The #slowseven local food challenge from slow food barbados
This September, together with my husband, we’ll be joining #SlowSeven local food challenge. It’s a challenge organised by Slow Food Barbados which aims to encourage us to eat local, shop local, and promote sustainable communities.
As you know, I’m all for eating and shopping local!
The challenge is to eat local as much as possible for a whole week from 6th to 12th September 2021. I think it’s do-able (we anyway do this most days) and I’m excited for this.
My reasons for joining #SlowSeven food challenge
1. I love nothing more than to eat locally and seasonally
Have you ever eaten a freshly picked fruit straight from the tree? Ah, the memory of the flavours still linger on my tastebuds! That’s why I’ll usually choose buying from a local farmer or small fruit vendor over a hypermarket or grocery store*. Farmers usually sell seasonal, small batches, and most is homegrown and pesticide-free. I absolutely love eating local food, especially whatever is in season. Not only because the food is fresher and the flavour more intense, but healthier too. A lot of these small producers care beyond profit, thus promoting healthy and sustainable farming practices.
*full disclosure: we occasionally do buy from supermarkets and grocery stores.
2. discovery through gastronomy and slow local food
I’ve written before about how I love discovering a place through local gastronomy. Even though I’m a nomad, I feel like a local through the connections we’ve made when seeking to eat local. Whether it’s food cooked by a local Bajan grandma or a private villa chef or whipping up a recipe for the first time in our kitchen, it’s been a treat. OK, it’s been more than a treat – it’s been a feast!
3. action speaks louder than words – living my slow values
It’s easy to preach about how we need to care for our planet. In fact, it’s trendy these days to claim we care about sustainability. But how many actually put in the work? I call it work, because it can feel like hard work. Sometimes, to live out your values, it requires going against the grain. It involves letting go of what’s ‘convenient’, and going the extra mile to shop small, and buy local.
I choose to join this #SlowSeven challenge to share openly how I’m living this truth. I join to be part of the rising voices that want positive change. I join to show by my actions – from my shopping to my cooking to my eating – and not merely pretty words.
4. supporting the local economy and community
I believe that what we eat and how we consume our food directly impacts the world around us. Through the choices we make, we hold the power to build or boost an economy.
In our case, we are living in Barbados on the Welcome Stamp programme. We feel privileged and beyond grateful to be here. And I know that choosing where we inject cash is ultimately voting for what we want. I want to see more locals succeed in what they’re already doing. Those who are into regenerative farming and biodiversity. I want to see the fisherman’s family’s dreams come true. I want the fruit vendor lady to be able to upkeep her home. These are the details we take note of when talking to people, when sharing stories, when connecting. All while choosing to buy local.
5. Inspiring and encouraging others to eat and live slow
I don’t just live life for me. I’m aware that I have some people looking up to me, like the big sis I am to them, or mentor or coach. I’m also aware that whoever we are, we have viewers in real life. People are constantly watching and learning, modelling, and being influenced. Often, I ask myself “what would I like people to take away from my lifestyle?” And the simple answer is: I want to inspire and encourage you to live more intentionally. To live in a way that benefits others around you, and not only yourself.
How we are preparing for #SlowSeven
My husband and I have been in Barbados for the past 5 months. Over that time, we’ve sampled the local cuisine. Whether it’s from small restaurants to bigger, popular ones, we’ve eaten until my husband needed to find a gym! 😅 It’s also been a great pleasure to try all kinds of fruits, vegetables, and ways of cooking that we didn’t know before.
These past months, we did our best to cook from locally available produce.
We’ve bought glass containers, we’ve experimented, we’ve failed and tried again. I even had my lip swelling up after eating an eddoe for the first (and last) time! We know well which are our favourites and which ones won’t make it again into our market basket. I like to think we’ve both gotten better at finding trusted suppliers and that we now mastered recipes. They’re mostly our own creations – a hybrid between how locals prepare it to what we ended up with. Nevertheless, we’ve had some delicious home-cooked meals between us and have made a small selection of what we will cook during the #SlowSeven week.
For seven days, everything we will use in our food prep will be local. As much as possible (emphasis on this). Because sadly, I haven’t attempted to make rice out of cassava nor milk from Bajan cherry!
I’d love for you to share in our delight of home-cooking from 6th to 12th September 2021 I will be posting here on my blog each day of the journey. Please think of us in your prayers – the most difficult part being standing over a stove on a scorching hot and humid week!