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A Congee and a Meal for Happiness | Meet the 6 Good Food designers


What kind of purely plant-based dishes do you want to set out on your New Year's dinner table?


On this topic, as the 2020 New Year is approaching, Good Food and the Xia Chu Fang cooperated in collecting New Year's healthy menu. After some tough choices, 19 Good Food designers made it to the final.


On January 4, a beautiful sunny day, before entering the local families to show their skills, the designers, local villa, and friends from afar gathered in Nanshan school's warm sunshine room to talk about their food ideas, food-related stories, and expectations for the future.


We hope that the stories shared  below can recreate those precious moments. We also wish that      the good thoughts and actions born from them wcontinue developing.


01 Two seeds in the heart of Chef Lee



In 2010, an earthquake hit Italy. One traditional cheese factory was damaged to the point where it had to sell tons of cheese in a month. Otherwise, it would go wrong. At that time, the local restaurant association in Italy mobilized all the chefs to develop cheese-based menus to promote sales. This issue has touched me a lot, which makes me think that as a cook, you can not only do some things in a limited space and time, but you can also do many things, some of which are even beyond your imagination.


During the Brazilian football World Cup period, there was also a very meaningful activity. Famous chefs from all over the world formed a team and went to Brazil's local residential areas. They cooked a big meal for the poor, the wanderer and the homeless with expired ingredients from the local sup, and some of the less good-looking ingredients in the market. This event makes people feel that everyone has the right to enjoy a well-prepared meal, but it takes experience and wisdom to create it. These two stories are motivational, and if there is such a similar activity in my life or work environment, I will participate in it.


02 Zhang Xiaoma's wish: to subvert tradition and innovate food


I had never really thought about the things we take for granted before. After I became a vegetarian, I suddenly realized the incredible connection between food and everything. I want to share data with you. In China's social media, 62% of people share pictures of delicious food once a month, and 17% of people share these pictures once a day, which means at least 200 million food-related photos are generated every day. Why do we keep on posting about our food? Maybe food is no longer about filling the stomach. It's more about enjoyment, joy, generosity, celebration and love.


Since food fulfills so many of our desires, it should not bring us so much burden and costs, such as the cost of health, environment's cost, and the cost of living. Some might say that eating meat is part of our tradition, part of our culture, and memory. However, I want to say that food is the same as our society, which needs to be developed and improved. Therefore, when we inherit the traditional culture and create memories, innovation would still be a priority. For example, when people buy  a car, they no longer wish to ride  a horse, or they want an electric car. Therefore, it's only natural to wonder if we have a more plant-based diet, would we not think of fish and meat? Because food has the power to connect with everything, I believe that it is the key to the future. If we change our attitude towards food and the way we eat, we can create a more civilized world and culture.


03 Tong Qiqi: simplicity is the authentic taste of life



After soaking in water, a lotus seed can grow 4~5 lotus leaves. What about beans, or seeds? Or meat? What happens if you soak them in water? I was particularly influenced by a quote from“World Peace Diet”: "Food is like all physical matter.      What is essential is its energy and vibration, and how it expresses our consciousness." What is the difference between animal-based food and plant-based food if we look at them from a  different perspective? What emotions do animals have if they are raised in poor conditions and fed with lousy food? What do they feel when they are faced with slaughter? How does this affect the human body and mind? What about the growth of plants and their effects on humans? I expect food to be natural, healthy, simple and environmentally friendly. May our species on Earth live in harmony. May all species on Earth live in harmony with Gaia     .      


04 Gao Sai: food can convey deep happiness



My entry was named the  best-athered food in nature. At that time, I was in Dali, a city in Yunnan province, and the fennel in the small courtyard grew very well. Coincidentally, a friend from Kaifeng sent edible fresh chrysanthemum to me, and then I used mushroom that have been soaked and swelled, fungi, dried beans, and vermicelli to make steamed dumplings. While cooking, I chose ingredients based on the five elements of color. As we all know, five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth)  corresponds to five colors(white, green, black, red, yellow), and the five colors correspond to five internal organs(lungs, liver, kidney, heart, spleen). The health of the five internal organs is essential to the health of the human body. Therefore, to nourish our body and mind better, we make a combination of  foods in all of these categories. Of course, different seasons warrant  for different focuses on the body. For example,  it's winter, so we need to provide more energy to our kidneys by eating more black fungus, black beans, black rice and so on.


The way our ancestors kept their bodies healthy is implied in our diet. Great truths are always simple. Each of us is deeply rooted in our desire to return to simplicity, nature and beauty. When we use it to connect with ourselves and food, we can resonate with food. I think food not only nourishes our bodies and minds, but also conveys a deep sense of happiness. Being on a vegetarian diet was the best experience I've ever had, and I hope to pass that happiness on to more people.


05 Momogu: the taste of grandma's food



My memories involving food are all from my grandmother, becashe brought me up. At that time, she lived near Xiba, a place in Yichang City, Hubei Province, so she often brought Xiba tofu to cook. Xiba tofu comes from the Xiba's local cold-water wells. The tofu is soft and melts in the mouth, and when it's made into a  dish it is delicious. At the audition, I made a tri-colored quinoa fried rice with dried quinoa and Xiba tofu, with a little of homemade tempeh and sesame oil, then put it inside a red pepper and baked it in the oven for a few minutes. There are two principles in my cooking. First, I think food has its flavor and it does not need any more seasoning. Second, I believe why I cook this specific dish to give it this  unique value. I hope the food I cook conveys warmth and  love to my family.


I wasn't truly a vegetarian before, but I'm making a shift to it. I was busy eating takeout after work, which led to a weak stomach. After making porridge with black beans and millet at home in the morning for a week, I felt comfortable. So, now I'm trying to influence my own family to eat healthier.


I work in an environmental monitoring unit. Every day I hear my colleagues say, what is the atmospheric index today, how is the water condition, and the soil pollution index today, so I might be more concerned about how we can get ecologically healthy food. It is crucial that we think about what we eat, which will also influence our next generation.


06 Xiangxiang: nourish the vitality of children


I have two children, and giving birth to  them was a big challenge because I was a career-oriented woman in Beijing. When my children were born, I wondered: how can I raise such little kids to be healthy? Afte researching, exploring, and practicing for a long time, I found that only plants that grow on healthy land and have an abundance of microbes have vitality. We nourish our life with the vitality of plants. So, I brought my children to Xinzhuang to go to school. There are many good farms nearby, which supply the food for our three meals a day. The school also has an excellent environment and teaches children about food to support their growth.


Maybe kids at the time don't know what organic food means yet, but they feel like it's a way for mom, dad, and their school teachers to love and care for them while protecting their health. Our children can go three days without homework, but it is impossible to go three days without meals, so every meal is the greatest support. What is on the plate is not only healthy ingredients and food, but also the future. It is the future of our children, our families, our society and, more importantly, the future of mankind, because we are all part of a community with a shared future. When things go well, we can enjoy a happy life, and eat well; when things go wrong, the nourishment we get from food can help us get through those hard times.



Photographer: Xiaoye 


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