I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. My current special interest centres on everything to do with food.
- where does it come from?
- how was it grown / made / distributed?
- what cultural history does it have?
- working to be more effective in growing and making food
- what implications does it have for public health? individual health?
- what does it mean for our communities? families?
I could have signed up to do a course to take this further, but I realised that at this moment I want neither the discipline nor the constraints of a course. Instead I’ve been educating myself by:
- Reading – books, articles, blogs. There is such richness available, and I’m so enjoying the way one thing leads to another. Links emerge between seemingly unrelated topics, and exploring the web of information is fascinating
- Attending – I was fortunate to be able to secure a free place at a conference organised by University of Gloucestershire, called ‘Growing the Future’. Some excellent and thought-provoking speakers explained and illustrated the dramatic impact of Brexit on food and food policy right now, not just in the future when Brexit has actually happened.
- Listening, asking, and watching
- I’ve found some really interesting talks online, often via blogs, sometimes via BBC radio programmes. As ever, the R4 Food Programme and the BBC World Service ‘Food Chain’ programmes have a wealth of information and often raise important topics.
- Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s recent TV programmes on obesity showed all too starkly just how difficult it can be for individuals to tackle this themselves, against the flow of our increasingly obesogenic surroundings, the bombardment of advertising for unhealthy ‘foods’, and the prevalence of sugar in ready-made foods.
- Visiting gardens and nurseries, I find gardeners and growers to be immensely generous with their time and knowledge
- Doing – I’m trying to be thoughtful about how my thinking and learning can be applied in my everyday life. Once we start to see it, there is in fact so much we can do as individuals, particularly if like me we are fortunate to be able to make financial choices unavailable to the poorest in our society – I view every shopping exchange as a statement of how I want things to be. I feel I’m making progress on that one, though of course I often fail. I’m working hard to make my allotment more productive, and to ensure that everything I grow is eaten. I’m also accepting that I don’t always have the time I need for that when I need it, and that compromise is often the only way.
More to come on each of these topics, with information about who and what I’ve found interesting.