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Because it touches so many social aspects, he’s found food to be a perfect venue for social change.
“Right now, 800 million people go hungry and at the same time we have 1.2 billion people obese and malnourished from junk food,” he says. “So for the first time in history, the number of obese people on Earth has surpassed the hungry.”
Many of the problems he lays at the feet of the artificial food supply (he jokes that the five main food groups today are coffee, alcohol, nicotine, fat and sugar) and the kind of industrial agriculture that can see one person farm 15,000 acres of land with mechanization and tons of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
In this whole scenario, one of the outstanding ironies is that in North America, we think food is expensive. But according to Herb, not so.
We North Americans pay less than 10 per cent of our disposable income on food. And of that our farmers get less than 10 per cent of the food dollar. In Europe, people pay 20 per cent of their disposable income on food. And in a miserable and shameful reversal of fate, Third World residents pay 50-75 per cent of their disposable income on food.
“The North American ratio is the lowest of any jurisdiction on
Earth and the lowest in human history,” he says. “The argument that organic is
expensive is a non-starter.” It is simply closer to a realistic price for food.
So fresh, delicious, real, and realistically-priced local produce and goodies, anyone? Can’t wait for the Aug. 18-19 weekend. Thankfully, Feast of Fields and the Slow Food Cycle Sunday are joyful, taste-full antitheses of everything that’s imploding our current food system.
In the beginning…
The concept of Feast of Fields sprouted from the minds of two great chefs (some might say geniuses) and friends, Michael Stadtländer and Jamie Kennedy.
native of Germany,
something of a food revolutionary. After
ditching a gilded career along more conventional lines, he and his wife,
Nobuyo, have found his bliss at Eigensinn Farm, located a two-hour drive from
Toronto, where a handful of guests fork over $250 a head for an epic
eight-course dinner in an eccentric setting. You bring your own wine. Most of
the ingredients come from the farm or other Canadian environs.