Over consumption is one of the major causes of many of the problems we face. I’ve written about this in my International Buy Nothing Day posts here and here. As well as in my review of the documentary What would Jesus buy? and my thoughts on the WWF Living Planet Report. It seems to me that we have lost the ability to appreciate things.
When we eat a meal, do we really pay attention to the food or do we just wolf it down while enjoying the company and conversation? What about the wine, is it just a social lubricant or do we actually stop to enjoy its journey across our palate? If we appreciate things more, we become more concerned with quality rather than quantity or price. A friend who is wheat intolerant told me that when she cheats my eating bread or a pie or something, she makes sure it’s the best she can find because it’s a treat. It would be nice if we all treated everything we consumed like that.
Slow Food today seeks to promote a new approach to gastronomy, through support of small farmers and in a widespread education programme. President Carlo Petrini emphasises that food cannot be a source of pleasure unless it has been produced in a way that respects the environment, the land, the local traditions and the food culture of the various peoples involved.
They talk about food being a source of pleasure and I think we need to get back to that situation where we are selective in what we eat and take the time to derive pleasure from the food.
Eat In magazine can help us to do that. I think this is about the 3rd issue of Eat In magazine, the sister publication of Eat Out magazine. Eat Out is about, um, eating out while Eat In is about, you guessed it, Eating In. Although it doesn’t involve staying at home because it is largely a directory of deli’s, markets and other places where you can buy fantastic produce and products to use in your cooking. As you would expect, it also includes some great recipes and some ideas on entertaining.
For me the most interesting and appealing part of the magazine was the awards for Top Ten Products. Just like Eat In Magazine has a well respected list of Top Ten restaurants in SA, Eat In magazine has selected what they believe are the top ten products in SA for home cooking.
It’s not easy to be nominated as the selection criteria are strict. Here is an example of the criteria, taken from the Small Producer Award:
The winning product should be grown in SA or made from primarily SA produce, be of superior quality and maintained its level of excellence for more than two years. All of this should be done with consideration for the environment and for the work force involved.
These are some of the winners, to give you a sample of the great products you could learn about:
Best New Product
Buffalo Ridge Water buffalo mozzarella – Wayne Rademeyer and his wife Michelle went to Italy to learn the art of making mozzarella, then imported 24 water buffalo and now produce buffalo mozzarella which is even better than the Italian stuff.
There are several categories in the Small Producer Award, the winner of the Earth category is:
Earth’s Apples gourmet potatoes – Salvin Hirschfield imported exotic varieties of potatoes which he grows without chemicals and sells them unwashed.
Find out more here http://www.eat-in.co.za/index.php