The source of our food is something I’ve been interested in for a long time and it seems very topical right now. Food labelling is not as reassuring as people may have thought or so it appears from the horsemeat in beefburgers scandal. Overfishing is depleting stocks of most species worldwide. The energy required to produce one calorie of food is about 12 calories, using intensive farming methods.
We share the elements of all life planet – carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen along with sulphur, phosphorus, calcium, iron etc. These elements cycle through our bodies as we consume them in food and water. We are part of a whole ecosystem and as our numbers increase, we are becoming more aware of shortages in all resources – the ones we use directly in food and those used to grow/process/transport/cook that food.
If you’ve read my book, The Sea Gardener, or attended any of the workshops, you’ll know that there are ways in which we can make more efficient use of the food resources around us. Foraging for wild food brings us closer to the source and can create closer links to nature. When we pick wild leaves or seaweed, we can see how other creatures also depend on that for food or shelter. So we are reminded not to take more than our share. Seaweed is rich in vitamins, minerals and protein and so a little goes a long way in nourishing us. Unlike many processed foods, which are high in calories and lower in nutrients and require alot of energy (usually fossil-fuelled) to produce, package and transport.