BOOK REVIEW: THE OLDEST FOODS ON EARTH

Category Archives: Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: THE OLDEST FOODS ON EARTH
17th July, 2016

The oldest foods on earth: A history of Australian native foods with recipes by John Newton

“This is a book about Australian food… It is because European Australians have hardly touched these foods for over 200 years that I am writing it” says food writer John Newton about this fascinating book. There are many “super” and also more everyday foods that are native to Australia and yet very few of us know much about them, and they can be hard to access.

 The oldest foods on earth : a history of Australian native foods with recipes

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LOCAL IS LOVELY- BOOK REVIEW BY SUSAN AMBLER
14th April, 2016

 Local is lovely: For the love of fresh seasonal food, nice farmers and their produce by Sophie Hansen.

This is a lovely book, true to its title. It is also very local to us in the Blue Mountains, and some of the farmers and producers mentioned in the book sell their produce at the Food Co-op. I loved the way that the book is set up seasonally. The four sections, Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter are divided into further sections with an item of produce, recipes for savoury and sweet ways to use the produce, and then a story about their local producer.

Local is lovely

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EATING FOR YOU
16th December, 2015

Eating for You: your personal guide to mindful eating and living for health and wellbeing, by Sallyanne Pisk, nutritionist and accredited practising dietitian, is now available at the Co-op. This newly released book explains that we are all different, so no one way of eating suits everyone. Eating for You introduces 10 Principles that integrate Western science and the Eastern wisdom of mindfulness to guide you in personalising your way of eating and living. You are encouraged to know yourself, know your food and know how to introduce and live with change. Eating for You is ideal if you are interested in food, wellbeing and making changes to your way of eating for health reasons. Eating for You comes with a free copy of a workbook to support you in introducing new choices that will benefit you. Sallyanne writes a weekly blog, is on Facebook, and distributes a monthly e-publication, Nourishment, for your mind and body.

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BOOK REVIEW – COMMON THREADS: WEAVING THROUGH COLLABORATIVE ECO-ART
25th October, 2015

 

Common threads : weaving community through collaborative eco-art

 

This book is full of ideas for art and community projects using unwanted natural materials, especially invasive species and green waste. It is written by Canadian artist Sharon Kallis and is based on Canadian plants and seasons, but because a number of invasive species are also familiar to us in Australia, the ideas are relevant to Australian conditions as well.

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ABOUT SPROUT
5th November, 2014

Sprout is a magazine that celebrates local food and local producers. Each quarterly issue is focuses on the current season and features a food table, delicious recipes, a planting guide, food and wine events, food news, book reviews and more.

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BOOK REVIEW: WHERE AM I WEARING?
19th August, 2013

Where am I Wearing: A Global Tour to the Countries, Factories, and People that Make Our Clothes, by Kelsey Timmerman

Journalist and activist Kelsey Timmerman wakes up one day and ponders: where have these clothes come from? Who made them? This sets him on a journey to answer these questions, literally going to the countries and factories where the clothing he is wearing has been made.

The working conditions vary somewhat from country to country, but overall things don’t look so great, to say the least.

What makes the book most interesting is that the author meets with the people who make our clothes and puts a name, a face and a story to them. He tells us what these people sacrifice daily to work in these factories. Timmerman doesn’t simply look at the pay, physical conditions and working hours, he examines the bigger picture of developing countries’ whole way of life and the idea that making cheap items for the west has in many ways become a backbone of survival that comes at great cost both to the people that produce it and to the planet as a whole.

So much is being lost on multiple levels, for the young people who work in the factories who miss out on education, raising their children and being with their families and community.

Tradition and knowledge about the land and local agriculture dwindle as people from rural areas leave to work in the factories based in the city.

Timmerman shows it’s not a simple black and white issue and that the whole industry needs to change. Capitalism and corporations based on self interest and profit rather than fairness have created multibillion dollar brands that in many cases are just that: a brand. The corporation itself is not skilled in making shoes, clothes etc, the corporation is skilled at promoting its product to make large profits for its shareholders.

Timmerman points out almost half of the world’s shoes are made in China. At one point he visits a factory to find out what it’s like for the people that make his Teva sandals. He finds that the people work up to 100 hours a week, have very poor living conditions and in many cases not only are they paid poorly, they are not paid their overtime. They are expected to make the stuff for free!

As consumers we want to know where our food is grown, how it is produced and what’s in it. The same interest should be applied to the clothing and other ‘stuff’ we buy. We have a right to know where our clothing is made, where the materials are sourced to make the product, what the working conditions are like, how the making of that product affects people, animals and the environment, so that we can make an informed choice.

This may sound like a dark topic, but within the book there is hope. Hearing the stories of the people who make clothing for a living is deeply humbling. They are living lives we could hardly imagine yet within this we hear of hope of friendships and dreams they have for the future.

Where am I Wearing, by Kelsey Timmerman, is available from local book stores and also to borrow at Blue Mountains City Library.

AMANDA QUINN


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