Celebrating our Food Heroes on World Food Day
Reflecting on those that inspire us to build a better food system
Christina O’Sullivan, Campaign & Communications Manager
When reflecting on my food heroes, many amazing cooks, activists, and food writers came to mind. However ultimately, I realised that for me, my food hero is my mom. She is an amazing cook and has an incredible instinct for food and flavour that I am forever grateful to have learned from her. When my friend Ankita rings her mom in India for a recipe she is told ‘Use your own judgement’ like my mom’s similar refrain ‘You know yourself Christina’. Recipes are a malleable concept in our kitchen which leads to wonderful meals and sometimes epic failures and I wouldn’t have it any other way. What I have noticed is that my mom does not always consider herself particularly skilled – cooking is just something she does. Our food system is made up of and inherently dependent on people who are often classed as ‘unskilled’. The Covid19 pandemic has forced us to consider what a ‘key worker’ is. Why did it take a global pandemic to see the hands that feed us as essential? The mass outbreaks of Covid19 in meat factories has highlighted that any movement towards a better food system that doesn’t incorporate worker’s rights will ultimately fail. Thank you to all the food heroes working across the food system to get food on our plates, together we can create a just and sustainable food system for everyone.
Helena Appleton, the Alchemic Kitchen
My food hero is Charles Dowding. A champion of no dig organic food production. His methods of food production echo the need for shorter supply chains, more nutritious produce and ecologically sound practices. In a very close second place, I have to say Andrea Camilleri whose books and films have inspired me to master the art of homemade pasta and I can finally make arancini to be proud of.
Martin Bowman, Policy & Campaigns Manager
Jack Monroe is my food hero. An inspirational food poverty campaigner who has done so much to challenge cruel government policies that have forced people to rely on food banks and written delicious recipes which are affordable for people cooking on a budget. I saw them giving moving testimony about how they were driven to rely on food banks at a government inquiry – and have endless admiration for their courage.
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