In someone else’s tiny microcosm of a universe, they are experiencing something that will change their life forever, perhaps the birth of a first child, or the retirement from a lifelong career. On the other side of the world, a mother is having the birds and the bees talk to a very unimpressed tweenager who actually watches Game of Thrones every Monday night without her knowing. And then there is an old man who is seeing his great grandson for the first time.
With over 7 billion people on this planet, an overwhelming possibilty of experience is happening in parallel all the time. And yet we exist as single entities, pretending that we are mutually exclusive. Like bubbles, we slide past each other with only a hint of attraction, before floating away towards some other all consuming experience.
I have always found it fascinating how on such a small spatial dimension there can be so many individual lives, each so separate from within. It is a scary thought. As the population increases (expected to be 9 billion in 2025), how are we going to live harmoniously on such a small space with such limited resources if we only think of ourselves and those closest to us? If we continue with our current habits of consuming supermarket produce and fast food meals, there is no doubt we will be pressing our own self destruct button.
That’s where the irony starts. To begin a global, necessary change, we must start with the individual. That one, tiny microcosm needs to shift. Then the next bubble, in its fleeting connection, might (hopefully) be shaped as well. And so the chain goes. We must begin with our own consumer habits if we are going to be able to give our (future, for me at least) children and grandchildren the beautiful planet we were born into. Conscious food choices = change the demand = global change from the ground up.
So we are proposing to you to try something out… When you go and buy your groceries, spare a thought about where it came from. Try to choose options that make less of an environmental impact by buying from local markets or smaller vendors. Ask the stall/shop owner where the produce is from. If it has travelled in an aeroplane to get to you, why not use another vegetable or experiment with another product? To be honest, it may be more expensive, but it doesn’t have to be a lot more. We will do a blog post in the coming weeks that will give you tips on how to shop ethically, but cheaply. In the meantime, have a good think about what you are willing to spend money on and ask yourself if it is just as important. We need to make this change together!
Of course, all this has little to do with black rice risotto. And even less to do with mushrooms. Nevertheless, mushrooms pack an almighty nutritious punch. They have been shown to enhance immune function, block inflammatory pathways and exhibit antioxidant properties. These three factors work together to reduce your risk of developing the chronic diseases that create the most disability in the developing world, conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes and dementia. Eat your mushies!
Is your mouth watering yet?
This recipe, created by Georgia, is a twist on the delicious mushroom risotto from Jamie Oliver. I hope it takes you to a happy place like it did me. We love to see your creations, so please share with us on our Facebook page or Instagram by tagging us!
Mushroom and thyme black rice risotto
• small handful dried porcini mushrooms
• 2 tablespoons organic cultured butter
• ½ onion, finely diced
• 1 stick celery, finely diced
• ½ carrot, grated
• 200g black rice (1.5 cups)
• ½ cup white wine
• sea salt & fresh cracked black pepper
• mixed mushrooms (three varieties – anything but button mushrooms), cleaned and sliced
• leaves from half a sprig of thyme
• 1 lemon, juiced
• vegan parmesan cheese
• parsley, for garnish
- Bring stock to a low simmer.
- Put porcini mushrooms in a bowl and pour stock in til they are covered
- Remove porcini mushrooms from the liquid after a few minutes, when they are soft. Chop up finely. Don’t discard the liquid.
- In a large pan on a low heat, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and add onion, celery and carrot. Fry until they are translucent, for around 7 minutes, then turn up the heat to medium and add the rice, stirring.
- Add the wine, continually stirring.
- Add the strained reserved mushroom liquid, the porcini mushrooms and salt and stir.
- Add all the stock, pop a lid on, lower the heat to low-medium and cook for 45 minutes, stirring regularly. You may need to add a little water if the rice doesn’t taste coked or it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan. Keep an eye on it.
- Place assorted mushrooms in a griddle plan and grill until soft. Do this in batches. In a separate bowl, toss the cooked mushrooms with the thyme and lemon juice and stir.
- Once the rice is done, place the mushrooms, another tablespoon of butter, and the vegan Parmesan into the rice and mix. Season to taste.
Vegan parmesan cheese
• ½ cup nutritional yeast
• 1 cup raw unsalted cashews
• 1 teaspoon sea salt
- Place all ingredients in a food processor or blend with a stick blender until a smooth powder is formed.
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge