IN antiquity, mare’s milk was known and used as a daily beverage, appreciated for its delicate nutty flavour and health properties. This article from The Atlantic, ‘Mongolia: land of milk and horses’, highlights the importance of the horse and it’s milk to the cultures of Mongolia. In the late 19th century in the West it was written about as the ‘Milk of Champagne’ and today in North West France mare’s milk is being produced at an organic dairy and is selling at local farmers’ markets.
SOME of the population knows where food is coming from, lots of the population eat bad, cheap and processed food, it is not a class thing but a state of mind, says Sydney food writer Joanna Savill. Read more of her article that was published a few years ago in the NSW National Trust. PDF
MYCORRHIZA are important for sustaining the earth. In past decades natural environs were full of mycorrhiza, beneficial symbiotic fungi that form an association on the roots of about 90% of the world’s plants. Over time, due to chemicals, desertification, erosion, drought, compaction, loss of organic matter and other degradation, these symbiotic fungi have become less prevalent in soils and the continual tilling of land for crops has reduced the benefit of these fungi completely. Mycorrhizae are extremely important to the health of soil and in turn to the health of plants.
Read the full article PDF
SLOW Food international president and founder Carlo Petrini this week launched a collaborative project between children’s environment awareness organisation Millennium Kids and Slow Food Perth to build children’s awareness of food production and indigenous food culture. Its aim is to enable children, through food knowledge, to ‘orbit in two worlds’ – as Aboriginal leader Noel Pearson describes it – and come to know and respect the foods of their own culture and those of indigenous cultures. Read about the project, called Food with latitude.
MOLONG, central NSW is on the map again, Giovanni di Francesca’s stirring story of establishing a gelato business in the small NSW town of Molong is inspiring. ABC. Bush Telegraph reports his story and as they say with a little help from his friends he has helped the local growers in establishing a new market for their fruit.
THE best rural food producers will be recognised with a new award after Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman last night launched the inaugural Western Australia Small Food Awards.
Mr Redman commended Slow Food Perth on hosting the awards, which will encourage and recognise excellence in different aspects of the Western Australian food sector.
“Slow Food Perth is doing some excellent work to strengthen people’s connection with the food they eat by developing a greater understanding of where the food comes from and how it is produced,” the Minister said.
“These awards will recognise the best rural producers and enterprises using Slow Food’s good, clean and fair principles.
“It will celebrate our State’s growing food culture and the role of small producers, retailers, chefs, winemakers, and communities in providing a smorgasbord of local fresh, quality food and beverages.”
Mr Redman said consumers the world over were looking for safe, quality food produced by reliable West Australian farmers – big and small.
“The State Government recognises these market demands and has been working with various sectors of the food chain, including Slow Food Perth, to ensure we can meet the requirements of our markets,” he said.
Mr Redman said the Government’s commitment to the State’s food sector was demonstrated through its new Plan to Support the Development of the WA Food Industry, due to be finalised this year.
Mr Redman encouraged the food industry and the community to participate in the Small Food Awards. Nominations will be called in January next year.
More information and pre-registration form
Small food awards
LAST year Slow Food USA organised a large event called Slow Food Nation. One of the events was a public forum with distinguished guests, Carlo Petrini, founder and International President of Slow Food, Vandana Shiva, Vice President of Slow Food, academic and founder of Navdanya, Raj Patel, academic and author of Stuffed and Starved, Michael Pollan, lecturer of journalism at Berkeley author of Omnivores Dilemma and Corby Kummer, described as dean amongst food writers and author.
The link to the film from FORAtv provides a fascinating insight from these panelist into the food crisis.
CARLO Petrini, Slow Food founder and international president, will deliver a free public lecture at the University of Western Australia on Wed 14 Oct 2009 as a highlight of his first visit to Perth. It will be hosted by UWA Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences professor Willy Erskine.
Petrini, who in 1986 launched the protest movement that became Slow Food in 1989, was named last year by British newspaper The Guardian as one of ‘The 50 people who could save the planet’ and ‘European hero’ by Time magazine in 2004. The organisation he leads today has more than 100,000 members in 150 countries, including six branches in Western Australia. It works to counteract the disappearance of local food traditions, people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how individual food choices affect the rest of the world.
Petrini’s theoretical approach to agriculture, food production and gastronomy is based on three principles –‘good, clean and fair’ – that Slow Food has turned to reality through more than 300 small-scale projects across the world that protect traditional food production methods by supporting producers in their communities and helping them to build markets for their products.
This work extends from farmers and fishermen to cooks, chefs, academics, young people and consumers. It led Slow Food to establish in 2004 a biennial event called Terra Madre that has evolved into a network of more than 2000 food communities throughout the world working to maintain truly local food systems and traditions.
Petrini, a charismatic Italian and former radio journalist, champions the Slow Food tenet that food should taste good and be nutritious, produced in ways that respect the environment, animals, and people’s health, and yield fair rewards for producers.
Using this theme, his University of Western Australia lecture will discuss ‘Good, clean and fair: small, slow food in a big food nation’.
He will also launch in Perth a collaborative project between Slow Food Perth and the children’s environment awareness organisation, Millennium Kids, that aims to encourage children to learn about food production and food security and experience and appreciate indigenous food cultures.
After his Perth visit, Petrini will travel to Sydney where he will speak at the Sydney Opera House in one of the key events of the 2009 Sydney International Food Festival.
Free public lecture
Time: 5:00pm for 5:15pm
University of Western Australia
MCS Lecture Theatre [nearest carpark No. 14, off Fairway or Myers Street]
Molecular & Chemical Sciences Building
Crawley WA 6009
Please RSVP your attendance by email or T 08 6488 1141.
The lecture will conclude at 6:15pm.
MARY O’Brien from The Epicure section, 29th September, highlights in her article, the term ‘free range. Many people think that when they buy free range they believe that the animals have been treated humanely. There is no legal definition of “free-range” and as she says there is a great difference between a small organic farmer’s “free-range” to the “free-range” of a mass egg producer with 120,000 chickens which often have little more space than their caged counterparts. Read more