Archives for posts with tag: Hunger

Tulips! Edible! A wonderful piece on the beautiful blog The Botanical Kitchen. Includes an excerpt from a book about eating and hunger in wartime Holland, to keep it real, and lots of lovely culinary inspiration, to keep it magical…

The Botanical Kitchen

Have you noticed that tulips are everywhere at the moment?  I’ve been about and about today and noticed all sorts of different varieties.  They are about the only plants that have come up at my allotment too.

Copyright Urvashi Roe_amsterdam-22Beautiful tulips blooming everywhere this Spring in London

TulipsHundreds of varieties at the flower markets

The first thought that has come to mind has been to wonder if they are an edible variety. Many varieties are edible.  There’s a great list in this article by a fellow Great British Bake Off Alumni, Lucy Bellamy.

Leaves or bulbs? 

Well the truth is they are both edible BUT you need to have the right variety and prepare them in the right way.  Otherwise you could get serious food poisoning!

The bulbs were a staple for the Dutch during the second world war as there were so many and Office for Food Supply  pronounced them fit for consumption and…

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In posting this, I don’t want to make kitsch of hunger, the haunting reality of which lies beneath the fabulous staging, filming and ingenious rhyming of “question” with “indigestion” in this scene from the musical film “Oliver!”  This was a major movie in my childhood, so of course I think of it when “gruel” comes up in conversation.

Cooking dinner a few nights ago, I heard on the radio  Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg referring to Cameron’s suggested EU reforms as “pretty thin gruel.”

I guess this phrase means meager, and a mockery of something that could be proferred in better form. I don’t know about the EU reforms, I have all sorts of different opinions, but I’d never heard this expression before.  I’m going to start using it whenever I can.

(Also just learned the phrase “the pips will squeak” as in “We will squeeze the German lemon until the pips squeak.” Will try to use find uses for this figure of speech too.)

I do associate gruel with Victorian workhouses (the “Oliver!” brainwash), but of course it would go way back as a grain soup thinned as far as necessitated by scarcity or poverty.  And it can be make thicker as in a porridge, and dolled up with butter, and dried fruits, and perhaps sweetened or made savoury as seems to be a chef-trend these days, in which the well-off eat well yet food insecurity in UK households and child poverty is increasing.  The “thin gruel” Cameron should be called up on is his government’s pretentious effort to claim to be concerned about children and poverty.  Austerity policies mean the pips are really going to squeak as kids go to bed and school squeezed by that feeling of not-enough and under-nutrition.  That’s called hunger.   Our mental images of Oliver Twist asking “Please Sir, I want some more” are a nostalgic version of a clear, documented need now, if we choose to see and respond to that hunger.

Food writer and activist Jack Monroe on poverty, hunger, feminism, being a mother with a toddler, and the weight children bear on their “little teeny-tiny shoulders” of reckless financial decision making, political cleaning up of which justifies Austerity.  Cutting ribbons on food banks as a disgrace. Inequality. Wanting change.  Worth your time watching.

Addressing hunger with food-waste might seem like a perfect kill-two-birds-with-one-stone approach to large social-economic problems. I’m not so sure about this and am working on a piece of writing that began around early campaigning in the UK to follow the French lead in legislating supermarket food waste. Haven’t really sorted through my thoughts and critiques yet, but am collecting ideas around this theme. Megan Blake is an academic geographer at University of Sheffield and writes a blog about food justice and hunger, among other issues. This piece I’m now reblogging is a really good beginning, and I’m hoping posting it will help me sort through my own thoughts on this topic. She puts the connection of waste and hunger in the context of neoliberal ideas of the market, and looks at activists seeking to shift the values of the debate from the economic to a social realm.

GeoFoodie

I recently participated in symposium that was considering waste in relation to food.  It was put on as a pre-conference event to the 2015 RGS/IBG meetings held in Exeter. The symposium, which took place on a working farm, was both fascinating and very engaging. You can find out more about the event and its participants on the web site developed by the organisers here.  I encourage you to have a look at the link as you will learn about West Town Farm and the activities of the day. My role at the symposium was to give a short talk around the issue of food waste and neoliberalism.  I chose to use an excellent food re-use project–The Real Junk Food Project–as a mechanism for focusing my questions. I am offering the text of my provocation in what follows.  

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When welfare reforms result in hunger, is the government failing its international human rights obligations?

This video explains the issues really well.

Reblogged from Church Action on Poverty.

First, should you be experiencing this Deep-Winter Blue-Mood, here’s a little pep-talk of a dance number.  You are a star! Everybody is one!

Second:  I have a habit of accumulating internet links to explore further, but they are beginning to want to break free of my private files. So, though eventually I may revisit them, I’m just going to post them here, now, for readers’ scintillation.

A piece called Spice Tile on the BRILLIANT blog Edible Geographies about an art exhibition at the Victoria and Albert in London until the 21st of April– hope I can get there to see it.

A Love Letter to Nigella Sativa, what I know as Black Onion Seeds.

And creative ways to use Chia Seeds.

And third in this Seed Triumvirate, a recipe for Crackers with Dock Seed, in celebration of the undercelibrated Dock.

Trends in Home-Prepared Pet Food — and How to Make Your Own Cat Food.

A Great List of UK Seed Companies

From Mother’s Gut to Milk, a very informative article on the microbiology of breast milk on the ever-fascinating blog Hella Delicious

and on the subject of breast milk, here’s an artist’s project making cheese from human breast milk in order to raise questions about food systems and ethics…

An inspiring article about Growing Saffron in Utah.

Asian Pear Trees for your garden (a fruit I adore)

A great how-to for sprouting beautiful sprouts.

A piece I love from Permaculture Magazine about traditional methods of drying chestnuts.  (I LOVE chestnuts, so more coming on baking with chestnut flour definitely!)   And another on Reusing Coffee Grounds.

An interesting article called Why Skipping is a Necessary Evil  (though I’d never use the word “evil”) that puts people’s personal hunger in a broad political context.

Remembering the Morecombe Cockle Pickers and their families.

What I thought was a good Real Food Plan for the Broke — the author aiming for each healthful meal to be $.95 per person per meal;  you can compare and contrast Jack Monroe’s approach to budgeting

A book on Home Aquaponics (combination aquaculture [growing fish] and hydroponics {veg grown in water not soil] ) which interests me very much but I haven’t got a kindle…

On Wasabi in Britain in a Forest Garden way; and this, a company, celebrating Wasabi as a Brassica 

An interesting, short documentary on The People’s Kitchen — “a place in which people can come to eat, as well as express themselves, find themselves in society.”

and a blatant plug for my friend Sharon Kane’s Gluten -Free bread assundries website and business. She’s a woman who reclaimed her own health and is on an amazing mission to share everything she’s learned!  She is based in Massachusetts, for American readers keen to do some mail-order.

And, lastly for today,  an important plea for seed diversity in the face of this thing we call Climate Change.

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