Canberra (or The Berra as my friends and I like to call it) is where I live and in case you missed it, has just been ranked the number 1 best place to live in the OECD regional well-being report. No you cynics, this is not because the report was rating places within the Australian Capital Territory, but because Canberra is actually one of the greatest places to live in the world. I seriously love this place 🙂
One thing that isn’t measured in the OECD regional well-being report, is the how many slow food restaurants are in each city, but perhaps one day it will…..
I heard the term slow food recently and thought it was some new buzz word to describe healthy fast food, and have thus been using it in that context. I have since found out that there is actually a whole slow food movement which has been around since the 1980’s. Slow foods philosophy – “Slow Food envisions a world in which all people can access and enjoy food that is good for them, good for those who grow it and good for the planet.” And since looking into slow food further I was happy to find that there is a local slow food movement in Canberra. I will be spending a lot more time learning all about the slow food movement, but for the purpose of today’s blog I am going to continue talking about slow food in the way I did before I became aware of this globally awesome movement. That is, slow food = healthy fast food.
I’m pretty sure we could all agree that, in general, fast food does not equal wholesome nutritious food, and since deciding to change the way I eat, eating out is proving difficult. Well actually, eating out is still as easy as ever, but finding something I am happy to eat is proving difficult. So I was pretty excited on the weekend to find a cafe where there was no such difficulty. I finally found some time to pop into the Paleo Cafe at the Kingston foreshore which is called Paleo Perfection, and I was very excited to find that they use all organic ingredients and, even though there were sweet treats for sale, there was no refined sugar to be found. Recently I had given up my much-loved cappuccino and was resigned to a boring life of flat whites, however on this fine morning, the chocolate sprinkles were back. The lady who served me told me she makes the chocolate sprinkles herself, a mixture of cacao and coconut sugar. (I am currently happy to eat coconut sugar, however the more I read, the more I have a feeling this might change, but we will tackle my thoughts on sugars another time 🙂 ). Another thing that gave me much pleasure was the realisation that they use organic un-homogenized milk.
Now for those of you who haven’t yet ventured down the path of milk nutrition, I can tell you that the milk we drink today basically falls into the natural-from-the-start-but-now-basically-artificial category of foods, it is highly processed. All milk we buy in the shop is pasteurized. Pasteurisation heats the milk to a high temperature with the intention of killing certain “bad bacteria and enzymes, unfortunately along with the bad bacteria and enzymes we are also killing good bacteria and vitamins. Ultra High Treated (UHT) milk, the stuff you buy in cartons of the shelf, is heated to the point where it is “sterilized”. I think that says it all.
Homogenization is the process of making the fat molecules in the milk smaller and then dispersing them evenly through the milk. The result (amongst other things)- “milk is a hormonal delivery system. When homogenized, milk becomes very powerful and efficient at bypassing normal digestive processes and delivering steroid and protein hormones to the human body (both your hormones and the cow’s natural hormones and the ones they may have been injected with to produce more milk)……. Proteins that would normally be digested in the stomach are not broken down and instead they are absorbed into the bloodstream…… resulting in some unpleasantness to our bodies. You can read more about the milk making processes, and its effects on our health in this interesting article about Pasteurization and Homogenization of dairy products. I also found this article interesting where it shows the cellular structure, through scientific photos, of various types of milk, its called Microphotography of Raw and Processed Milk study.
Currently, you can’t buy unpasteurized milk for drinking Australia, however you can buy “bathing milk” which, as the name suggests you are welcome to bathe in, however I am pretty sure that once you get it home, you can choose to do whatever you like with it 🙂 You can buy un-homogenized milk in Australia, and you can now buy coffee made from it the Canberra Cafe, Paleo Perfection. One thing to note for other novices like me, if you decide to start buying the un-homoginsed milk there will be lumps in it. However, fear not, they are creamy, undispersed fatty lumps of goodness, not stinky, icky lumps of offness. My 15 year old threw out an entire carton of this liquid gold (I am sure the price per litre must be more than gold) when he saw the lumps. Disappointing on so many levels!
There are plenty of people trying to get raw milk sold for consumption in Australia such as the Australian Alliance for Raw Milk, there website has a lot of interesting information about raw milk.
Milk rant over 🙂
Back to Canberra slow food – this weekend I am very much looking forward to the slow food smorgasbord that I am sure to find at this years Living Green Festival. I think the festival is in its 3rd year, but this is the first year I am able to go and I am pretty excited! The festival is all about ethical, environmentally friendly and cruelty free products, services, and food. The two things I am most excited about (no suprise they are both food stalls) are Sushi Superfoods (go check out the pictures on their website, it looks amazing!!) and Addiction Food who are both from Sydney.
I can’t talk about healthy fast food in Canberra without mentioning the Food Coop Cafe in the City, who have been serving up delicious, organic vegan lunches for quite some time. They are also super cheap, only $6 or $5 if you are a member. There are some newer healthy eating establishments places popping up around the place, none of which I have managed to get to yet, there is 80/20 in Braddon, and next door to them has opened Sweet Bones Bakery Cafe. Are there others? I would be very keen to know of other “slow food” restaurants/cafes are there in Canberra. Or any other place where you live so that I might have an excuse to take a holiday?