What is Real Food – Introduction
I’ve been talking about real food a lot lately and about how it has come to define this journey of mine, with you and with the organic food space in Jozi specifically.
I started off with this business passionate to the hills about organic agriculture. I wanted to make organic food – very simply put – untainted produce grown in rich soil without any pesticides or artificial fertilizers – accessible in Johannesburg.
I wanted to give organic farmers, those farmers who endeavor to protect our land for future generations – access to a market they deserved.
I wanted to lessen our dependence on commercial and mechanized food and the hazardous additives, chemicals and poisons that come with it.
As the journey has unfolded, I have been transformed by it over and over again.
The shift occurring now, that births the Jozi Real Food Revolution, bears witness to my resolve to make the best use out of lessons learnt and to create a community around food that has meaningful impact.
I came to realize that my first love, the belief in organic farming methods, wasn’t my only. I fell in love equally with other values and other beliefs and now have a far broader perspective about what is required to help us all eat differently.
I will always be committed to organic farmers and organic philosophy. I forever commit to doing whatever I can to make the produce from the best organic farmers more available.
Yet there is more. Discovering holistic management principles after finding Keith Harvey and the Kalahari 100% Grass Fed Beef, was a defining experience for me.
In terms of cattle farming, I find holistic management to be the golden standard of sustainable animal farming methods. I haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg yet in terms of what holistic management means for the future of our planet considering the incredible contribution it makes towards reversing climate change. I hoped to introduce you to the magnitude of the effect of farmers like Keith Harvey and the difference we make when we choose to eat from animals reared on farms like this through the Allan Savory (father of holistic management) TED talk which I sent to you. There is a link on our facebook page if you missed it.
That was when I realized that organic is only one of the spokes in the wheel of the food revolution that is raging all over the world.
There are others. Like the need to eat locally, like the need to move away from refined foods, like the need to prepare food differently, like the need to grow your own food, like the need to get off the grid of industrial, mechanized food and like the need to support family run, smaller farms who are farming naturally.
A revolution in terms of the way we think, the way we behave and the way we consume is required and the creation of community around food, yourselves and the farmers that grow it is the vital key for me.
So if I’m to be successful, then I need to be able to facilitate a journey for others and I need to be as able to help people who are eating refined foods every day, make small changes.
If you’re a person eating hotdogs every day and want to learn how to start making a difference, that step and that process is no less valid or worthy as the person eating only organic produce who now moves towards understanding holism. Every step is a victory and the Jozi Real Food Revolution needs to be for everyone.
It needs to be an exciting and inviting journey because the return to conscious eating is a return to honoring the soil and the land that sustains you. It connects you to the earth. That almost sounds meaningless until you’ve experienced it. Once you have, you know that it is an entirely spiritual journey. Those of you who eat now with gratitude and joy because you’re conscious of how the food is produced and relish it’s vitality, know what I’m talking about.
There’s a whole revolution happening globally that is born out of becoming aware of what we lost through modernization and the industrial revolution.
The story of the ravages of capitalism and industrialization has been told.
The untold story is about the grandparents in aprons that we lost. The untold story is about the empty kitchens and the loss of nourishment when we lost villages and communities and our grandmothers and our mothers were replaced by microwaves and cardboard dinners. That story is being told around food and the damage that occurred as farmers became fewer and our kitchens got smaller.
We are resurrecting traditional knowledge through our renewed appreciation of the artisan, as we reel from the soulless world we were left in as factories took over the role of feeding us and raising our children.
There’s a call for the return of the lost craftsman who was wiped out by the efficiencies of the conveyor belt.
We miss the feel of quality, we long to be connected to craft in food again – we are starting to romanticize the butcher, baker and candlestick maker. In fact, these food heroes will become our new celebrities into the future, we will know we have arrived when we view farmers as the most valuable pillars of society. I believe it’s starting to happen and I want the Jozi Real Food Revolution to quicken the pace – let’s stand up for our food heroes and create a vibrant space within which to interact with them. Let’s put their food in our kitchens, their knowledge into our psyches.
We crave the sense of community we once had in bustling market places when you knew the maker of your bread.
It is a return to values centered on our humanity and the need for community, family and connection.
Yet, we can never return to that same period of time, we are creating something new. This is a brand new context. And our context is Jozi that has a particular story of disconnect and confused traditions. It has its own damage around buried traditional knowledge whilst at the same time, a vibrant international food context. There is so much going on around food in Jozi, we just need to bring it together in a meaningful way.
The new world will be a more balanced blend of old world traditions and the best of technological advancement and the efficiencies and capacity that was born in the scientific era.
I think it’s exciting and I’m defined by what I see and feel that I’m participating in something so vital and so sacred and I want to help you connect more and more to your local food heroes and to a space of the most wholesome food you have ever come across. The best of the best we can find and the stronger our collective voice, encourage.
The Jozi Real Food Revolution is about the community around great food that we create in Johannesburg particularly.
So where is this headed. Where do we start?
The start is to define what we mean by ‘Jozi Real Food’. I’m going to need to clarify what I mean when I say that I believe people’s lives and health will be changed by eating real food.
I’ll do a series of articles about how I see the definition of Real Food.
It’s a starting point. The idea is that you bring your own view and sense to this debate.
At a point not too far into the future, you will receive an invitation to become an active member of the Jozi Real Food Revolution and as a member, you’ll be invited into a space where we can define this together.
One of the most defining shifts I think that needs to happen in the food revolution is a transfer of power from big business, from the retailer, from the factory to the consumer and to the farmer so that you end up with an equal partnership between all 3 vital participants.
An educated consumer with a strong voice who participates in defining the nature of the community they want around the production and distribution of food. An empowered farmer with the consumer backing his every step and supporting him and who assists him with his challenges. A responsible retailer who creates spaces of fantastic food experience, who show cases the best farmers, who liaises transparently with their customers, who listens and engages their customers, the family run grocery store. That’s what we need.
So I’ll be writing down my definition of Real Food bit by bit, to open up dialogue but ultimately what I want to create for you is an open place of community so that we can decide how best to define this, based on what is important to you on the journey.
Once, you’re clear, on what it is you want, you can then start shouting from the rooftops to any prospective responsible retailer who wants to hear, what it is you’d like to see in their stores.
This will need you to also interact with your local farmers too so that you can gain an understanding of what they need from you.
I will help facilitate that space with and for you.
You’ll see this unfold over the course of the next 12 months.
There are many exciting changes coming to you shortly.
I know if you’ve read all of this, you’re one of those up for the ride.
I can’t waitJ
So the first thing to do is to define what ‘Real Food’ is.
Real food is organic sure, but it’s a lot, a lot more and it can be simpler than that.
To get to the first Real Food principle – CLICK HERE…