Saturday, December 7, 2013

Come join Terra Madre and the Slow Food movement. Keep track of your Food Prints.Elsie Gabriel

Come join Terra Madre and the Slow Food movement.

Keep track of your Food Prints.

Elsie Gabriel

From simple home dinners to community festivals, local food is being celebrated in hundreds of different ways on December 10. It’s not too late to know that ‘Slow Food’ still exists and that if we try ,we can surely pass on this gourmet tradition to the next generation before we actually lose it! I was lucky enough to celebrate the Slow Food day with my Young Environmentalists Colleagues this week as we all came together to enjoy local organic vegetables!!
Am sharing how we women friends got together with Chef Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal MD -A Perfect Bite Consulting and APB  studio kitchen in Powai, to cook up and make an  effort to unite those committed to the slow food movement, focus on the promotion of local, sustainable, organic food products from across the country. We cooked up Spicy Millet Porridge with Melon seed topping,Sweet Potato Gnochi with Thencha Pesto, Sesame Potato Gratin, Pump
kin Soup with Green Garlic oil and papad twists, Salad of Seasonal Greens, Root and Shoot Salad and Seasonal Fruit Parfait cups with honey yogurt.

I love food. I simply love food and am not ashamed to talk about it. For me one of the celebrations of life is Food!  Am no hypocrite! If I want to eat Non vegetarian I eat non vegetarian and if I do not want feel like eating I simply don’t fuss, I devour vegetables galore.  I indulge in food! And I love to cook! Baigan bharta, Alu chokha, Baigani, Bhindi fry, Patal alu, Lauki patta bhaji, mixed vegetables in dil, good old fashioned panch phoren daals in garlic or pumpkin sabji with rotis, I cook every day!

 I celebrate ‘Slow food’ everyday and how far my kids run from the table the day there is ‘Slow food ‘movement going on, on my table is my challenge! Which is everyday! My Slow Food movement starts right on my kitchen table, dining table and how I shop in the vegetable markets. I enjoy the shopping in the local sabji mandi and fish market, I love to bargain too. I make no bones that I simply love to go to the market and take in all the bright colours, smells and noise!!

How much you eat and how much you burn off is every one’s personal business though. If you follow a diet chart or eat every two hours or eat only vegetables, its all a part of personal choice. If you follow your doctors orders or simply make up a time table with a YO-YO diet spaced out with cheat days, it’s all in the name of food , so enjoy!

It is not hard to counter the disappearance of local food traditions and people's dwindling interest in where their food comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.  We envision a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow and produce it and good for Mother Earth. 
Terra Madre is the world meeting of food communities launched by Slow Food in 2004 in Italy. It brings small-scale farmers and food producers together with cooks, academics and the young generation to promote food in a sustainable, good, clean and fair way.
This year Terra Madre is being celebrated on December 10th, so go on make your own Slow food recipes, whether its vegetarian or non vegetarian, it’s simply a dish cooked slowly using local seasonal produces available near by so that you do not increase your ‘Food carbon footprints’ while buying products from far away. The simplest and most cost effective way to reduce your food footprint is to minimize food waste. Although not all food waste is within your control, your purchasing and cooking habits can play a large part in reducing food losses. Food’s carbon footprint, or ‘foodprint’, is the greenhouse gas emissions produced by growing, rearing, farming, processing, transporting, storing, cooking and disposing of the food you eat.

I am glad this week I re-established the simple pleasures of preparing and eating one’s own meals. Save your leftovers and create a new meal with them whenever you can. Think about where food comes from, if it is from the other side of the world, it will have a high transportation footprint. Thankfully, we here in India still do our own shopping locally mostly and still belong to the Slow Food movement, at least  most of the rest of the rural country does. And here in the city believe me, most of the ladies still try to hunt out the cheapest bhaji walla, admit it!?