Food. It’s an integral part of life and yet there’s an ever-growing disconnect. Most simply aren’t aware of the laborious journey from farms to our forks and bins.
The good news is there is a surging effort to reconnect people to what they put in their bodies. In Malta, it’s come in the form of Jack and Corinna with Sacred Food.
Sacred Food, the brainchild of British chef Jack and Italian home-cook Corinna, is the duo’s community mission to reframe how we think about food.
“We’re both interested in the same thing: reconnecting people with food, themselves, and in turn their environment. We’re trying to make people see food for what it really is, something sacred, and transmit that through our projects,” Jack, 29, told Lovin Malta.
It all began a year before COVID-19 struck the world. The pair met and planted the seeds for their mission- to travel around Europe by food truck, rescue food from supermarkets and cook for the homeless.
The pandemic forced the two the rethink their idea.
“Our pipeline dream had to be shelved with COVID-19, so we turned to deliveries survive,” he mused.
Out of their penthouse near Marsalforn, the pair rolled up their sleeves and whipped out their wooden spoons. They decided to craft artisan, products made from scratch with love: sugar-free strawberry jam, gluten-free bread and kombucha, a fermented, bubbly tea. A weekly delivery project was born.
“We started producing four rare products that you can’t really find on the island. Then a friend approached us and another and we grew from four products to six and eight. It grew into a marketplace with multiple producers including ourselves,” Jack said.
Now Sacred Food is a marketplace for high-quality homemade food: from delectable carrot cakes and raw chocolate bars to island honey, Korean kimchi, teas, coconut kefir and hot sauces.
It’s a small but mighty, full-blown operation. Orders open on Friday, they’re tallied on Sunday, Monday is production day and customers get their deliveries by Tuesday.
“When it comes to nutrition, people crave systems, there’s a real diet mentality. They want something structured, they want to be told how to eat, how many calories to consume… but that’s not nature works. We wake up different, experience different moods, climate, seasons. But we don’t live with seasons anymore and we don’t grow our own food, so it’s all confusing.
“The idea is to defrock this idea of a universal, one-fits-all diet. We need to listen to our bodies – that’s the core message,” Jack said.
Sacred Food is also about giving back. The pandemic left families on the peripheries struggling for decent nutrition, so the pair set up a food truck in Gozo.
Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign was set up to give food boxes to Gozo’s food bank. They also cooked weekly nutritious meals and delivered them to families in need.
This is just the beginning of Scared Food. While they give a platform for local producers, Jack and Connie are looking at projects involving community gardening and clean up projects.
“Nutrition isn’t the only gap in minds of people,” Jack added.
“It’s also a large amount of waste.”
“Take a cauliflower as an example. It takes months to grow, but the majority of people don’t know this, it’s not part of their life because they don’t tend to crops themselves. If you throw a piece away, you can’t appreciate it as much.”
“By reconnecting people through really good products, workshops or food therapy sessions, we help reignite an appreciation for what we use every day,” he finished.
Check out Sacred Food here.
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