It has taken me nearly 10 years to discover the thing I enjoy most. I always thought that I fell into food (it has felt that messy) only applying for a degree in Food and Consumer Studies based on the wisdom of my schools’ career advisor.
She asked “what do you want to be?”
I answered “a dancer”
Her reply - “well there’s no money in that – what subjects are you good at?”
I had always found Home Ec as it was called, then to be a real breeze, something I understood without trying, and two years later I found myself beginning my degree specialising in food.
Don’t get me wrong, this was in no way a bad decision. If I had the time and money I would happily do the course all over again. I loved it. The variety of subjects I covered, and the academic environment, researching and reading books, I was in my element. Thinking back, it was there that I groomed myself into the food nerd that I have become. The most interesting and exciting module I took didn’t come till the final year though; The Contemporary Consumer and Sustainable Consumption. Remember this was the late nineties. I didn’t even know what the title meant. But it gripped me from the first lecture, and initiated me into the world of organic food, veg box schemes and the environment.
I live by my veg box and organic food today, a whole ten years later and I came to the realisation just the other day that this is what I really love. Local, organic food made by passionate and small producers is what gets me excited. If only I had realised that 10 years ago when looking to begin my career. Maybe I would have delved deeper into that sustainable world rather than the one of supermarkets and fast food that actually gave me my grounding.
However, the way I prefer to look at it like this - the shock of working in the world of burgers, ready meals and MSG has opened my eyes wide to the soulless, tasteless and industrial food I was eating and working with. Thanks to my introduction to the alternatives at university by Tim Cooper, I discovered a whole other food world of opportunity, passion and community to explore, and that today feeds my mind.
So, apologies organic, local food world for my late arrival, it took me some time to get here. However, it sure is good to be home.