🎙️✨ EPISODE 3:

Reconnecting with our Food

Episode three reflects on how disconnected from food production we have become and ways people in the city are trying to overcome

it, either through wild foraging, soil testing and community, and by revaluing what goes in to producing "good" food for the masses. 

Links & Resources

  1. "Studies have shown that healthier food choices almost always equate to a healthier planet"
  2. “Food Literacy” is a term defined as “the ability to make informed choices about food that support one’s health, community, and the environment"

  3. Human Development Index (HDI)

  4. "52 % (6.1 million tons) of food waste generated in private households

  5. Das Symposium 2021 - FERMENTS - Rich Shih (ourcookquest) und Markus Shimizu (mimiferments) hosted by Carla on behalf of Die Gemeinschaft

  6. Koji Alchemy: Rediscovering the Magic of Mold-Based Fermentation

  7. Mimi Ferments in Moabit

  8. The largest German-speaking platform for the discovery and use of edible landscapes: Mundraub

  9. A Guide to Nature’s Remedies from Atmos

  10. Schrebergartens: "the Berlin association has 500,000 so-called environmentally-conscious members"

  11. Feld Food Forest Open Soil Atlas

  12. There are 431,000 street trees in Berlin - and there's a theme

  13. Rewilding our cities: beauty, biodiversity and the biophilic cities movement

  14. Die Gemeinschaft's Das Symposium 2021

  15. DIY Probiotics & Natural Fermentation: https://ediblealchemy.co/

  16. Fight Food Waste with Roots Radical: https://rootsradicals.berlin/ 

  17. Supporting local agriculture with Benno: https://benoo.co/

    Transcript

    Samie: Hey. I’m Samie and welcome to Food in my Kiez


    Samie: Do you feel connected to your food in any way? 


    Its kind of a strange question I guess.. So I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you had never thought of that at all. I mean.. Connected to your food? What do I actually mean by that…. 


    Globalization and the commodification of food has not only resulted in food, agriculture and land use becoming the second largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions, it has also encouraged generations of consumers - especially those of us living in major cities - to develop a deep disconnect to where our food comes from, how it is produced and therefore its value. 


    In this episode, we’re exploring ways to reconnect with our food, with nature more generally and with one another. And we’re doing it from Kollwitzkiez in Prenzlauerberg


    Kollwitzkiez is an…. interesting choice for this topic. It's a neighborhood that has been heavily gentrified throughout the last few decades - and today it’s known for streets lined with chic cafes, new age restaurants, and as the joke goes - young hipster families and their baby strollers. Most of the time, when I come to this side of town, I’m here to do some sort of Foodie thing - whether its the food trucks at Kulturbrauerei or to indulge in the delicious creations at the new Cafe Frieda. But as much as Kollwitzkiez may be a haven for food lovers seeking out something delicious – it doesn’t necessarily mean that people there are thinking so much about their food…. And so the question remains: how connected are we, generally, with the food we can find around us?  


    Voices from the Street:

    “I eat what I want. I dont think a lot about food, I just eat…”

    “I never thought about that, because I'm already connected with my food, yes…… for me its so natural, that I dont know how to explain it. Im connected to my food, yes”

    “I mean, I'm quite careful with what I eat. I am just trying to get the nutrition that my body needs. I'm also working out a lot so it's sort of a must to keep the body healthy.”


    Samie: Studies have shown that healthier food choices almost always equate to a healthier planet. So, how well are we able to decipher how nutritious certain foods are, and where or how so-called “nutritious” food is produced? 


    At the root of that, to me, is a somewhat basic understanding of how food grows in general - so I wondered, how many people could tell me that, about their favorite fruit or vegetable? 


    Voices from the Street:

    “My favorite vegetables and how it grows. Oh wow, thats also a hard question. I’d say sweet potato if that’s a vegetable and I have no idea how it grows”   

    "I would say Cauliflower to be honest and it grows in the field, right? and I do know how it tastes as well, without being deep fried or something…. And raw cauliflower is delicious by the way as well”

    “My favorite is definitely watermelon fruit and I used to think it grows on tree, but I don't think so. But I don't know how it grows. And the vegetable is eggplant, but I have no idea how its grown”

    “tomatoes. No, potatoes…… so potatoes grow like basically a root vegetable and you have dig in order to get it out of the soil”


    Samie: it might seem like a silly question, but for those of us in cities or suburbs that haven’t spent much time on farms, or who haven’t taken it upon themselves to look it up on youtube like I have - more times than I’d like to admit - we don’t necessarily have that knowledge.


    But knowing how our food grows, what goes into producing it, its nutritional content and how to prepare and enjoy it is all part of what is known as “Food Literacy” a term defined as “the ability to make informed choices about food that support one’s health, community, and the environment.” But regardless of how food literate one may be, our willingness and ability to make choices in alignment to it tends to change depending on our mood, our time capacity and of course our socioeconomic status. And we’ve also been conditioned in this disconnection too…. Something I discussed recently with my friend Carla…


    Carla:  My name is Carla. I'm from Berlin and also from France and I'm a social scientist by training and also work at Die Gemeinschaft, which is a network of food professionals uniting all the different people along the food chain. And I'm also doing some political work at slow food youth..... And a passionate fermentor.


    Samie:  Carla and were introduced through a mutual friend last year and shes helped me connect with so many other young food activists in and around the city. When we met up she shared a bit about her studies and some reflections on an important aspect of our economic culture that dictates the way our food systems function today 


    Carla: So, um, yeah, I had this politics class last year in my studies and we talked about development, which is already a controversial, controversial issue... but what we have, uh, for like, as a standard for, for global development is what they call the human development index. Um, and it's an indicator or an index of how much a country has developed. And, um, next to indicators like education levels and health and everything, you also have the indicator of how many people work in agriculture. And the smaller this number is the more society has advanced and developed. And yeah, it's just the opposite of what I believe in and the opposite of what we need but the global paradigm or the goal kind of is to have less and less people. So I think that's just so telling, and so, yes, so wrong. Such a wrong approach to food and farming.


    And then I was like, wondering why? Do we aim for having less and less people working in agriculture? Why is it so, or why is the global community aiming for that? And I think besides the fact that other economic sectors may be more profitable or maybe more potential for growth, I think there's also a cultural background that lies in the devalorization of everything that is attached to material necessities, to working with soil, working with land, working with the bare needs of people. This has been undervalued across history. I think we have to be aware that we have a long, long tradition in Western societies of undervaluing the people who perform care or the people who work for our basic needs, and food being maybe the most basic need is very, very impacted by that.


    For me, reconnecting with food has always been about meeting the people who work super hard on a daily basis to make something out of natural resources and their intelligence and their craft. I've always been really, really impressed by yeah, just the sheer amount of work that goes into a loaf of bread or a beer or anything. And obviously once you understand a bit more, all of the processes behind it, you start valuing it more, obviously, but that's also speaking from a very privileged perspective because I've had the opportunity to meet a lot of producers and to go visit other farms and everything. But obviously a huge part of the population doesn't have the means to do that.


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: While I was working on this episode, I spent a couple afternoons at the markets around Kollwitzplatz, the saturday one and the Bio one on Thursdays, and I met lots of really interesting people. Like a woman named Bigul from Turkey. She has a stand selling delicacies from small farmers in the central agricultural region of her home country - where she used to have a small food shop. When I walked by she was making a spread from the many different products she had out on display - a mix of tomato paste, olive oil, tahin, dried herbs, chopped pistachios and 100% pomegranate syrup, which she insisted was the best one could find in all of Germany. 


    She kept giving me and the woman at the stand to her right yummy little bites to taste, but when I asked if she was selling the spread she said no, because she prefers to inspire people to make it themselves. She offers all the individual things one might want to mix together, but for her its important that her customers get to know and taste the individual products and see for themselves what goes well together. And I love that. 


    I also met a lady who was selling really beautiful coats, and we randomly started talking about homemade pesto. She told me how important making her own food is to her, and also about how much easier she feels it is to do that in a place like Berlin compared to other places she's lived before… 


    Woman at the Market: What makes the quality of life different is the place, thats why I like to stay in Berlin because Berlin gives you the possibility of buying things everywhere. And in fact in Italy, or France where I lived two years, they put you in the condition that you need a car because you cant do shop without a car. Then you have to go somewhere, then do big shops, and then buy more food than you need and more plastic and everything. And here its the opposite. You don't feel like you're extra spending for something small. And then you just go home and cook and then you have time to do something good. To make your own pesto, to make your own bread, or idk, crepe. But just make them, from scratch, not just buying something that is already done and then you have the plastic to throw away. Here, that makes, that improves the quality of life.


    Its easy to make your own cakes for example, your own cookies, your own pasta. Maybe because I am from Italy. We make Foccacia like every second day. Because focaccia is only flour, yeast and olive oil so it's really easy to make, and its so better than what you can buy. Even if you can buy here really good quality, but just making it...….its healthier, its easily healthier.


    Actually my pesto. Because here it's very cold, so I had to decide what kind of plants to put on my balcony, or my window, I don't even have a balcony, and instead of putting flowers that will die I put pesto, so it makes nice. And when I need, I just put it in the blender with some olive oil, nuts….


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: During the pandemic, so  many people got inspired to make things from scratch and many people, with increased time for experimentation on their hands, also began to reacquaint themselves with traditional food processing techniques…like .fermentation or pickling. Traditional food processing has two functions: to make food more digestible and to preserve it for use during times of the year - or in crisis - when fresh food isn’t readily available. Farmers and artisans—bread makers, cheese makers, distillers, millers and so forth have traditionally processed raw ingredients into delicious foods that retain their nutritional content over many months or even years. Unfortunately, in modern times, we have substituted traditional artisanal processing with factory and industrial processing, which often diminishes the quality of our food, rather than making it more nutritious and digestible.


    So while I was at the market, I also talked to people about preserving food - how much they knew about and whether they practiced it themselves. Some people focused on how they store their food at home or in the fridge - others focused on literally how they make food last longer. And while of course I met a few people who said they didn’t have the patience for things like fermentation, I met others who have found a lot of joy in reacquainting and keeping up such traditions, too… 


    Voices from the Street:

    “Fermentation is a form of preservation. So like all the cheese that we have in France is a way to preserve milk-based products”

    “I like fermented food a lot actually. And uh, I think you can preserve food naturally too, you don't have to use chemicals or anything like that. So I'm a big fan of natural ways to preserve food…”

    "I just bought some vegetables to turn into a Kimchi, and then I am going to use this as a flavor for a lot of food. So this is a good way to preserve a lot of your vegetables if you don't have room in the fridge…”

    “Fermentation, experimentation, pickling….. basically he pickles everything, which is amazing because I have to taste it”

     “I’m coming from an Eastern european country where the preservation of the food is still actual. How is it called? The little corner of the house where you keep all the jars… …. Its where we keep all the pickles and we have the - we call it zarkuska  - this is very good. We grill the eggplant and the red peppers, you can also grill mushrooms and boil them and you have them for winter. We use them alot to conserve food, esp in winter”


    Samie: I, personally, am so inspired by all the different ways there are to reuse, preserve and experiment with our food - either for taste or longevity - and with 52 % (6.1 million tons) of food waste generated in private households, learning more ways to better use and preserve our food is a big part of building more resilient and sustainable food systems


    Towards the end of last year I joined a workshop on fermentation hosted, actually, by Carla, who you heard from earlier. The first session was an interactive lecture from two experts in the field: Rich Shih, one of the authors of a book called "Koji Alchemy"  and Markus Shimizu, who is the founder of Mimi Ferments up in Moabit.  I asked Rich and Markus what they wished people knew about fermenting and the benefits of it, and they both had some thoughts to share: 


    Markus: the good thing is that like, uh, like fermentation is a little similar to maybe also gardening or agriculture, but it's something that you can do in your living room or in your house, in your apartment. And, uh, what I like people to, to maybe get aware of is that it's actually really easy and you just have to start doing.

    Rich: Yeah well I would say that you should start with sauerkraut or kimchi because that pretty much covers your…. major vegetables that you could save. I mean, there's also like if you get an excess of fruits, there's always just vinegar, right? Because ultimately all wine is, is just smashed up grapes that's left to ferment on its own. Right. That's what natural wine is. So, if you have fruit, all you need to do is potentially add some water or like, you know, have a kombucha mother, or, you know, you just buy a live mother vinegar, um, that has microbes in it. And all you have to do is just have some, a vehicle of sugar and liquid, and then you just basically sit and wait. Ultimately you'll, you'll understand these techniques that have been around for forever. Like since we've been, you know, preserving food on our own, that, that ultimately allow you to preserve food and not necessarily has to be fermented


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: If you’ve lived long enough in Berlin it's likely that you’ve been foraging for mushrooms at least once or twice, but what other edible plants are you aware of in your local environment? 


    Nowadays there are open source apps like Mundraub that help you find fruit trees and edible plants in your neighborhood. But theres also herbalists, like my friend Tash, who has been a big part of my personal inspiration to learn more about the beauty growing wildly around me…


    Tash - Avant Garden Life: I'm Tash from Avant Garden, um, which is a project revolving purely around plants. Everything to do with plants, well, medicinal plants is my, is my main point. But I also teach people how to care for their health and how to care for the environment through caring for their own health. Um, so this, this idea of that, if we heal our inner selves, then we will heal the outer self and yeah, I do projects ranging all the way from art projects to meditation workshops, to foraging and herbal workshops.


    Samie: I worked with Tash for an event I hosted last year and on her 1km bike ride to the venue she collected a table full of edible and medicinal plants to showcase. It was amazing!  And then I took a foraging workshop with her where I learned to identify so many plants, including the benefits of stinging nettle and rose hip, which were growing abundantly all over the city at the time. Shortly after that afternoon with her in the forest I was walking down the canal in Kreuzberg and I started to notice all these plants that I had learned about with Tash. It was so cool to see Berlin’s nature in a new way like that, and I felt so empowered….   


    Tash - Avant Garden Life: That's my main aim. And it is often this excitement, which makes me then so excited. If, when I have taken someone on a foraging and then I see them again, or people sometimes write to me and they'll go - say the same thing as what you've just said, they go, oh, and then I went to Tempelhofer Feld and all of a sudden I saw the field in a completely different eyes. You know, all of a sudden I saw how much edible stuff there is, and also how much medicinal stuff there is to heal myself through certain things. It's very important. I think that we start to learn, to take control in general about our own health, to learn like little things we can do. And you can do a lot of this througeathing wilds, and using even just local herbs that we have growing in the forest.


    For example, in spring, we get all the spring herbs, like the …… dandelions, nettles, cleavers, just to name a few, which are you. Which are used to help our body, which has stagnated through winter. So when we hit, when we go through winter, we eat a lot more heavy foods. It's colder. We get a much more layer of fat on us, our whole system slows down and, and that's to, to keep us like also warm and just to keep us through winter, we need it to slow down, but when we come into spring, we actually need that to start moving again. And these herbs will grow at this time help with that, you know, like cleavers are great for our lymph system. So they get that moving. Then you've got the nettles which help with the blood and the cleansing of it. And also. Excruciating certain toxins out of the body. And then you've got the nettles where the dandelions, which work on the liver and give us nutrients. And all of them are very high in nutrients, these spring herbs. And that's just an example of how they grow in abundance, abundance in certain times of the year. And also what I find that in particular times of the year, each year it can change that a herb could grow or a plant could grow that we need a lot that particular year. So, for example, this year in Berlin, the lime flowers, the Lindon was like astounding. I've never seen them grow like that. And I was even someone else mentioned to me that they'd never seen them so much, and Linden is very good for anxiety and stress and kind of this, this insomnia, but sleeping, but very, quite high anxiousness. And this is the state that we're in at the moment, you know, we've come to this point. We've had all this lockdown, all this pressure and everything, and our bodies are at a quite high level of yeah, like a constant, almost fight and flight mode of just kind of come to that.

    So it's, it's always interesting to watch the plants in that way that they're really, they know what we need. I mean, in saying that all these plants are used for lots of other different things, but, um, but it's interesting to watch them. And I think the more you get into foraging and wild crafting, the more you realize you'll see that nature will supply you for what you actually need in that season or in that period.


    Samie: How cool is it that? Nature is just out there, doing her thing, providing health benefits to us on a daily basis - if only we could learn to listen…I asked Tash how she thought societies would change if we actually incorporated the idea of wild foraging in our lifestyles more often - what benefits would we see, if any? 


    Tash - Avant Garden Life: God. That's like my dream, um, completely different. They would be more communal, they would be more connected with themselves. We would have a lot less major illnesses, especially things like auto-immune diseases and these more heavy illnesses, which really stress our medical system and the things like diabetes, heart problems or heart issues. Yeah. Not saying that we wouldn't have them, not at all, but we would reduce it quite a lot because people would first off be eating regional and they would be eating food as medicine.


    And I think it's a first of, it's a healthier way to live for us and the environment and our community, to just live from what we can get more in our immediate environment, you know, go and you can work with farmers here and you can get produce given to you, or you can get the vegetable boxes and go work on the farms, or, I mean, the list just goes on and on and on. You can go and do courses with foragers to learn more about your plant life. Um, fermentation. I mean, the world's the limit and you just need to, you need to choose where you want to put your time. And I think putting it into your food system is more important than what people seem to understand.


    Samie: And Berlin is a great place to do it. There's such a great culture and history of urban gardening and greenery in this city, dating back to the establishment of the Schrebergartens - or allotments. At first, these small gardens were designed to enable poor and working-class people to grow their own food (rather than receive government assistance) and to allow more contact with nature for children. During WWI and similar economic crises, the gardens became critical to supporting the food security of urban populations. 


    Today, at least half of the allotment communities have a waiting list that is sometimes years long and the little garden spaces and houses are mostly used for recreation - a break from the city, within the city so to say. But many of the garden communities still mandate that residents use a certain percentage of their plot’s land to grow food – and the Berlin association has 500,000 so-called environmentally-conscious members with 97% them using only rainwater for irrigation, 96% them producing their own compost, 61% refraining from the use of artificial fertilizers and 82% avoiding chemical pest control techniques.  And side note on urban foraging: many allotment gardeners that do grow food are often happy to share their surpluses, so don’t be afraid to ask!   


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: I’ve always dreamt of urban food forests abundant to the public - of greenery everywhere growing not only pretty flowers and plants, but edible ones too! but Tash has found that lots of people are afraid to forage in the city because they are concerned about soil pollution...  Good thing there's a group of people in Berlin working on both those things… and I was lucky enough to meet one of them at their end of summer celebration last year:  


    Sara - Feld Food Forest: Hi. I am Sara Bernardo. I have a background as an architect - a sustainable urban designer. Since 2 years I have been involved with a project which I co-founded, which is called Feld Food Forest and we are a citizen initiative brought together from the common goal of planting a food forest in Tempelhofer Feld. 


    We wanted to start from understanding how much it is polluted. What can we do before planning edible plants to regenerate this soil, first of all, and capture Co2 in it, and create a community around it that would grow around the idea of producing healthy food. And working together with the plants, the soil and regenerative agriculture. And our main goal is to create a healthy community. And the connection between health of the soil, food and healthy society………………. that nature is THE great healer”


    Samie: Sara told me that the Food Feld Forest team got in touch with local authorities, politicians, professors, and experts involved in other permaculture initiatives to discuss plans on how to best integrate and help protective species evolve in Tempelhofer Feld, as well as how to introduce predators and other species that will do well in climate change. But despite their efforts, it’s been a struggle to actually get the project going. So, in the meantime, the team launched an incredibly successful open-source campaign to teach residents of Berlin how to test soil using common things many of us have around the house


    Sara - Feld Food Forest: Still after 2 years we don't have a place in Tfeld to plant our Food Forest but what happened is that we are planting a forest of people and we are making social permaculture to create this community. We need to train as many people as possible to know, that to have a healthy society you need to have healthy nature, and to have healthy nature you need to start from where you put your feet everyday instead of just stomping on the floor, taking care of the earth. Because in the end, what we see on the surface of every plant is like the tip of the iceberg. The real stuff is happening underground.


    Samie: Berlin is a relatively green city - not only because of the many public green spaces and parks, but because of the many trees that line the city streets - 431,000 of them to be exact. And while its common to find little community managed street gardens as you stroll around different neighborhoods, Sara told me that too often, the city fails to enable regenerative processes that would benefit the soil around these trees


    Sara - Feld Food Forest: So usually what you see there, above the ground, is just a percentage. These poor trees that are used only for shade. When they have the leaves falling in autumn, those leaves are taken away and are not regenerating the soil in the 2m around. So with this awareness, people are regenerating this space. Mulching it, putting some compost, some flowers, to not isolate the tree in a cage, but with a family around. Giving back social life to these trees so they aren’t just cage cage cage but connected with other beings


    Samie: Sara and I shared our excitement of soon seeing berries and other edible plants growing in abundance around all the little tree patches on the streets of Berlin. Besides how cool that would be in general, there’s also numerous studies connecting mental, physical as well as social benefits to the greening of cities - whether it be through more equitable access to public parks or literal vegetation on the sides of buildings. Bringing nature back to our cities is a win on all sides… 


    Sara - Feld Food Forest: I've learn that there is pure joy in the face of the people when they realize that they can have contact with soil in a loving, curious, regenerative way. So many smiles. So many ohh wow moments. Talking about simple experiments you can do with kitchen utensils, nothing has to cost anything. No waste, zero waste. It was like putting a pair glasses to somebody that does not see. Suddenly there was this enthusiasm for this little Baumshchaume, or this area behind my house. I can actually do something to fix that. And even if you don't plant tomatoes you are going to feed some worms, and maybe some bees, and then yeah maybe someday your tomatoes too. But this inclusive feeling people have - its not necessarily about MY food security, but about the air I breathe. We are trying to reconnect people with the senses. And this is what we are trying to do - make small little places experimenting all around the city that can inspire. 


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: one last person I wanted to talk with about reconnecting to food was a new friend and amazing chef named Ann Sophie. We talked about many things, one being her thoughts on Berlin’s changing food scene…. This, she said, can be attributed to the growing influence of new people and cultures in the city - this whole new and flourishing community of restaurants and bars trying to introduce Berliners to truly good and flavorful food. So naturally, I also asked her what her definition of “good food” is…


    Ann Sophie:  it's a good question because people will also often ask, if I hold something in my hand, like any food item, how do I know it's good? And my answer would always be you don't, unless you know, who made it, you need to - there's people behind their food and we need to know them. There's always a lot of talk about quality. Like also, if you just read Google reviews, people always be like, the quality of produce was really, really good. And you're like, you don't know that. I know so many chefs. I know so many people working in food. I would say I know less than five people for sure. Out of the hundreds that I  know that could actually see. What good quality and food is because it's so hard to tell. And so, in my opinion, good food is made by people who care - by people who know what they're doing. 


    Samie: I met Ann Sophie at another one of the many food and agriculture excursions I joined last year in order to better understand the local food system and get to know the people involved in it. She hosted a session of Die Gemeinschaft’s Soil Symposium in which she taught us the beauty of valuing the inherent goodness of well-grown produce. So when she says “good food is made by people who know what they are doing” she means by farmers who know how to take care of their land and chefs who cook in a way that highlights the taste that comes from food grown in healthy, biodiverse soil. 


    Ann Sophie:  I would say a carrot is a good example. That is something where you often can tell if it's grown in a sensible way, because they will often like 99% of the time they will taste like shit. And then you will try one. And you're like, oh, this is really, really good.


    Ann Sophie: I also shared my ideas of growing more things locally - wondering if it was something being talked about in gastro circles in relation to the changing climate. For example: Is it possible to switch out certain ingredients commonly consumed in Berlin for something that can be grown more locally in Brandenburg? Something that is more resilient to the new climate and agriculture that we will be facing in coming years? 


    Ann Sophie: In my experience at Kin Dee, it was really, really lovely for me to see that there are so many things that I can find here., locally grown, that will spark memory in someone who's used to Thai food and Thai produce. And  half of them are like, oh, this actually tastes like papaya and we can make this and this dish with it, and we're using a locally grown pumpkin from Greil Glicksman that has a beautiful aroma that otherwise you would maybe not know what to do with, but it sparks joy and memory and tastes like something that someone who's from so far away.


    I do think that often, if we just look at something under the lens of this could replace this and this, we. Kind of don't value it for it being like maybe having its own place and maybe just being something new and exciting to experience that is also local.  For me, it's more about, um, have people rediscover what things actually tastes like, you know, like I think we talked about cream cheese and I compare it like Philadelphia cream cheese with cream cheese from David, from Erdhof, um, which is wildly different in flavor. But one of them is like a local product that tastes in a way that kind of makes sense. And the other thing is like, just like some high-scale production and doesn't really have to do much with a dairy product anymore. And so. For me, it's not so much about, uh, like replacing things with local things, but just discovering more of the flavors that we have here and have that inspire your cooking” 


    Samie: yeah, it comes back to experimentation… and just generally having the time and space to learn more about and therefore connect better to the food we have around us.

    Ann Sophie: I think one of the main issues is that there aren't any spaces for education, neither for people in the Industry or for consumers. And so I think that is a big, big thing where we can get into, is like where service staff comes into the role. Right? Like a lot, I would say that yeah, a lot of times restaurants who do anything like this, really have to train their staff well, to like really tell these stories. And there's also something that I really liked because I think it's one thing to lInform people where the products and produce you use are from, and then also to tell them something to spark this interest that they will need to then ask questions later on.


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: So, in the end I think a big part of reversing this trend of disconnection in our food system will be our collective ability to revalue what it means to produce and thus consume good food.  Much of this starts with knowledge that one may not already have… and I’ll be the first to admit that its not always easy to know where to start. Many of us have not grown up thinking about our food in such detail, and across the board - both in the States and in Germany - our educational systems have consistently failed to include food literacy as an integral part of our socialization. 


    It will also require taking the time out of our busy schedules to reconnect to food in whatever way makes the most sense to us personally: whether that’s volunteering at a local farm, growing our own food to the degree that we can, learning about plants and going foraging, experimenting with fermentation, or simply cooking something delicious and sharing it with friends. 


    Thankfully, in Berlin we have ample opportunity for such things if we wish... beyond those I mentioned in this episode, there are also groups like Edible Alchemy, Benoo, Restlos Glucklich and Roots Radical that are all doing incredible things to increase food education in our society. 


    But ultimately - good food comes from healthy soil, so supporting our local land stewards will be imperative to ushering in a more resilient and sustainable food systems. More on this, next episode


    [Transition Music]


    Samie: Hey ya’ll, thanks for listening to this episode of Food in my Kiez. If you enjoyed it, make sure to share it with a friend or two and subscribe now to be sure you don’t miss any upcoming episodes. You can follow me on Instagram @FoodinmyKiez or send me a message at hello@foodinmykiez.com - I’d love to hear from you.


    🌱 Audio for this episode was produced by Grettch ⬅️

    🌱 Production, Script, Narration and Creative Direction by Samie Blasingame


    Thanks again for listening. Until next time