Food For Thought

Food for thought

Photos: Shiyi Wu
Words: Lucy Sanderson

There is a mysterious art in simplicity. Fresh air, for instance, is delicate but deliberate in its ability to rouse and awaken. This was just the tonic I was looking for as I headed for the hills to Longjing Mountain, back to my hometown of Hangzhou. Dotted with tea houses set amongst endless verdant grooves, the terraced tea plantations cascade for as far as the eye can see. I felt far away from the babel and hustle and right at home. Let’s face it, there’s nothing better than a good cup of tea after long walk in the great outdoors.

I’m pretty lucky that my local farmers are people who create the most renowned green tea in the world, people who literally live and breathe what they do. Taking time out to learn about the process, from which my favourite beverage comes from, also gave me the chance to appreciate the extraordinary effort that goes into making that delightful brew. From planting to picking, preparing and pouring – there’s more to those little green leaves than meets the eye.

Unprocessed foods, in their simplicity and reliability, are a bit like fresh air, the purest fuel for body and soul. After all, we are what we eat and therefore ought to add an element of tender love and care to the things we nourish ourselves with once in awhile. 

Finding out what kind of produce you can pick up in your local area can be quite the adventure too: honey, potatoes, wine, tomatoes… All manner of foods and ingredients could be growing a stone’s throw away from your doorstep.Supermarket foods have to spend some time in transit and are often picked too soon. When you take a trip to your local farmer, you know that the ingredients you’re buying are as fresh as they can be. You can taste the difference.

Convenience has kind of lost it’s meaning when it comes to shopping for food. It has become too quick, thoughtless and prepackaged. If we slow down, shop local and fresh, we can get a slice of the outdoors, a moment of exercise and, in my case, a perfect cup of tea.