What un-manicured wrist doth a story tell, fingers gnarled and ancient as it moulds a piece of clay. From earth to earth I must return never knowing the magic of the clay. The potter stands tall above his spinning wheel, a wheel so old it tells a story of its own. Made from the local wood its wrapped in cloth and seasoned with hair and clay. The wheel is a testament of time, an art and craft handed down from father to son. A patient skill and one that takes you to a momentary rush of youth. To mould the clay and shape it and give it form and life. With grubby hands and a few sprinkles of water, the pressure of ones fingers and the a tiny brass wheel gives it a design of its own.
And so like the potter who creates magic, food and culinary trends are very often are started off by chefs. As chefs it is a responsibility to not only deliver good and safe food to clients and customers but also come out in the open and talk about safe food, safe food practices and the environment.
Today we are seeing the effects of neglect, mercury and plastic in almost everything that comes out of the sea. Even the very salt from the sea has been affected. The lack of change in farming practices has denuded the earth. What we think of as organic isn’t really organic. The pesticide levels have resulted in diseases like diabesity, Alzheimer’s and dementia to name a few. The very pots and pans of aluminium and non stick pans are also a result of many changes in our system.
Our ancestors had it right from using copper vessels and iron vessels to cook in, it was safe. Modern times has changed the very nature of how we cook and what we cook in. in same areas its best going back to our old ways of earthenware, iron, copper vessels for cooking. The flavours are richer and stronger and our systems absorb these minerals.
The changes of the eco-system and of our forests are being changed with the want of fossil fuels. Where will wildlife go and what changes will it bring to the farming world. The over population of herbivores will ruin crops and the natural order of hierarchy in the wild will be broken with the disappearance of the top predator. The disappearance of bees shall affect pollination and this shall in turn affect the creation of fruit and vegetables as we know it.
There is a change coming in what we eat and drink. Should it be full of chemicals and pesticides is the question. We as humans and chefs need to stand up together and question what we are serving to people. We need to question the farmer and also help the farmer. Chefs are turning farmers in their hotels, growing food and vegetables, urban farming is on the rise. Aquaphonics and hydroponics is taking over natural farming methods and creating a sustainable living. The change is real in todays scenario, and its nice to see a younger generation adapting to it. The return to nature is very real and we need to embrace it.