With all the buzz around eating for health, trendy diets, what to eat and what not to eat, making food can easily become an exercise in anxiety!
However, more and more people are turning to the ethical food movement that has re-emerged, informing themselves about where our food comes from, how it is grown, by whom and where and becoming conscious of how it is prepared. Educating ourselves about food systems invariably leads to conscious cooking and eating.
Here are some of the key ideas around conscious cooking:
As clichéd as this sounds, meal preparation strengthens mindful, conscious consumption. Cleaning your kitchen and creating a space of inspiration and creativity helps to get you into the mood of cooking. Planning the meal well ahead helps us to focus on what to purchase, how long the food shelf life is and what will and won’t be wasted.
Know what you eat
When preparing food for nourishment, being familiar with the nutritional and health benefits of the food is one aspect of conscious cooking. Selecting nutrient-dense foods and quality ingredients, as well as eating according to the seasons creates flavourful meals for nourishment.
Engage your senses
Bringing awareness to cooking can be a happy experience. The feel of a fresh tomato, the burst of smells as you chop your herbs, the sounds in the pot, the colours on your plate and the taste of the finished product is just an emotional pleasure. A sip of wine also helps!
Create conscious connections
A meal shared with family or friends strengthens relationships and our sense of community. If you have a friend that grows their own food, you can never miss their joy and pride when they bring you a bowl of something from their food garden. It’s contagious!
Take time to feel gratitude for the gift of having food to eat, reflecting on the journey of the food on your plate and all the people involved in the food production and thank your body for being able to accept the nourishment.
Preparing food doesn’t need to be a dreaded chore if we can turn our kitchens into healing spaces. With summer’s abundance of fresh produce one is spoilt for choice in the kitchen, so let’s make it a season of food activism and conscious consumption.