Sue and I were guests at the Auckland launch of Kai and culture: Food Stories from Aotearoa. Here we are with the editor and one of the driving forces Emma Johnson, from Free Range Press. This important book explores Aotearoa’s contemporary food culture and challenges, and an emerging food identity.You can get your own copy from

Three of the contributors to the book shared some thoughts on New Zealand food.

Dr Siouxsie Wiles spoke about the future of food and the impact on New Zealand of food being produced in the lab (e.g milk as it’s closer than you think) and the dangers of us being disconnected from the sources of our food.

Rebekah Graham gave us food for thought about access and fairness and how “absence of enough to eat” impacts people’s lives beyond hunger and erodes social networks – using real examples from her PHD thesis.

Dr Tracy Berno shared her vision of a “uniquely New Zealand” food-scape that identifies, celebrates and communicates what is unique and special about our food – starting with our “terroir”.

It was exciting to meet some of the AUT Masters of Gastronomy students who are currently studying “Politics,Power and Food” – and have them share their “why” and their passion to make a difference through food – be it culture, health, business or politics.

P.S. I am now very keen to try Mini Siam in Takanini – a restaurant owned by one of the students.