Ding dong! The doorbell rings. It’s like a friend-lottery – who will be first? My friend and fellow host, Deb, a tall elegant woman with a warm smile, walks ahead of me down the hall of her Melbourne home. Adele and Nat, two young gorgeous country girls stand smiling at the door. And this is how our Eat Local Feed Global, World Food Day event begins.
Soon the house is buzzing with our friends and their friends, and with wine in hand we settle into the beautiful dining room. On each of the dining chairs sits two little plant pots – one with a Thai Basil seedling, the other with a beetroot seed pushed deep in the soil. With labels like “We’re growing a movement, come GROW with us” and “Eat me! I’m yummy!” people admire their new plants.
We begin our meal with homemade tortillas and delicious eggplant salsa and talk amongst ourselves. As Deb tends to her stunning Moroccan dishes and the conversation subsides a little, I ask Lucy to look under her plate where I’ve placed a photo.
It’s a photo of a chalk board held in my boyfriends hands, it reads: Sustain the planet. For me, the point of this dinner is to bring together an eclectic group of interesting people prepared to talk about our broken food system. It’s easy to holler about the bad news – that one in eight people in the world go to bed hungry each night and that 60% of these are women – but really, I figure people want, and need to, hear about the solutions.
Oxfam Australia’s GROW homepage has these solutions listed as tabs on the right-hand side, and I merely borrowed them, took photos of these written on a chalkboard and guided the conversation with them. So as we discussed how we as individuals, a nation, and as a species can sustain the planet, I felt a warming sense of encouragement. Next I asked Michaela to look under her plate, then Ross, then Nat, then Adele and finally Cooper. Over the course of the meal we touched on food waste, cooking smart, supporting local farmers, consuming less meat and dairy and eating according to the season.
So as we all enjoyed Deb’s wonderful Moroccan food, we also talked about how everyone might get enough food every day.
As our guests headed out into the cold night they parted with two new plants, a canvas Oxfam bag full of information and fair trade chocolate and hopefully a head full of ideas.
And as we cleared up, I thanked Deb for her wonderful food, and silently thanked my guests for their wonderful food for thought.
by Oxfam supporter Tina Thorburn