{Hand up, waving} I am always keen to know what’s hot in the food scene. Do I get out and about on said “food scene”… Umm… not often, or at least not often enough to keep up as it seems to evolve. So, when I read about the root-to-stem movement being a 2017 foodie trend, I nodded along – I knew this is where some of my fave ladies were already shining.

Mandy from LPN

Mandy’s passion for food and bringing her children up with an amazing sense of stewardship and compassion is inspiring. “Our family food philosophy is really about loving and respecting food, all food.” She recently blogged why it’s not OK to shame other people’s food choices to your kids, and how she actually goes about it via some language choices.

We aim to focus on whole and unprocessed foods as much as possible, but at the same time we don’t believe in demonising food or the experiences attached to them.

As the children get older, we are talking more about where food comes from and impacts on the food supply chain (like out-of-season produce flown in from overseas or produce wrapped in plastic), the environment and then of course our own bodies and health.

In order for her family to embrace root-to-stem, she says that she doesn’t peel vegetables like carrots or potatoes. “We also collect our ‘scraps’ for broth/stock or freeze them for soups,casseroles, smoothies or baking. We try to avoid as much food waste as possible.”

Mandy is incredibly passionate about people coming together to eat.  She is acutely aware of the nutritional and skill development importance of family meals. Mandy notes that as the speed of our lives increases, people eat in front of the computer, phone, desk or by themselves. The occasion is being lost along with the opportunity for peer and parental modelling, the culture of our food heritage and other simple rituals that families create over meals. Mandy has written a children’s story book (sneak peek below) and is fine tuning some of the details ready for print.  So exciting!

Ruth from Pea Fritters

Ruth’s family food philosophy is about nourishing our bodies, making us feel good and connecting us with others.

Food is made to be joyful and shared!

Ruth has started to source approximately half of her family’s fruit and vegetables from a local business called Providence Hill (Blue Mountains). “I am so excited to be able to limit my food miles, support other mums in a business PLUS it helps introduce our family to trying new foods and eating in season. We get a weekly box delivered and I am amazed how getting this delivery has seen us eat more veg, use less plastic and feel connected to our local community.”

Ruth has some great tips about using the whole vegetable and eating root-to-stem

  • Chop carrot tops (leaves) up and sprinkle through salads
  • Celery leaves can be used to make stock or celery salt
  • Beetroot leaves are beautiful raw in a salad.
  • Coriander root is amazing in Asian cooking.
  • Make “compost stock!” Keep a bag in the freezer where you put the off cuts from carrots, onions, celery, capsicum etc. When you’re ready throw it in a pot with lots of water and herbs, salt and pepper to simmer away while you get on with your day.
  • Even the roots from spring onions can be used to grow more spring onions!

Ruth is a mum of 2 children with food allergies and intolerances. “My blog, Pea Fritters, started as a way to share our family meals and our allergy story has been told along the way. I post a weekly self care series called Self Care Sundays with different ideas of how to include a bit of self care into our busy mum lives. I also post an allergy/intolerance focused recipe or food post each week, recently it was Vegan Vanilla Iced Latte

Jayne from Harvest Hub

You are what you think, you are what you eat.

Jayne’s family food philosophy is to enjoy fresh foods. “It is cheaper than prepared or fast food.. and it tastes like real food.”

Jayne is very proud to say “Families grow our food for Harvest Hub. It takes a love of growing, persistence, a questioning mind, support from all their family and a willingness to work with the weather and the land rather than against it.” And this is what makes a positive step in our world and we reduce the impact. Working for the love of the agricultural craft whilst nourishing the land. It oozes from everything that Jayne and Anton do in their business of supplying fresh food to families in Sydney.

Jayne says “We believe in using everything from the plant. When you know how much effort is put into growing, especially without pesticides, the effort to keep the land rich and functioning well, the respect for the farmer can only increase. Without ‘my’ farmer I don’t eat. Connected to this is the prevention of food waste. If we as consumers actively reduce food waste through our buying (and preparation) choices, we can make food waste a thing of the past. Harvest Hub is all about all of us getting together with family & friends at the dinner table, eating great food, and telling the stories that make our community so wonderful.”

Jayne suggests using the whole plant via cooking, juicing, composting and reducing waste by using leftovers and freezing to make another meal. As an example, cauliflower & broccoli will be in season, here is a link to Jayne’s selection of recipes to use Cauliflower leaves and stems.

It’s through buying from my produce from Harvest Hub (since June 2013) that I started cooking with broccoli shoots and stems. Their vegetables have made for interesting conversations with children due to their “not quite right” appearance.  Harvest Hub also introduced me to Kohlrabi, Kale, Swedes and Gai Lum.





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