The Seven Principles that Affect How Good your Food Really Tastes
These are the seven principles that affect how good your food really tastes.
When I was building up my first social enterprise, BLYSS, I was absolutely shocked and amazed to realize that a chocolate master doesn’t actually get to eat his own chocolate. And I’m going to explain to you, a little bit later. But for now, the seven reasons why that’s happening and why I think it’s important for you.
You’re going to be interested in this article if you’re a foodie, or a connoisseur, or a gourmand, who enjoys going out to pop-up restaurants, putting cool food on the table for your family, and you care about sourcing where your food comes from, and how it comes to you.
You also want to make sure it tastes great and gives you an awesome dinner party and such. These seven things I’m going to explain to you have a direct impact on what that is. What we’re going to do is do a deep dive into the opportunities on how you can impact how good your food tastes.
We’re really lucky to live in a gorgeous world at the moment, and we have the opportunity to eat great food from all over the world. I’m very proud to be able to bring the delights of Ecuador, Papua New Guinea and Philippines, to my dear customers in the Middle East, or Europe, or South Asia. Food, in many respects, has never been so exciting as now.
The way the food is grown and brought to your table can dramatically impact what the nutrition it is it brings. Whether we’re talking about the role of International Monetary Fund, world banks, or even stock exchanges, how the farmer is actually growing, and the love he’s putting into your food can effect either- if you’re getting nutrition, or if you’re just getting fillers in your food.
There’s a really cool group. They’re called Via Campesina. They were formed a couple decades ago. What they are is a group of small farm holdings. Specifically, they’re farmers, peasants, pastoralists, indigenous people, women, rural youth, environmental organizations, and anyone with a fork, who form together and create what they considered to be the seven principles that effect how good our food is.
This is what I really want to share with you. As Raj Patel likes to say it, the guys of Via Campesina, and the whole idea of Food Sovereignty, is fighting for the right to have a right. And I’ll explain to you now – some of these rights are so fundamental and basic, that you and I probably don’t even know they need to be fought for.
So, let’s go back to the very beginning. The first issue we need to think about is, exactly that – that food is a constitutional right. What that means is, is that everybody should have access to the foods that they’ve got, that’s culturally appropriate, in the quality and quantity that they need, and they should be having access to it regardless of their gender, ethnic minority, religion, or any other small element.
You might think that’s pretty obvious, but actually, the fight for food as a right is the first and most important thing we need to do, to ensure that everything’s fair and beautiful on our plates.
The second key issue in food sovereignty is called agrarian reform. And basically it means that farmers have the right to be able to be involved with the policies and decisions that are about their land. That means, basically, if it’s your land, you can make the decisions whether chemicals are grown on there, how organic you want to grow, the idea of crop rotation and not monoculture, and these sorts of things. It’s a huge issue.
The next key point is protecting biodiversity. Sometimes you know, I think we get a little confused, because we talk about fair trade, and we talk about organic. When you think about it in the issues of food sovereignty, the differences between how well we keep the land, as in the biodiversity, and the food that it comes off, and the way people work the land, it shouldn’t be disconnected. It’s all one thing.
What I love about food sovereignty as an orientation is that taking care of the earth is absolutely a part of what traditional farm owners and land owners have seen as their role and responsibility for decades and centuries. And we need to support them in keeping it further.
You know, a side issue when you think about protecting natural resources and the role of biodiversity, is that of intellectual property. There’s been a huge amount of scientific research, as we know, going on for hundreds of years, and there’s lots of keys, and surprise, and answers that we can actually share the information with small farm holders and peasants, to help them better work their land.
But, there are some issues about intellectual property that are holding some vital informations back. I think there’s a place there that we could maybe look at, see the appropriateness of sharing information if it can help better our earth, and the farmers need our help to help them fight for that.
The next point is about reorganising food trade. As I mentioned before, there’s a lot of farms where they have to give away 100 percent of what they produce. Imagine you’ve got kids and family. You’ve been working a whole day, and you come home, and you have nothing that you can bring them from the farm.
When you think about it, agriculture should not be about giving everything away and leaving nothing at home because what’s that’s going to do is create false price, cannibalisation of market, and also hungry kids. Reorganising food trade, looking at imports versus exports, is a huge point of food sovereignty.
The next point is about ending global hunger, and it’s really looking at the infomercials that we see of kids that are starving around the world, and thinking it’s not just always a flood or a drought that has caused their disaster. It’s really looking at some of the big organisations that were originally set up with very good intentions, that somehow have, let’s say, influenced the flow of microeconomics in each country and trade element, that sometimes created a greater divide between the local people and what they’re working with.
That means looking at things like International Monetary Fund, at the World Bank, and even looking at what speculative markets- you know, stock exchanges that are trading you know, bankers sitting in ivory towers that are trading away people’s livelihood every day. This is a big issue, and the largest one that’s creating social divide, and the biggest threat to global hunger right now.
And you know what? I know it’s people like you and I, sitting in our corporate worlds, in our lovely, industrialised lives, that are perpetuating it. So that’s why, it has to start with us.
The next key point is social peace. Something that we see far too often is urbanisation, displaced villages, and people who are just forced by their ethnic minorities to move out of their natural home and into little cities, or move along because some multi-national corporations decided to come in and take over their land. Poverty and social peace are the biggest links here in food sovereignty. And these are some of the issues that need to be handled.
And the final point is about democratic control. And that’s making sure that farmers are in parliaments. It’s pretty simple. They’re the guys out every day getting scorching backs, knowing what’s going on with the land. They’re the ones that can read the signs of what the forests are telling them.
I’m not talking about farmer organisations, and big associations that are politically elected to influence governments. I’m talking about farmers. You know, the guys out there who can really tell us, well, more weather. This is what’s going on with the climate. This is why we’re seeing a reduction in yields. This is why the quality of the tomatoes are getting up or down. These are the ones that actually can influence better decision-making at our policy levels. And you know what? It’s us that are going to have to help them get there.
So, these are the seven topics that are affecting your food. And you know what? These are the topics that the foodies really need to get behind. I’d like to see it talked about a little bit more in food blogs. I’d like to see critics asking questions. I’d like to see us going to the supermarkets and just asking, where is this coming from?
Looking at the brand on our tomatoes or on our oranges. Looking it up on the internet. Seeing who’s actually owning it and how it actually works because you can make the impact by, of course, choosing who you buy and who you don’t buy, but also if- thinking about what you can do in your current life.