Hello Friends! Day Twenty One was a most lovely day for a number of reasons, most of which were in some way food related. I’ve discovered that although my relationship towards food as changed quite a bit, I still love how good food shared with good friends is enough to set up your mood for the rest of the day.
Breakfast: My dear friend Laura and I decided to go for brunch before either of us had work that day at Lulabelle’s, a gorgeous little cafe on the Vermont South tram line. I had passed that little cafe nearly every day for years, and always struck by how warm and inviting it looked from the outside. I really wanted to know if the atmosphere it projected was carried out inside too, and so I invited Laura to come with me and check it out! And it did not disappoint; Lulabelle’s has such a sweet, homely feel to it, with all it’s white painted wood furniture, pinatas handing from the walls and a wall full of lollies in ornate glass jars. I ordered a hot chocolate, which was lovely, and Laura had a hot chocolate and croissant. Yum!
Lunch: Laura had work a lot earlier than I did, which left me with a couple of hours to kill. I decided to take myself to one of my favourite places to eat (and drink); Bimbos on Brunswick Street. Not only is the decor strange and creepy and just my style (think glass bottles, Turkish lanterns and fairy lights hanging from the roof, and their signature bondage Kewpie dolls), but they have these amazing pizzas that are only $4. This is a case of getting much more than what you pay for, because for all the years that I have been going to Bimbos, I have never had a pizza I didn’t. And my favourite of them all just happens to be the vegan option; the Organico pizza consists of a roast pumpkin base layer, covered in globs of soy cheese, pine nuts and rosemary. Best way for me to work myself up to an afternoon of work!
Dinner: Chicken McNuggets. I know. I know, it’s shameful, but I am slightly consoled by the fact that McDonalds has switched to using sustainable palm oil! In my defence, I had about twenty minute window in which I had to get from work to the Melbourne Playhouse so as not to miss the first act of the Bell Shakespeare’s production of Macbeth! It was probably one of the best productions of Macbeth I have seen so far, definitely worth having to partake in a late night Macca’s run on the way home to quiet my grumpy stomach.
I would like to end this post with a story a work mate of Kyle’s told me, which I think sums up how attitudes towards labels such as ‘fair trade’ can be misplaced. Whilst working at the cafe, he was asked by a customer whether or not the coffee was fair trade. The coffee used at this cafe does not bare the fair trade label, but is instead direct trade, which means that it comes direct from the farmers themselves. Despite the fact that this is an even better alternative to fair trade coffee, the customer refused to order a coffee because their beans were not labelled fair trade, and instead, opted for a Coke. To put this in perspective, Coca Cola Company has a boycott called on it for a number of reasons; human rights abuses, the promotion of bottled water, and has been proven to cause severe water shortages in India, and distribute it’s toxic waste as fertiliser to local farmers (ethical.org.au). Surely this is worse than opting for coffee beans that are ethically sourced, but do not bare the fair trade labels.
Labels are important, especially when there are so many different products to choose from on a supermarket shelf, and it’s one of the things I’m fighting for, to get palm oil labelled in foods. But I’ve come to realise that you can’t always take these labels at face value; sometimes you have to dig a little deeper. What do you think?