Food Talks – Before the Plate

In January we hosted a film screening event, at the amazing XCHC – Exchange Christchurch, as a way to lead into a series of events to bring community together around food and it’s role in communities.

We decided to show Before the Plate – which is a documentary that looks to explore the sources of our food and understand what are the practices and processes that lead to it arriving in our homes or on our plates.

This story is something I am really interested, as I believe there is a disconnection with where our food comes from that has changed how and what we eat. This not only has an effect on our own physical heath, but has much wider ecological, societal and cultural implications.

The official synopsis of the film on the website is:

“Before the Plate follows John Horne, one of Canada’s most renowned chefs, on an epic journey as he follows each ingredient from one plate of food back to the farms they came from. Beginning in John’s prestigious restaurant Canoe, located on the 54th floor of a downtown Toronto high rise, John’s journey takes him from the busy, urban city to the rustic, rural origins of his ingredients. During his voyage, John investigates some of the most pressing issues facing farmers today, and discovers what it takes to produce food in a rapidly evolving agricultural landscape. Enjoy a rare look at today’s food system, as the worlds of agriculture and cooking come crashing together in one mouth-watering Canadian food story.” (


One of the most interesting aspects of this particular documentary is that it covers a really wide spectrum of food and the processes & practices that go along with it. It doesn’t seek to answer questions, but is more focused on inviting people to start asking them…

If we adopt a practice of inquiry around our food and begin to build relationships with the sources of what we eat – where is it grown/raised, who is doing the growing/raising and how are they doing it – we can invite impact in many aspects of our own lives, but can also be part of a return to an inter-connectivity of life and abundance.