The flavour of our food shows us our environment .....
My TED X Adelaide talk
Published on 28 Mar 2016
Our food is evolving and flavour is being diluted and redefined. We need to educate our taste buds or we will end up with a homogenous, flavourless future — and we won’t even know it!
Adelaide Talk 2015 UTube link at the bottom
What do you think chicken taste like?
I have a question for you.
What do you think chicken tastes like?
Hold that thought because I am going to ask you to taste something
Close your eyes and imagine a chook run out the back
and a group of heritage breed domestic chickens. You are going to kill one of
these birds today.
You pick up a bird, say goodbye and cut off its head. Blood gushes
and the body convulses. You get the
boiling water and pluck the feathers and burn of the stubble. You gut the bird
and see its graphic internal life. The smells released in the process are warm
and earthy with musty overtones; the smell is something you will never forget!
Later you smother the bird’s dry skin with grass fed butter and
good salt. Place it in a hot oven ‘til it is golden crackling brown and turn
down the temperature. You turn off the heat and rest the bird as long as you cooked
it for, so it draws in all the rich juices to the centre, to the bone.
It is on the table and the family is amazed and hungry. You break
the leg off and it pops out of the socket. The fork goes in and you salivate! Placing
the golden skin in your mouth your palate bursts as it senses the sweetness of caramelised
skin, the salty fat crust and the dense round flavour of the meat.
You chew the meat, it has texture because the bird walked around;
it was not caged! It is not mushy. You can sense the different muscles, the sinews,
and the texture of the meat. The meat has different flavours and textures
depending on what the muscles did.
You know what this bird ate, where it was from and how it died,
you are connected! It is an experience to eat it!
and realise that many of you, if any, will ever taste chicken like
And the thing is… this is what real chicken tastes like!
So it begs the question, what are you eating now? From your
supermarket in the discount white styrofoam, wrapped in plastic with the
generic fresh branded sticker on it?
Lets not call it chicken any more. Lets call it processed food!
Let say it tastes like marketing!
It tastes like a thin shadow of an ideal of what we are sold
I am afraid! It’s tough out there in the domestic consumer market
place if you are looking for flavour. Because…
We are on a flavour precipice!
Right now in South Australia you can still find it, if you look.
There are small producers who care for their stock, feed them well and kill
them humanely.We are lucky here,we have farmers who produce #CleanRealFood!
But what will happen in the next 10 years. Will these products become even more
of a luxury for a dwindling number of consumers who know what to look for? How
will they know to look for flavour they have never tasted?
We need sommeliers
We need a flavour bank to preserve the flavours of our past, the
ones we are loosing. I want to see food sommeliers telling us when the virgins selected
the birds, what side of the hill the birds sleep on, what temperature suits
their personality. I want to see the value!
We need to teach more people cooking skills, cooking in schools,
cooking for adults and in homes and institutions. It is a relevant life skill
that teaches you more than just how to feed yourself.
With generations of people growing up without kitchens and
exposure to cooking, expect on TV what is going to happen?
Think about it, if you do not cook, or you are not cooked for, how
will you experience raw#CleanRealFood.
If you are not cooking you are eating processed food!
We are all empowered to ask questions. We can ask our supermarket
where our chicken comes from, when and where was it killed, what did it eat? We
can ask them to get in different product lines. We have the power as consumers to
effect change. We have the dollar to spend, to vote with.
We can seek out producers who care about flavour and their animals
and we can support them. It may cost more, but it will have more nourishment
for you, your community and your future.
We can read labels and decide if we want what is in the box in us.
We can ask ourselves what will these ingredients do to me?
We can ask for #CleanRealFood
Because if we don't start asking now, I don’t see a great
flavoured future full of texture.
Is up to us! We are responsible!
what our children will think chicken tastes like…