I write this is a slight haze of Melton Red (real ale in case your wondering) as I’ve just returned home from the East Midlands food and drink festival.
I got to see some amazing food producers and speak to some great people throughout the day, but as I worked my way through the narrow walk ways of the cattle market and squeezed between people grabbing at what ever free samples they could, I noticed that actually I didn’t notice anyone!
I live in a town that on the sign on the way past the boarder reads “Melton Mowbray, The rural food capital of England” but as I walked round the event I noticed that there wasn’t really that many people from the town at the event? Yet it’s been hosted in their town.
I met 2 people today that I’ve had twitter conversations with for the last few months and we spoke of this lack of attendance from local people. Celia Lacey who moved hear a year ago from Lincolnshire made the same observation, if someone who has been in the town for year is saying this how are the people who live hear feeling about it?
As you know I run a community grow your own project yet sometimes it doesn’t feel like there is a sense of community about it at all more a lack of understanding from these people, now I know that this isn’t your fault but it got me wondering who’s to blame for this? Me? Celia? The food chain company’s that move into the town? No, and at risk of angering the people who gave me the land to grow on in the first place unfortunately the blame has to lie with the council officials who make all of these decision and it lies with them and them alone.
They make the rules, they give the green light on what shops and business open in the town and what they want to see. Why is it down to them? Why is this decision not given to the people?
We need to see more and more people in the town who love food and want to be involved in food make a stand, if you want to make a change then make it, don’t let them tell you no! I didn’t and now I have the chance to help a lot of people and families in the way that they see their food.
The conversation that I had today has given all of us a great idea to help turn this around so please stick with us and follow myself and Celia Lacey (twitter @CeliaLacey) and Great Food Mag (Twitter @greatfoodmag) over the coming months to see if there’s a way that we can make a change and bring the love of food back to the people who love it