The project “healing is in the pot” has been running for the last few weeks

... sustainable food choices and climate action!

The research project is centred on learning actions around sustainable food choices and how these can make a positive contribution to climate action, as well as enabling people to live healthier lives. The research is supported by the University of Bristol UK, through the TESF Network and Rhode University South Africa. The researchers aim to investigate the enablers and constraints (social and environmental factors) that make the potential changes possible or not. Through engaged participation in new and old knowledge (indigenous knowledge) around climate change the researchers would like to see if this translates into real stories of change around food choices.

The January session was all about setting the scene for the next few months of learning and sharing. Chipo, Gezubuso’s manager is hoping to gain real insight into sustainable nutrition to share with the kitchens and gardens of the orphanages. After completing baseline surveys, everyone shared the issues they were most keen to learn more about – from why fish in the ocean have been poisoned, how to build resilience to cope with floods or locust invasions and the plight of bees. For a little local living, seasonal food inspiration, each participant received a copy of the recipes.

The first dish was a Butternut and Spinach Curry with freshly made peanut butter. As a conversation starter, a tin of tomatoes imported from Italy was included in the bag. Certainly, it would be better (healthier and perhaps cheaper) to use fresh locally grown tomatoes – to avoid the energy-intensive packaging, the preservatives, the food miles and the well-known exploitation of refugee labour in Italy. The participants enjoyed a engaging discussion about the issues and agreed on the convenience and good flavour these tomatoes would provide to our nutritious, delicious and otherwise all local meal.

In the second session of the project, the participants learned about different roots, aspects and consequences of climate change. Extreme weather events and how they are caused by the climate crisis were discussed. There was also a demonstration on how a solar oven works and how to use it. After games and discussions, the group learned a new recipe.

We are curious to see what the project will teach us next and what meals the Gezubuso team will learn to prepare and cook!

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