October 12, 2014

I Love Food!

On Saturday I was volunteering for OzHarvest at Eveleigh Markets, one of my favourite farmer markets here in Sydney and I had a very interesting discussion with one of the other volunteers. Phil and I were the only two on Saturday for the afternoon shift and although we have worked together before, this was the first time we've really had a opportunity to get to know each other outside of volunteering. This is what I love about volunteering, the joy of meeting new people and hearing about their lives.

I found out that by trade, Phil was a professional baker. He now focuses and works with people on food safety but still continues to bake and cook beautiful real food for family and friends (I'm waiting for my invite!). We had an interesting discussion about the current food fads such as the benefits of coconut (milk, cream, water), chia seeds, going dairy free, following the paleo diet and so on. I mean, how did the world survive without coconut previously? Firstly, my disclaimer, I'm not against these food fads and/or diets, I do respect them for what they are and how it has helped many people who are wanting to live a healthier lifestyle. I, myself, have tried and tested some of these fads. 

We did both agree that, although these food fads are encouraging positive health for many people, we both enjoy real food. The real test question, "are you a margarine or butter person?" Butter, butter, butter! Butter all the way for me and the reason is because I know it's real natural food, not something that is man made. Did you know that margarine is black and that food colouring is used to make it similar to butter! Ewwww!

I had recently read an article in the Sydney Morning Herald titled "Is Camel Milk the New Superfood?" It states that it's already popular in North America, the Middle East and Asia and had been known as a health tonic with the health conscious claiming that it can help "a range of disorders including diabetes, autism, digestive problems and food allergies." If this is the new superfood, I guess we'll be seeing, camel milk ice cream, cheese, labnah, yoghurt etc. Something to keep an eye out for in 2015!

For me, food, like most things in life, should be consumed in moderation. Minimise the amount of processed food consumed but don't give up on the things you enjoy. If you're anything like me, I love ice cream and this is the one thing that I cannot (or I should say, will not) give up but obviously, don't eat so much of it. Well, personally, I would if I could! I believe that fresh organic food is best for you but again, don't kick yourself if you can't get organic. Not everything in my cupboard or fridge is organic. There are weeks where I'm not able to get to the farmers markets and the most convenient shop on the way home for me is an IGA.

I am a supporter of fresh and local which is why I do encourage shopping at your local farmers markets and supporting local businesses. Plus, just try it, when you eat fresh and local, the taste is so much more than something that has been frozen and shipped in from another country.

I'm not a food critic but my social life does revolve around food from popular venues, small hole in the wall places, recent pop-ups and street festivals showcasing local talents. Trying new venues and trying different types and styles of food and drinks is a pleasure I enjoy and I'm lucky that many of my friends also enjoy it as well. Sydney has really grown up when it comes to food and I would have to say it's one of the most amazing cities in the world where you'll get a stunning harbour, lushes beaches and fabulous food and drinks. We sure are on the map for amazing local food and drinks.

Summer is here and I encourage you to get out there and try our amazing cafes, restaurants, pop-ups, farmers markets, local street festivals and many more. I'm always on the look out for something new to try and experience; if there is somewhere you love and think I'll love it too (I probably will), let me know and I'll go try it out. I'd love to hear where what your favourite food or drink is and favourite place to eat. I may join you! 

Happy eating!

Jo x

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