Welcome to the July Food Observer Monthly | Food
I invariably awakened by the moos, baas and tractor engines of Agriculture today – a show that must be of some kind a gift to the sound engineers of Radio 4. Amid the gloom of what Brexit and Covid have caused on the already hard work of producing and harvesting our food, there is often a story to bring an element of hope to the proceedings. I find something fundamental to start the day with the question “where does our food come from?” “.
For a closer look at how food gets to our plates, there’s now a fascinating new podcast – Farmerama. Despite, or perhaps because of the seriousness of its subject, each episode has become essential in this house, or more exactly this kitchen. It’s too easy to think that the story of what we eat begins in the stores. It never hurts to remember that it doesn’t.
In this issue of OFM, we take a close look at regenerative agriculture. Like many things that we consider “new”, regenerative agriculture is a way of taking care of the land which is in fact as old as time. Tim Lewis speaks with James Rebanks, author of English pastoral, and chef-turned-farmer Dan Cox, who shed light on what is, hopefully, the future of at least some of our food.
One of the chefs working directly with those who produce the ingredients they cook is Skye Gyngell. For the past seven years, the beautiful and thoughtful cuisine of Spring, her restaurant at Somerset House in London, has been grown on Jane Scotter’s biodynamic farm in Wales. We also have recipes from Skye including Cucumber Buttermilk Soup and Spice Rubbed Quail with Fig and Rose Petal Jelly.
We bring you a story from novelist Rahul Raina, who took cooking lessons from his grandmother in India on WhatsApp, in the modern answer to notes in the family cookbook. We also hang out with Mo Gilligan and Chris Packham, and I bring some recipes from my herb garden.