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My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy

My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy

Š Kimberly Parsons 2010

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy

My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy Imagine...a world where children grew up on farms, exposed to experiences such as feeding lambs, collecting eggs from the hens each morning, picking ripe apples directly from the tree and planting carrot seeds in the vegetable garden. Imagine...a world without supermarkets or convenience stores but the convenience of your tomatoes being just a short walk to your vegetable garden? Sadly, these visions seem to be a thing of the past, images our predecessors’ cherish rather than memories we hope to be able to provide for our children of today. Luckily for me, I was one of those children who were brought up searching for the freshly laid eggs under the hens’ warm belly. At age five I could tell you exactly what was growing in the vegetable garden, I knew when the raspberries were ready to be picked for making jam. I tasted the sweetness of a fresh fig from the tree and looked forward to the autumn bringing the prickly chestnuts to roast over an open fire. This was all common knowledge to me because I was exposed to it. That was the landscape of food I was taught and I grew up being surrounded by. Sadly though, I am in the minority of children in my generation who were brought up like this. We have come too far from those images now. The world is a very different place in the here and now. Food is now killing us! The western diet as we know it today is actually causing us to de-evolve! For the first time we are looking at a picture where our children will die younger due to poor knowledge of food and overconsumption of the wrong choices they are exposed to. We are now looking at a pandemic of obesity. The outlook is grim, very grim. And quite simply a revolution is needed. Obesity, diabetes, some cancers and heart disease are taking the lives of our loved ones due to poor education and the landscape of food we surround ourselves with. I ask you, how did we reach this point? A point where we find ourselves not evolving but actually de-evolving! When in your lifetime were you educated about food, its nutrients and how to cook nutritious meals from real foods? I ask you, where has real food gone? The fruit bowl on the family dinner table? The home-baked breakfast bars? And for that matter, the family dining table, where did that go? Perhaps all of these ‘old fashioned’ values walked out the door as divorce rates increased and more women left the life of a domesticated house wife to pursue more ‘fulfilling’ lives in independent career roles separate to the home. Mis-leading labelling, marketing and the tricks of advertising have taken the truth out of real foods, so it is no wonder we are a population very confused about what the right and wrong choices are. We were not born craving coke, big Macs or skittles! Have we forgotten that we don’t NEED white bread or aspartame filled soft drinks in our diets. Supermarkets have taken the place of local produce growers, busier lifestyles driven by economics have changed our priorities in the home, ready-made meals packed with preservatives and additives have taken the place of freshly cooked nutritious meals due to time and knowledge limitations. Surely the relationship with your local produce man at the market is better than your fake “Have a nice day!” relationship with the check out chick at the supermarket or the “would you like fries with that?” relationship with the MacDonald’s server!

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy What are we teaching our children about food? That it comes out of a pizza box? that you can drive to a microphone where someone will take your order and give you ‘food’ directly into your car where you can consume it while driving!! That Friday night is fish and chips night and on weekends you can ‘fend for yourself!’ by placing a ready meal in the microwave! And what about table manners? What about cutlery and the etiquette of conversation and sharing. Too many times I have seen children sit at the dinner table, turn their nose up at the food placed in front of them and switch on their DS; tuning into a world of video games while the real world is happening all around them but they are oblivious to it and not included in it! How sad is it that parents accept this as normal behaviour. That they would prefer their child to be consumed by video games than share their time together as a family and have genuine interest in each other’s lives and the family unit they are part of. That to me is very, very scary! The old cliché ‘kids are like sponges’ could never be truer – they are easily influenced, they seek knowledge and will follow the lead of adults. It is therefore our responsibilities as adults to provide a positive environment around food. We too easily assume children want what we want, but they don’t!! They want what is best for them and they put faith in their parents to do that for them before they get to an age when they can make their own choices. We, the adult population are responsible for helping children make the link between what goes in their mouths and how it is going to affect their overall health, mood and well-being. For the last two years I have been a traveller of this world. Seeking new cultures and experiences in foreign countries. I left Australia with a qualification in Naturopathy and an understanding of health from a holistic point of view. I am not a doctor, I am not a parent, I am no more important than you reading this article or the person sitting next to you on the tube. But I have a passion for health, nutrition, food and cooking. I have a vision, a wish if you like and that is to help people change their lives – to give them the space and time and knowledge they need to improve their life through food, spirit, and education about health and its link to nutrition and cooking. How I hoped to reach this goal when I left Australia was to gain knowledge of the hospitality industry with a goal insight to open my very own health retreat. That has been my mission and goal. And it still is. I have placed myself in hospitality industry positions to improve my knowledge of all the aspects I will need to implement my final goal. For the last 2 years I have worked as a chef/cook, managed chalets in the French Alps and Villa’s in Tuscany. My passions for naturopathy, food, cooking and nutrition drive me to want to help people make a change. A change that is needed! It is my wish to inspire people to cook again, to fight obesity throughout the world through education of diet, nutrition and lifestyle. We all have a choice about the diet and lifestyles we lead and by helping people recognise that making the right choices can not only prevent illness, but actually reverse them is in my opinion as an integral step in starting to reverse the pandemic of obesity which we must fight. So let’s break it down...FOOD – One of the simplest things in this world. LIFE – The most important thing to all of us. DEATH – The thing we all try to avoid. GOOD HEALTH – A goal we all hope to achieve. So I ask you, why do we make it so hard for ourselves? Why is food so complicated? Once upon a time we listened to Mother Nature and what she had to provide for us naturally. Eating seasonally meant that we ate the right foods for our bodies at the right time of the year. We ate strawberries in the spring to help cleanse our bodies after a long indulgent winter. We ate watery watermelon, sweet grapes and colourful berries in the summer to keep us hydrated and full of energy and we ate hearty squash and carbohydrate rich foods in the winter to provide us with the nutrients to get through the less active, cold months. It all makes sense, yet we choose to ignore it.

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy And what about the question of nutrients? How many people even know what nutrients are? Most people will answer with the common answer of “you’re talking about vitamins and minerals, right?” Well yes, we are but do you actually know what foods contain what vitamins and minerals?! Shouldn’t we make it our responsibility to change the myth that an orange contains a large amount of Vitamin C! Shouldn’t we be educating people that a simple strawberry, kiwi fruit or pepper contains more vitamin C than an orange on your supermarket shelf ever will! How many of us know the health benefits of the mineral, Zinc? Or what nutrients are important for us at different stages of our lives? Most of us will educate ourselves IF we get sick, or WHEN we become pregnant but what about prevention and the power we have to improve the quality of our mental states and health in day to day life? It is my opinion, we have forgotten the art of cooking – how it can bind people – how the simple act of sitting around a table and the conviviality of that binds us all together, makes us laugh, forms bonds and makes us happy and HEALTHY!! Quite simply, It’s about food, it’s about produce, it’s about the seasons, and it’s about sharing food and the knowledge of nutrients and how they can affect our health. We cannot deny that plants promote health – eating more plant foods and less of the other choices we have increases our life spans and increases our quality of life. Conditions such as diabetes type 2 (NIDDIM), heart disease and hypertension, the very illnesses that are killing us are not only preventable but reversible through diet and lifestyle. And we have to start fighting them. We have to admit that drugs are not the answer and acknowledge that an easier and much cheaper way of combating these diseases is right at our finger tips. And although another subject, another fight and struggle all of its own accord, let’s not forget about Global warming, carbon emissions and how the obesity crisis is intrinsically linked with how we are killing our planet. Of course if we all had vegetables gardens and never had to get in a car to go to buy our food, then we wouldn’t have such a big problem. If we didn’t demand food from all over the world be stocked on our supermarket shelves then carbon emissions would undoubtedly be less. If we kept to the old logic of being ‘locavores.’ Of eating produce from our local area, from local growers, butchers and foods in season then no one could argue that we would be helping the planet. As I have said, I was one of the lucky ones who grew up playing in the lanes of my Nonno’s vegetable garden sneakily pricing the sweetest sweet peas straight from the vines. My Sicilian heritage allowed me to grow up watching how tomatoes grew from flowers into little green round buds, into deliciously vibrant red fresh tomatoes ready to be picked. I watched as my Nonno picked them straight from his crop, delivering them into my Nonna’s kitchen where she would make them into the most delicious tomato sauces to go with our pasta. One of my most treasured possessions is my Nonna’s little black book of recipes. Written in incomprehensible Sicilian dialect, but none the less invaluable to me as a source of wisdom and inspiration. My inspiration and wisdom is also drawn from my very own Mother who drove to the local fresh produce market, with her children in tow, searching the stalls looking for the ripest, sweetest, most delicious produce for our meals which she provided for us. My siblings and I thought supermarkets were strange places. We knew that a melon on the stands in the supermarket didn’t have anywhere near the colour, taste or smell of those on the local stands at the market from the friendly local farmer ‘Mario’, who grew his melons with love from his plot down the road. As I have said, I am one of the lucky ones. I am not obese, I am free of illness and have the knowledge to make informed choices about my diet and lifestyle. But as I have also stated, I am in the minority and that needs to change. In order to combat obesity we need to start educating people. We need to start to change the way we eat and cook our foods. We need to start educating children about real foods, nutrients, health and teach them the wholesome value of being able to cook with real foods. We need to start thinking about alcohol consumption in our daily lives and now our sedentary lives and daily food choices are causing illness and obesity.

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Wish, Mission Statement, Food Philosophy So where do I want to start...? As I decide to hang up my worn out travellers shoes, I find myself in a unique position. With two years cooking/chef experience and my Naturopathy degree behind me I am at the centre of being able to implement my knowledge to start to help people make the right choices about food. All of my passions; holistic health, nutrition, cooking and food put me at the front line of being able to educate and cook nutritious meals for individuals with such diseases as type 2 diabetes or hypertension. Having run my own Naturopathic business and had patients describe their daily eating habits I have seen how poor food choices can manifest illness in individuals. And what’s better I now have the cooking abilities to actually provide the right food choices to these individuals as a way of combating their illnesses. All in all I understand how food is killing us and what’s better; I can help to make a change. My plan is to use the power of words, speech and education to implement a change and reverse the ill effects of the landscape of food surrounding us. To allow food not to kill us but to nourish us!

My Travelling Kitchen

Kimberly Parsons


My Food Philosophy