Many of us here on Kauai are concerned about the issue of food sustainability. It has long been known that plant diversity is key to food sustainability. Limiting the variety of things grown and narrowing the gene pool is like putting all your eggs into one basket. If something goes wrong all is lost. Diversity in the gene pool allows for adaptation to all kinds of changes. And, changes are inevitable. So, supporting diversity is a really good way to help ensure sustainability. Now, what does this have to do with eating chocolate one might ask. Writer Simran Sethi, says, “Eat more. Eat better chocolate. This is the path to saving the planet.”* Her commitment is highlighted in a recent email regarding our Tiny Isle Truffles in which she wrote, “I am wide awake because I ate TWO truffles! They are GORGEOUS.” **
Who is Simran Sethi besides someone who has eaten our Tiny Isle truffles and pronounced them gorgeous and what does eating chocolate have to do with food sustainability and saving the planet? Well, she is a journalist and educator who focuses on food sustainability and social change. She has been named a top 10 eco-hero of the planet by one of the the U.K.’s largest newspapers, The Independent, and she has been designated as one of the top eight women saving the planet by Marie Claire. She has also been the host of the PBS QUEST series on science and sustainability and the environmental correspondent for NBC News. And if that isn’t enough, Simran was also the anchor and writer of the Sundance Channel’s environmental programming The Green. She has been featured on the History Channel and National Public Radio, as well as on media in Australia, India and Italy. ***
Summing this up, I think I can say that she is someone who is not only concerned about this issue of food sustainability but someone who truly, passionately and deeply explores what it means. When she says that the choices we make in our kitchens, and the choices we make at the grocery store can ripple out to our food supply she knows what she is talking about. Simran has just released a book entitled Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love. It is a book about the dramatic changes occurring in food and agriculture over the last century told through the stories of bread, wine, chocolate, coffee and beer.
This is a book about our relationship to plants, food, culture and the environment and how to explore those relationships with love, compassion, and good food. She shows us how changes in agricultural practices have made profound shifts in our relationship to food, plants, animals, and the earth. Changes made in the last 75 years have affected the health of the soil, the availability of minerals, seeds, pollinators, plants, fish, and water compromising every part of the system of life on the planet. And, she also shows us that by enjoying delicious, diverse varieties of food, by saving seeds and eating things that are being lost, like chocolate, we can make the world a better place for all beings. Luckily, Tiny Isle is here to help you do just that!
Eat more chocolate and save the planet. Hey, everyone’s has got to do their part so take one for the team and eat some chocolate today and everyday!
* from a Wall Street Journal article from Nov 25, 2015
** from an email from Simran Sethi sent to previous Tiny Isle owner Katie Ranke
*** from Simran Sethi’s website
also see the article “Why Seed Banks Aren’t the Only Answer to Food Security” from The Guardian Nov 16, 2015
For more information about Simran Sethi and her new book Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love.” just click on the links in the article above .