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Food for Thought

Updated: Nov 19, 2019


On 8 November 2019, around thirty people enjoyed ‘Food for Thought’. Designed to raise questions, encourage discussion and find some answers – about ways to feed ourselves in a sustainable way – it was a sell-out event.


After an introductory Fair Trader vegan drink, the group headed to Longley’s for a cooking demo by local resident Chrissy Leyland, founder of The Vegan Approach and Huddersfield Vegans. Long-time campaigner for the benefits of a plant-based diet – for animals, people and the environment – Chrissy changes hearts and minds by outlining easy and practical steps to becoming vegan. You can find lots of practical tips on her websites above.


The Spaghetti Bolognese with Lentils, also the Chocolate Fudge Pudding recipes used basic ingredients (many from Fair Trader) and straightforward, quick methods ... and were truly delicious.


The group then made its way back to Fair Trader to sample vegan/non-alcoholic drinks and foods cooked by Fair Trader volunteers, some of whom are vegan regulars, but many of whom had never cooked vegan recipes. From the deliciously moist Christmas Cake (“What, make it without real butter and eggs? You’ve got to be joking!” ) to an array of fantastic savoury and sweet dishes, the food was a definite star of the evening! Dishes featured recipes from The Vegan Approach, also from Ian Theasby and Henry Firth of BOSH! TV, Zaytoun and SUMA, including:

  • Tomato and Pomegranate Salad

  • Savoury Freekeh with Leeks

  • Yorkshire Arancini

  • Sicilian Caponata

  • Gooey Brownies with Fresh Raspberries

  • SUMA Fruit Cake

  • Lemon Drizzle Cake

... and many more. You can find all the recipes here.


Then followed a presentation by Sam Dyer of Cambridge Sustainable Food, which runs multiple projects and campaigns for healthy and sustainable food.


She talked about the Sustainable Food Cities scheme and the Cambridge Community Fridge and showed how food security and nutrition links into multiple sustainability goals. She also touched on the need to focus on seasonal foods, reduce food imports (and associated food miles), support local producers and co-ordinate activities across a region.


Perhaps we can learn from Cambridge and transfer some of these ideas to the Holme Valley?

  • A list and map of our most sustainable eateries and shops?

  • One or more community fridges to reduce fresh food waste and better share unwanted food?

  • A VEG FEST as part of the Holmfirth or Huddersfield Food and Drink Festival?

  • Working towards a new Farmers’ Market?

  • Look to the local and Kirklees Council to contribute towards funding and co-ordination?

The evening concluded with the chance to chat – and also to look at the vegan food, drink, jewellery, accessories, bath and body products on sale at Fair Trader.


Kathryn Sheard, November 2019

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