restaurants were the ones with real chefs committed to using whole ingredients and either growing their own fresh herbs and vegetables or buying from local, organic farms. I saw grass-fed beef there on 3 menus – that is 3 restaurants boasting – quite rightly so – about their commitment to free-range meat from animals raised on natural pasture. Sadly enough, that’s more than I’ve seen in Johannesburg.
That’s why the Jozi Real Food Revolution is going to play such a pivotal role in helping us to create a more vibrant eating, farming and buying culture in this crazy city of ours.
And it’s on. I haven’t stopped thinking ‘REAL’. If you’re getting tired of hearing the word ‘real’ from me – I’m afraid I’ve only just gotten started!
I am prone to certain forms of obsession. I find it hard to let go when my mind is fixated on something and ‘REAL’ has become one of those things. I can’t stop thinking about REAL food, REAL farms, the REAL revolution, REAL communication– and more – the need for REAL dialogue, REAL expression, REAL families, REAL friendship, REAL life and the more I question this ‘what is real’, the greater my life gets. I find myself pushing for more out of relationships that aren’t real and letting go of those that aren’t. It is a journey that very quickly highlights where there is illusion in your world if you let it. Some of those distinctions are hard to make, some things are clearly real, some areas I realize aren’t that easy to define, some illusions are powerful. Yet the questioning allows me to probe more deeply into relationships I’m uncertain of and I’m sure it will do the same for you if you let it.
Where it comes to food, it is the most refreshing way to get refined and processed corporate food, out of your diet and to focus on proper farms. I love this real food revolution and if you hold on with me and design this with me, I think you’ll love it to. There is a certain promise of transformation held here. Just the question alone – ‘is this real’ and ‘could I call this food real’, will lead you to healthier food choices.
I also think that the allure of ‘real’ is a desire to focus life more around more natural values than what we got from the industrial era.
Life after modernization and industrialization gave us copy-cat products off assembly lines and taught us to value – material efficiency, consistency and uniformity.
In fact it’s become such a pre-occupation that I’m equally having to look at all the areas of my life where I’m not so real. Where I’m acting out, wearing a mask, being fake, being what I think others want me to be. Since I’ve started thinking about real farms and real food, I’m more aware of the aspects of my life where I’m free to be real as well as the areas where I’m not. I’m starting to realize and I hope you will too, that if we focus more energy on those parts of our life where we do feel more real and more free to be real, we’re heading in a great direction – probably off to meet ourselves. For certain that’s where this will lead.
I’m committed to this real journey. It gets a little uncomfortable at times I guess, having to look at parts of yourself that are perhaps more cultivated and less authentic, but it’s for the most highly rewarding. Who doesn’t want to live in a real world, eating real food connected to real soil and a real farmer and a real animal and real life and engaging in real relationship with self and others?
REAL nature isn’t perfect in the way that capitalism requires; you can’t create perfect linear systems in nature without messing it up. We have learnt rather that nature favors cycles.
Nature prefers her perfection expressed in glorious cycles of ‘whole’ systems where the uniformity is found in a set of delicate principles about the interconnectedness of all. Nature doesn’t give us perfect, uniform looking carrots; she does however give us a perfect delicately interwoven system of whole life that keeps bringing forth new life. A carrot whose health is directly related to the health of the soil, whose health is directly related to the health of the life that has decayed into it, whose health is directly related to the health of the food that sustained it, whose health is related back again to the health of the soil, water and air that it lived in. The interconnectedness of all is the perfection and it’s in nature’s design.
Organic farming honors that cycle. Real farmers understand this. Real food comes from real soil.
Tomorrow, I’ll bring you news of our new service that will launch next week. It is our first attempt to reduce the barriers that we’ve had to growing the supply and meeting demand for whole, real, organic food.
We are ridiculously excited on this side. This week marks the end of an era of doing things in one particular way with Organic Emporium. It marks the beginning of the practical transition between Organic Emporium into the Jozi Real Food Revolution.
It’s quite a sentimental and emotional week for me and right now as I write this, I’m overcome with gratitude and a feeling of love towards those of you who have been a part of this journey for the last 3 and a half years.
We have arrived somewhere and every step has been an honor. Even the difficult ones.
This will be the last week for once a week deliveries. From next week – we have something that we believe will be way more convenient for you. Stay tuned, I’ll get you prepared for the changes that are coming next week in tomorrow’s newsletter, for this week it will be as usual – orders in by 3pm tomorrow and we’ll see you on Friday, next week, we will be delivery every day.
Have a great evening and much gratitude to you for reading this and being on board for this ride and this revolution.