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Kai and Culture: Food Stories from Aotearoa

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Emma Johnson
In Print

Food tells a story. It contains the expression of a place and the way the land, people, ideas from elsewhere and webs of activities intersect. It is a great connector - we all share in the experience of food, albeit in very different ways.

Freerange - in collaboration with writers, chefs, producers and others in the food industry - is excited to be publishing Kai and culture, a book that takes a look at how our food impacts our culture (and vice versa) and the people involved in creating local food identities, and that explores some of the larger contemporary issues that gather around it. A cultural cook book, if you will. So what is New Zealand food culture and what is particular to it?

A contemporary New Zealand food identity is emerging - one that helps us to understand our place as a Pacific and multicultural nation, celebrates our ingredients and alters ideas from elsewhere to articulate this time and place. Food involves simple physical processes; it can promote engagement; its social and environmental impacts can be powerful - especially in a country where food is a major economic driver.

Through essays, profiles and recipes, Kai and culture canvasses a range of views and stories from local food cultures: food resilience and resourcefulness; questions of access, security and sustainability; how creativity, innovation and appropriation can play out in food; food sovereignty and the desire to reconnect with where it comes from; land use; quality as opposed to commodity; waste minimisation; proximity to source and ideas of terroir; how we get our food information. And how these are all interconnected.