A Chat with Costa Part II - Connect with Your Food03 Oct 2019
A cafe in Bondi, a knowledgeable, positive gardening guru, a lap top and a few hours, and we emerge with some beautiful snippets of insight and a dream of a better world.
Welcome to Part II of Fair Food Forager’s interview with Costa Georgiadis.
If you loved Part I, Read on to hear Costa’s thoughts on how to make change for the better.
Paul - Many people reading this are particularly passionate about our environment. It's such a big topic and can feel overwhelming sometimes. What piece of advice would you offer someone who wants to make a difference?
Costa – “Firstly, delete the word “overwhelming”. If you think of it as overwhelming then it becomes overwhelming.
To me its all about the day to day action, it’s better to just do things day by day rather than turn everything on its head. Pick things off and observe the action and reaction to your changes. For example if you want to look at the amount of chemicals you are exposed to each day, don’t just throw everything out, search out one thing and change it. Find a non-chemical toothpaste for example. Do some research, decide on the best option and share the info, then move onto hair care, and do the same. After that, seek out non-chemical home made cleaning options. That way you are not just going for a polarity, a massive upheaval. Actually make your way there, and engage.
Similarly with food, go to farmers market and make a connection and learn about your food. For a change to work, to stick, it needs to be built on information and understanding rather than a whim.
Likewise I don’t think you can drive change by being evangelical. Take Kale for example, it’s wonderful but suggesting that people have it for every meal will do more damage than good – not only on a physical level but also how people perceive you. You don’t want to annoy people with over the top evangelism. Instead talk about these things and always seek more understanding and knowledge. Do this and chances are you will meet, and connect with, others who will give you threads that link to the next story. You’ll find someone who tells you they get their powder from these guys or their milk from there. To put it simply, you are not going to find opportunities by standing in the same place.
Also, allow space and time for the flow on effects of your change to embrace you. Don’t change something and be onto the next thing straight away. You don’t want it to be a race or bean counting. It’s not only about how you can change but how deeply.”
Paul - Here at FFF we are particularly passionate about helping people make the right food choices, the ones that don't have a significant negative impact on the planet. How important do you think those food choices are for our global future?
Costa – “Every mouthful we make is driving the food and environmental future that our kids will inherit. I like to share with people that the type of food they buy (or don’t buy) has an impact on the soil, and dictates packaging and delivery choices . If your purchasing habits are perfect bananas, oranges and plastic wrapped veggies, if you allow convenience to dictate your food choices, you are directly contributing to the food challenges that we are facing now and into the future.
Believe it or not, food security begins with an understanding of where your food comes from. If you buy local food, you’re directly contributing to a secure food system that has less impact on the environment and guarantees food availability from season to season. Buying local seasonal produce is the cheapest and easiest way that you can guarantee a fair food future. Handing our food decisions over to large multinational corporations guarantees uncertainty about production methods, ethics, cost and supply.
Then we’ve got a situation where one in every six shopping bags of food gets thrown in the bin. This demonstrates how we, as a society, have lost connection with food. It’s too convenient so we don’t value it. But when we grow our own we can see the sheer beauty of it. The significance of this connection is that while we might lose convenience we start to buy back control.
Taking control of our food is probably the simplest and easiest way that we can relieve the pressure of day to day expenses. It’s as simple as that. As we connect with our food, we can then learn to take the abundance and pickle and preserve and extend the season over more months. We might then find that we can, not only store things, but we can turn that abundance into real profit for the household.
The side serve of all of this is that as you preserve, as you get involved, you drag in your family and friends and get them involved by sharing and caring. Giving a pumpkin to a friend is like saying, “This is who I am!” A story is told through all produce, but when it comes from your garden it is a personal narrative, a gift with its own individual signature.
And that personal garden story, that pumpkin you hand over, may be the turning point for those people who say “I don’t have time to do what you do.” They’ll taste the fruits of your labour and they’ll become curious and one day they’ll get their hands dirty and soon they too will realize the therapeutic feel of the garden and start to experience that connection, the therapy time, and it will become just as important to them as is it is to you. They’ll experience a shift where they begin to see that state of mind is just as important as state of body. This will change their overall lifestyle of “I want more, I want the latest, I need to be seen with this, that and the other” to a lifestyle of appreciation.
Some beautifully simple ways to change the food future of those around you in a deep and positive way. So why not, get your compost cracking, grow some herbs, put in a frog pond, plant a tree, or ten and choose better, bit by bit.
"Many small choices can have an enormous impact".
Pre-purchase tickets to see the Peloton Against Plastic with Costa at the Ritz Randwick
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