Wanted to share this short film about young crofters in Scotland figuring out ways to gain access to land, to practice small scale agriculture and local food production.  Passionate, inspiring people.

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When I started the project of this blog, I wanted to document what I was cooking and thinking, and often how the two related to each other.  I was turned off and depressed by “lifestyle” blogs and food-porn posturing. I wanted to create a wide exploration of what it could mean to politicise a meal, to historicise and contextualise it, showing its antecedents and effects

I’m not sure how far I’ve come or where I’m going, but the vision remains strong that food on its own is not inherently interesting a subject to me, pleasurable as it may be to eat something delicious or gaze at beautiful food styling wishing oneself into the scene.

The video below interests me. I happened upon it because Sean Hawkey is a friend and had pointed something else out on the site. Sean is a photographer and filmmaker, often working for Development groups. I love how in the case of “The Breakfast Recipe,” he’s put the actual breakfast in a chain of events and a particular social milieu.  It might feel feel easier to express this scenario in places where people grow their own food.  But it seems really compelling to imagine the full weight of these stories for those of us buying our food in a globalised world. There will be stories inside of stories, with infinite digressions.  All of which makes what we eat more compelling.

New Year’s Resolution to experience and express gratitude– I’m grateful to people who work really hard on the issues I deeply care about.  Miles King is one of them. Here’s what he says about Brexit opportunities.

a new nature blog

pebble

I’m delighted to be able to tell you about this new report which is published today. It’s the first People Need Nature policy report – A Pebble in the Pond: Opportunities for farming, food and nature after Brexit. You can download it here.

Here’s the summary:

As England prepares to leave the EU we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the way we support England’s land managers.  This report shows how leaving the EU will enable us to channel money from the public purse to land managers in such a way that they can both produce food, help nature and provide all the other benefits society needs.

The last forty years of farm subsidies from Europe via the Common Agricultural Policy has contributed to a dramatic decline in nature on farmland – land that covers three quarters of England. The vote to leave the EU means we…

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I alway’s appreciate Elisabeth’s clear writing and logic. A good piece on what we might expect in the UK regarding the deregulations proponents of Brexit hope to bring to the UK.

Real Food Lover

gmo-free-europe-530x363 Image from Sustainable Pulse 

“Waiter, waiter, where is the genetically modified food on the menu?”

Do you know anyone clamouring to eat genetically modified (GM) food?

One of the many reasons I voted Remain in the 2016 referendum was because the European Union (EU) largely protects its citizens against this unproven technology.

EU – a buffer against GM

Look, I am not saying the European Union (EU) is perfect. It needs reform. Obvs. 

But, in some areas, it has acted on my behalf.

The EU has also largely prevented the commercial growing of GM crops, only giving permission for one GM crop to be grown. 

In addition, European consumers can make informed choices about whether or not to eat GM thanks to the EU insisting that GM ingredients are labelled (unlike in North America, where its citizens are now campaigning for GM labelling). 

(Sadly, the EU does not label…

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Something uplifting, amazing, inspiring to watch.

We need to keep informed about agriculture oriented towards energy production. In the case of maize in Britain, there’s also a terrible association with soil runoff during excessive rain events that contributes to flooding, as in this piece by George Monbiot with it’s quite shocking video component.  A responsible climate change policy would take into account both the importance of good land management (as nudged or not by subsidies) and actual carbon figures, which Miles King, in the post shared below, discusses so clearly.

a new nature blog

p1040939 Biogas Maize is now grown widely in the Dorset Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty © Miles King

Maize grown specifically for Anaerobic Digesters to produce “biogas” is an increasingly common crop in England, especially in the South West. The area under Biogas Maize increased by 55% in 2016 compared to 2015, to 52000ha. The National Farmers Union set a target of 200,000ha of land under biogas Maize back in 2011, so they are 25% of the way to their target.

Maize is a very environmentally damaging crop, probably the most environmentally damaging crop grown in the UK. Why then is so much of it being grown? Because the Government pays not one, but two subsidies for it to be grown – the generous single payment (now over £200 per hectare annually) for anyone who owns farmland; and on top of this there are a range of payments including the Renewable…

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Everyday, day in and day out, people land on this blog having searched the phrase “What do Syrian Refugees Eat?” This is a bit puzzling to me, because I’ve barely posted on this topic at all, only occasionally to fundraise for Calais Kitchens and Refugee Community Kitchen.

But I’ve long felt I should lead seekers somewhere good, and at last I’ve learned of “Savoring Syria”

a project dedicated to telling the stories of Syrians and Syria through the lens of food. The conflict in Syria has led to the largest humanitarian crisis since World War II. From the yearning for a taste of home to the efforts to preserve intangible yet crucial cultural heritage, these stories access the Syrian diaspora through the universal language of food.

Have a look! It’s full of great stories and recipes and might answer some of the questions you are seeking.  There are still many other kinds of stories that need to be told, but I’m looking forward to watching this project grow.

I’ve been following  @lizhoover on Instagram; she posts amazing photographs and stories from the Water Protectors. It’s her blog I’ve reblogged below.  If you’d like to contribute some money to this amazing effort of bodies and spirits, Liz recommends this Pueblo Food Drive:

“Help us take a Load of Pueblo Food for the Water Protectors in Standing Rock, ND. Many of our water protectors have been there for many weeks, some months, and a little taste from home can do wonders for our spirit. We will be collecting traditional Pueblo Food Items to take to the Pueblo Camp and to share with our relatives at Oceti Sakwowin in the ALL RELATIONS Kitchen!”

Though the site as of this posting doesn’t seem completely updated at the moment, I’m reassured me it’s still active so give give give if you can, and share too.  Cheers!

Chills of love and respect kept going down my spine reading this account of the kitchens at Standing Rock, from activist-anthropologist-writer Liz Hoover, on an ever interesting and insightful blog.

From Garden Warriors to Good Seeds: Indigenizing the Local Food Movement

img_3950 Meal line up outside the mess hall of the Main Kitchen. Photo by Elizabeth Hoover

Since April, thousands of Indigenous people and their allies have converged on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and treaty lands, to support the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in their opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), slated to cross under the Missouri River directly upstream from the reservation. People have come from around the world to pray; to stand in opposition to Energy Transfer Partners and the Morton County Sheriff’s Department as well as 71 other law enforcement agencies; and to form community. Some people come for the weekend, others have quit their jobs and made resisting this pipeline their full time work. They spend their days building infrastructure at the camp, chopping wood, sorting donations, praying and singing at the main fire, and putting their bodies on the line between the land and an…

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Thank you for all the amazing support you have shown the Medic & Healer Council! *** We also need a transport vehicle and snow-ready ATVs URGENTLY – if you have a reliable vehicle you are…

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