Cultures were forged by the food they consume and the ingredients that they once traded. Centuries of specialised crafts – which are still livelihoods – were developed around animal-based products.
I’m becoming more aware of how the rapidly changing global narrative around meat consumption is unfairly denigrating cultural identities.
Industrialisation and unethical animal-based farming practices have now been identified as a significant contributor to global warming. Our demand. Our overconsumption. And our distorted relationship with food is the root cause.
The global response has been largely centred around a transition to plant-based lifestyles. The protein transition movement has the marketing machine in overdrive. And singular thinking advocacy is on the rise.
As an omnivore, I must confess. I do struggle with the ethical dilemma of slaughtering animals for food. Many of us aren’t exposed to how the meat we consume is reared. And to be frank, most of us would rather not know.
However my guest today – Steve Guy – is actively forging relationships with local farmers, growers and distributors. Those that are doing a better job. With a better product. And with a reframed ethical mindset.
Steve is a Private Chef. Food Educator. And a career reincarnator. An assiduous individual with an uncomplicated and honest perspective on food.
The latest incarnation of Steve – The Hungry Guy – is a characterisation of everything that is Steve. His values. His vision. And his zestful personality.
A personality that is making waves across the Shropshire food scene. Steve is experimenting with business models. And playing host to residencies at some of Shropshire’s most exciting and emerging foodie joints. Leaving his signature in every kitchen he graces. Every person he meets. And every mouthful of his food that is consumed.
The Hungry Guy is Steve’s first entrepreneurial endeavour. A project that aims to simplify the food equation. To make cooking of good food accessible to all. And to demonstrate why the food we cook and the food we consume, can internalise an experience.
This is a conversation that goes nose-to-tail to reset the balance on our relationship with food. A conversation that questions our understanding of the true value of food. A commodity that is essential for life. But one that isn’t necessarily given the investment or reverence it truly deserves.
This conversation also questions the temporal shift the pandemic provided in respect to our behaviours around cooking. Behaviours that took us back to baking things and boiling stuff in a pot.
At points in this conversation, we also debate the misleading narratives and data that is engineered to peck at our emotional temperament.
By no means is this an anti-vegan or pro-carnivorous conversation. We certainly aren’t two burly meat-eating carnivores attempting to railroad the mainstream conversation.
Our goal is to balance the narrative. By advocating a reduction in meat consumption. Changing the lens on how we celebrate animals. And sharpening the lens on how we source animal-based products.
But most of all it’s about providing reverence to more than just the muscle of the animal.
This conversation took place at my home. I had the pleasure of spending the day with Steve. And felt truly honoured to have had Steve bless the first in-person conversation of the podcast. I must also express an unequivocal appreciation to the man behind the lens; Bob Greaves; for capturing the boyish energy of our conversation. A range of still’s can be found on social media and the episode web page.
This conversation is full of laughter. It’s fun. It’s quirky. And is a masterclass to help us make minor adjustments and better food choices.
Throughout this dialogue, Steve reminds us of why we eat in the first place. The basic principles that we have become disconnected from. But most of all Steve reconnects us to the true value of food.
I hope after listening to this conversation, Steve’s eclectic energy, expertise and enthusiasm for food, nourishes the soul. And allows the soul to be at peace with the meat-based food choices we make.
Warning: This episode contains some mild adult humour and mild language.
RESOURCESSteve Guy: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Email
Book: The Flavour Thesaurus
Website: The blueBar at Wyle Blue World in Shropshire
Website: Wackley Brook Organic Small Holding in Shropshire
Website: The Pantry at Manor Farm in Shropshire
Website: 10 Facts About Food Waste
Website: The Markegard Family – Top Soil Friendly Farmers
Website: Kiss The Ground – Meet the Farmers
The Guardian: UK Households Waste 4.5m Tonnes of Food Each Year
The Guardian: Jamie Oliver is right. Putting food on the table trumps diet.
The Guardian: Jamie Oliver, you haven’t tasted poverty. Cut out the tutting.
BBC News: National Food Strategy – Tax Sugar and Salt and Prescribe Vegetables
FAO Report: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use
Wikipedia: Food Waste in The UK
Netflix: Cowspiracy – The Sustainability Secret
Netflix: Kiss The Ground
Man Behind The Lens – Bob Greaves: Website | Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | Email
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