The Conscious Eating project stems from a new book that I am working on. I thought, what better way to create content than to host events, inviting amazing people who do their bit to procure us with responsibly grown, reared, and caught ingredients.
In my view, Conscious Eating, is not about blocking foods from your diet, or banning industries, but rather about being pro-planet, by supporting people and producers who are starting to change the future of eating. I am a cook, and I am truly passionate about cooking and ingredients, and I believe that all ingredients have a place
Conscious Eating, both the book and the event, it essentially about tracking the positive while maintaining deliciousness.
ETHICAL MEAT EVENING
I remember the days where we only had meat one day a week.
As kids, we were taught to give thanks to a slaughtered animal; we would close our eyes at the table and give thanks to the beautiful beast from which the meat came from. We were educated about eating every single morsel of it, from nose to tail. “This is how you give respect” is what my gran used to say.
These days, the meat industry is under serious scrutiny (very rightfully so). It is for the most part cruel, reckless and brutal. Companies go to horrible extremes to cope with demand, and they produce unhealthy, poor quality meat to the detriment of our environment.
Recently though, with the massive increase of plant based eating and an increasing conscious youth (my kids included!), there is a return to a gentler, more respectful way of doing things. A handful of people are going back to rearing animals the right way and allowing nature to do its thing.
It takes more work, more time, and so it is more expensive…but it is right. I really believe that meat should once again be a delicacy eaten only from time to time, as in making a conscious effort of planning your meals for the week and striking the right balance of vegetables, pulses, carbs, ethical fish, meat and eggs. My balance is meat and fish once a week, the rest is veggies, salads, soups and pastas.
For this event, I am teamed up with farmer Jacques Van der Merwe, and introduced his incredible beef from Kalahari Wild.
Kalahari Wild guarantee ethically produced meat products and supports farms that practice a holistic approach to agriculture. The products are mainly sourced from the rolling landscape of the Kalahari. Their animals have an abundance of sources of energy, protein, space and optimum conditions to produce a healthy, no added stimulant, antibiotic free food source.
ETHICAL FISH EVENING
This evening revolved around responsibly sourced seafood. We teamed up with Abalobi; a social enterprise seeking to help to develop thriving small-scale fishing communities in South Africa, Africa and beyond. Through technology, Abalobi is able
to connect small-scale fishers directly with consumers. It ensures a fair, transparent income for the fisher, and fully traceable Fish With A Story for the consumer.
I was lucky to be one of the pilot chefs for the Abalobi project since its inception in 2016, and over the years at The Foodbarn I've always been very mindful of procuring seafood in a responsible and ethical manner.