This weekend I was at the Dinner with Darwin at Dartmouth Square park. It was a very fun and packed evening. The guest honour was Chris Darwin, the great great grandson of Charles Darwin who, along The Happy Pear and Stop Climate Chaos, shared thoughts on climate change. There was a panel discussion and Q&A, offering a space for open conversation. There was also a yoga class, and the evening finished off with an open – air screening of Wall-E!
This topic is literally a heated one and I could probably go on and on about it for a while. I will try to be brief and concise though. There seem to be three main industries causing climate change at the moment: electricity, meat and transport. The talks were mainly focused around the second one and a solution presented to us was the challenge to implement a meatless day (first proposed in 1986) every week in our lives – the message was, in essence, that if we all reduced (even if by a tiny %) our consumption of meat, this would have a positive impact on our planet.
I learnt quite a bit during the talk. I had never heard of the Footprint Calculator and they spoke about conscious consumerism and how our purchasing decisions are ultimately political choices. Darwin asked us to download the Darwin Challenge app, where we could log our meatless days. Hard questions were also posed by the audience: how do we educate people on what good-bad food is? How do we get governments and powerful institutions to prioritise climate change fight above other more lucrative points in the agenda?
Even more questions came up in my mind. The vast majority of the people who attended this event are already conscious, aware, concerned or interested in some way in the environment and what we can do to positively affect it. So how do we spread this interest and concern to others? It will be quite challenging to convince individuals who just don’t care or don’t “believe” in climate change. However, there are lots of people who are in between, they know about it but are not engaged or actively helping (with actions, or choices. How do you motivate those people? This has been a big topic in my head for a while now and it has inevitably affected the way I consume (food, clothes, content…), I am now more mindful and careful about where I put my time and money. I recently listened to a podcast, where the founder of Elephant Journal mentioned how we should all read 50 Simple Things You Can Do To Save The Earth (the 1989, the newer version).
As I said, big topic!
How does this connect to the recipe? This is going to be a vegan and very simple one. Because eating meatless can be easy, simple and very delicious.
- 2 tsbp. olive oil
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- Salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder
- Fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tbsp. Tahini
- 1/2 lime juice
- Salt & Pepper
- Preheat oven to 200º
- Rinse sweet potatoes, cut in halves and bring to boil in a large saucepan. Boil until you can pinch smoothly with a knife.
- Cut the sweet potatoes in preferred shape and throw in a bowl with olive oil and condiments. Bake until tender inside and crispy on the edges (20 mins approx). A trick to avoid burning your sweet potatoes is to place the potato skin facing up and the flesh facing down, as much as possible.
- Sauce: combine all ingredients and mix vigorously with a spoon.
- Once sweet potatoes are baked, toss in a tray, pour dressing and fresh basil.