During our meeting in Spain, we explored our four fields, GROWING AND COLLECTING, FOOD PREPARATION, EATING AND SHARING and COMMUNICATION AND EDUCATION.
We shared knowledge, skills and ideas from many different cultural backgrounds along Europe. And we did realize that food was even more important at a personal level, feeling identified by similar attitudes rooted in what we value in food and how we choose what we eat!
The way we understand food and this diversity between individuals, seems to have influence on how we recognize and identify ourselves at a social and community level. So we, as social humans, can be actively participating in the future of food, by being part of evolving social structures, “FoodCultures” based on our food ethics, what we eat!
Aso we went out to explore how “FoodCulture” would be like in the area of Asturias, north Spain. And we looked for the traditional “FoodCulture” shaped by a land of the mountains and sharp terrain, with small scale land production and natural resources near home.
We visited a local miller who still works everyday on a small water mill. He mills locally grown corn, the traditional cereal of this area.
We Identified some relevant characteristics, which could contribute to understand and compare different “Food Cultures” present in our partnership.
Time dimension: it seems characteristic from this “local,traditional FoodCulture”, that growing, collecting, preparing food and sharing it, is fully integrated in a local economic system and in people’s daily life. Seasonality is vital. People is completely synchronized with earth and light patterns. Always combining vegetables with locally produced meat products, to ensure food stocks for the winter.
Ongoing processes can be slow in nature, so you have to be conscious of the whole natural cycle to be able to foresee food and energy needs and production. Thinking months and seasons ahead!
No fast food, no processed food
Energy dimension: Making use of local resources, mainly renewal energy from the sun or the water, but also energy from the combustion of wood or other local materials. The demand of energy is very little to assist slow going, simple food processes.
Health dimension: This way of understanding life and food, does not have big concerns about the nutritional value of the food at molecular levels, or about chemicals used in food production. Its intrinsic quality is to get good food from the earth, it is about facilitating natural processes of growing, about manipulating nature at a human size, not mechanized at a high level. It is focused on handy technology which you can mend, as an external resource for energy input.
Food that you grow with your hands have a huge value and it is perceived as healthy for you. That is what this man also believes and has knowledge about. Living in the land were you can experience soil’s health, working to maintain it.
No food allergies, no concerns about calories, your body tells you what you need! And the landscape tells you what to grow!
Economic dimension: Based around small sized food markets, and sometimes non-economical markets. Supporting local economies and reducing the commercial food chain, and therefore food waste.