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Richard Perkins on the process, preparation, lifestyle, and enjoyment of whole food


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Now that I’m spending so much time out on the land here at the new farm I’m becoming a lot more conscious of my health. Nutrition has been really important for me in the last handful of years as I’ve struggled to overcome the chronic digestive issues that plagued me until my 30s. Over time I’ve dug deeper into whole food nutrition, fermentation and the gut microbiome, the importance of healthy fats and unpasteurized products, and quite a few others. 

At the same time, I’ve read and researched a lot of work that’s very dogmatic and extreme in their nutritional and healthy living advice. Some of the recommendations are really unrealistic for my lifestyle or miss important holistic concepts of an overall healthy way of living in connection to one’s surroundings and sources of food. For this and many other reasons I’ve been closely following the development of Richard Perkins new book titled  Farm Fish Hunt Pick Bake. Like many young farmers and homesteaders, I know Richard from his work and educational videos around the development of Ridgedale farm in Northern Sweden. I’ve interviewed him now a few times in the past on previous seasons of this show and hosted skill exchange events online with him for the Climate Farmers community. Cooking and nutrition has been a minor part of his online teachings until recently, but has been very much in line with the ethos of his ideas on reconnecting with the land and living in close relationship with your food sources, both plants and animals. 

As Richard has been transitioning from beyond full-time farming he’s collaborated with the incredible chefs who’ve catered his many farm events and trainings to create a cookbook that conveys the full scope of not only the recipes, but also the process of foraging, farming, processing, and preserving all the food that Ridgedale farm is well known for. 

In this interview Richard and I explore where the inspiration for this new focus on food came from, and how the book has come together. We also dive into reemerging traditional concepts from the book like nose-to-tail eating, the art and culture of fermentation, the importance of both raw and properly cooked foods, the redemption of animal fats, and so much more. 

I’ve often thought that even if I didn’t love the farm lifestyle I’d still be in love with regenerative agriculture just for the food, and this massive volume covers so much of exactly what it means to reconnect with the ecology and processes of your food sources to make the enjoyment, appreciation, and reverence for what we eat a part of our lifestyles once again. 

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