Monday, May 31, 2010

Eating Seasonally

Because I am a madwoman suffering from delusions of free time, I have started another blog. This one's about food. Why food?, I hear you ask. What about the life of the spirit?

Well, it may be about food but I reckon food is about spirit, too. Eating well is important on lots of levels. For one, it's hard in our society to live within limits. We are constantly bombarded by advertising for cheap goods – food, clothes, and a thousand gadgets we'll never need – and it's hard to resist this. Yet it's so destructive. Our cheap stuff is the result of cheap petroleum, cheap labour and the total devastation of soil, air and water, and in the long run it's no good for anyone.

On a more personal level, I don't believe it's healthy for us to have whatever we want whenever we want it. We become like spoiled children, always wanting more, never satisfied with what we have, and blinded to the needs of others. We substitute shopping for creative acts, consumption for self-building, and are reduced to people who define themselves by what they buy and the shows they watch. But I want more from life: I want to grow into myself, become mature; and I want life in abundance. Even more, I want my children to have life in abundance too – and that means teaching them to live within limits, and leaving them clean air, pure water, and rich fertile soil.

So I place limits on our consumption, and value on the health of workers and waterways, soil and livestock, in an attempt to live in a way which benefits commonweal. We try to consume only what is good: fair trade, nontoxic, and only what we need.

This approach affects many areas: how we shop, how we entertain ourselves, what we wear. And it also affects our food. We try to buy food which is healthy: healthy for us, healthy for the workers who grow and harvest and deliver it, and healthy for the earth. We get a weekly veggie box filled with locally grown organic produce, which provides the bulk of our food for lunch and dinner, and supplement it with other foods from local suppliers wherever possible.

We're not fanatics. When we run out of home bottled tomatoes, we buy canned tomatoes from Italy; and we flavour our food with Japanese soy sauce and Italian parmesan. The recipes will reflect this. But we're slowly trying to shift the bulk of our food back to our own backyard, or at least to farms within driving distance of our house.

Because this is a learning experience – I'm learning what's available when, and how to cook it up – I thought I'd write about it from time to time.

If you live in Melbourne and are interested in eating seasonally, the blog might be a starting point: recent posts will tell you what is in season and give you ideas of what to cook. Those of you who already eat seasonally might enjoy reading about our family's efforts. You can follow along, get ideas, contribute recipes and so on and so forth.

So if you're interested, click here!


  1. Alison, have you discovered a place in Thornbury called Loving Earth? They have raw cocoa (straight from the native Indians in Peru) and agave syrup from indigenous people in Mexico. These older ingredients are fantastic - both from a health point of view as well as from an equity and environmental point of view...let me know if you're interested as I've adapted quite a few recipes for these ingredients...Thanks
    Dianne Brown (Brenda's friend)

  2. Hi Di, Loving Earth products are sold at Organic Wholefoods in Brunswick, just round the corner from us. has some recipes using agave syrup, but I could use a chocolate-y cake recipe if you have one, always a winner with our family! My email address is in the sidebar. Alison.


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