Festival explores meaning of food

The Sunshine Coast’s 2013 Real Food Festival will offer visitors a unique opportunity to delve into an array of interesting topics during the weekend-long event from 7th to 8th September.

One segment that is sure to be of interest is ‘Food and Spirituality: the sacredness of nourishing food’, a discussion about the unique relationship between food and spirituality that will be held at the Food for Thought venue at 2.30pm on Sunday.

Festival Director, Julie Shelton said the panel conversation would explore food in the context of different belief systems and was sure to stimulate interest from festival goers.

The panel will feature Ananda Marga nun, Didi Ananda Tapomaya from the Ananda Marga River School in Maleny, Jewish Rabbi Don Levy from the Temple Shalom on the Gold Coast and Bev Hand from Mimburi Upper Mary Aboriginal Association in Mary Valley.

Rabbi Don Levy said all religions had their own traditions with food that went beyond the basic needs for nourishment and creating fellowship.

“In the Jewish religion, what we eat, refrain from eating and how we eat food is connected to our spiritual side,” Rabbi Levy said.

“There are certain days of the year for fasting, when not even water is permitted,” he said.

“Fasting is a designated self affliction that helps people to draw the focus away from fulfilling their own specific needs and placing that focus on a deeper spiritual principle,” Rabbi Levy said.

“We avoid eating dairy and meat together in the same meal, as well as eating certain animal species,” Rabbi Levy said.

“Eating this way can be a challenge to begin with, particularly in today’s society because of all the processed foods available that can often contain a long list of ingredients,” Rabbi Levy said.

Rabbi Levy said feasting also played a big part in the Jewish faith, where families would gather around the table each Sabbath Day or Friday night and enjoy great quantities of rich, delicious food.

Proudly supported by event partner, IGA Sunshine Coast, the festival will also host more than 120 Sunshine Coast based exhibits ranging from specialty foods to food-related products and services.

There will also be a full schedule of cooking demonstrations and information sessions across its four exciting venues – the Kunara Real Food Kitchen, Jeffers Market Nourishing Ideas, Food for Thought and Eumundi Market Food Craft.

The Real Food Festival will be held at the Maleny Showgrounds, 13 Stanley River Road, Maleny on 7th – 8th September from 9am to 4pm daily and will showcase an abundance of local foods from Sunshine Coast producers, manufacturers and restaurants. Entry is $15 for a daily adult pass and children under 16 are free.

For more information on the Real Food Festival, visit the Festival website at www.realfoodfestival.com.au.

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