Ah, food. One of our favourite things to think about, talk about and get involved with. The idea for Mile 91 was born over a fish finger sandwich in a Putney pub and some of our happiest work memories are food-related.
There’s some less than happy ones too, like the time I enthusiastically shoved a fish eyeball in my mouth because I thought it was a mushroom!
Here are some of our highlights.
Ben met Madina in Uganda when he was on a shoot with Send a Cow. He bought an avocado from her and ate it under a tree by her stall. She laughed at him. Aggrey explained that she was laughing because avocados are cheap and don’t have the status of more expensive food like meat. She thought a ‘muzungu’ buying an avocado from a farmer was the funniest thing. Ben quickly explained how much an avocado costs at home!
One day in Ethiopia we decided to have an adventure before the VSO shoot day started. We set the alarm for 5am and headed down to the shores of Lake Awassa to watch the fishermen bring in their catch. Standing close to the edge, I glanced down to see how close I was to the water. There was a good foot or so of gravel so I stepped forward. The ground gave way. The gravel was fish guts floating on the surface. Ben heard a shriek and turned round to see me knee deep and a child chasing after my Birkenstock which was floating away. We later sat amongst the fishermen and ate freshly fried fish for breakfast.
We met Asma while in Indonesia capturing the impact of a business training programme for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. Asma runs her own snack business, making pasties, donuts, crisps and other snacks from her small home kitchen. After attending the training she learnt how to keep her books accurately and she has now realised she earns more than her husband. We loved that story. We also loved that she wanted to show off her skills so after the interview and photos we feasted!
Rolex for 25 pence
“You have to eat a Rolex while in Uganda.” It’s safe to say our colleagues from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists were a bit confused by this advice from Ben. But if you visit Uganda and don’t invest 25 pence in a Rolex you have missed one of the highlights of this amazing country. Rolex (born of roll and eggs) is an omelette rolled in a chapati, usually with some veg thrown in. It is a taste sensation and we are happy to report the RCOG team agreed!
I am not sure you can call this breakfast it’s more of a breakfeast. Making a film about The Travel Foundation’s Taste of Fethiye project was quite literally the tastiest job we have ever had. This project encouraged collaboration with local farmers in Turkey and the mainstream tourism market. Holidaymakers were encouraged to go on food tours and to taste more of the local produce. In turn farmers benefited from package tourism. On this particular morning we had to travel into the hills about Fethiye to film a traditional Turkish breakfast. And we couldn’t allow the food to go to waste once the filming was over. A tough job!
As you can see, Ben and I are very well-fed. But it’s not the same for everyone. Today, around 820 million people are hungry and unhealthy diets account for a fifth of all deaths. Intense farming is contributing to the loss of biodiversity and the climate crisis. Just nine plant species account for 66% of total crop production, despite the fact that through history more than 6000 species have been cultivated.
The Sustainable Development Goal 2 aims to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture. October 16th is World Food Day and we love this colourful site that claims to be a recipe for making healthy eating and #ZeroHunger a way of life.
What are your favourite food memories, we’d love to hear about them?