The dish: Food for thought

Seng Phon holds a bunch of seedlings to be planted in the rice paddies of Central Cambodia as part of Oxfam's 'Grow' campaign. Photo / Supplied
Seng Phon holds a bunch of seedlings to be planted in the rice paddies of Central Cambodia as part of Oxfam's 'Grow' campaign. Photo / Supplied

It's appropriate that on the day Viva publishes its annual Winter Food and Wine Special, we take a moment to acknowledge the new Oxfam campaign being launched today around the world. Called "Grow", it aims to increase awareness about the one billion people who face hunger every day and encourage the development of a universal system to ensure there will be enough food for everyone in the future. "Our current food system is broken," explains John Stansfield, the advocacy and campaign director for Oxfam New Zealand. "Grow is our biggest-ever campaign. It is a response to a looming food crisis and the political instability and humanitarian crisis it will bring."

Pictured is an image from the Grow campaign which shows seedlings ready to be planted in the rice paddies of Central Cambodia. They are held by Seng Phon, one of the many villagers involved in rice-planting in the great Mekong flood plain - a crucial time to earn some money. In normal times, Oxfam reports, a day's labour in the paddy field would pay about 3000 riel (80c).

"A family of six eats at least two kilos of rice a day," says Han Sophan, a community leader. "Two years ago you could buy that much rice if you worked for a day, and have a little extra money. Now 3000 riel buys only just half the rice needed to feed a normal family. So what can people do? Adults are going hungry so the children can eat."

Think about it before you sit down to dinner tonight.

A rose by any other name

Fans of Prime Bistro in the PWC Tower will be interested to know that the restaurant has relaunched itself as Sub Rosa. The new name, explains proprietor Sven Nielson, means "under the rose and derives from the practise of suspending a rose over a meeting as a symbol of confidentiality". Sounds intriguing. Maybe this is the new venue for secret meetings? The cafe offers a full breakfast, while for lunch and dinner there is the opportunity to order from the kitchen or counter, dine in or take away. Which is great for all those busy office workers downtown. Level 4, PWC Tower, 188 Quay St, Auckland. Phone: (09) 357 0188 188 Quay St, City, ph (09) 357 0188.

Honey honey

We all love honey and we all know you can't create honey without the hard work of buzzy bees. This week is National Bee Week - a time to fundraise and acknowledge the importance of the humble honey bee. To do your part to make their lives - and ours - more pleasurable, support the cause and buy a packet or two of "Wild flower Seed Bee Rescue". Easy to sow and grow, these flowers will provide an endless valuable food source for bees. Buy online for $5 a packet or from your local bee club.

Nice ice

We suggest you high-tail it down to the Takapuna Beach Cafe & Store and try out its lime curd and coconut gelato as soon as possible; it's just won the boutique manufacturer supreme award at the NZ Ice Cream Awards. While you're there, don't hold back. The double chocolate and honeycomb gelato won the Kids Choice category, and the mango sorbet won its category as well.

Good kai

Auckland Museum will be sizzling with traditional kai flavours next week, with the New World Matariki Wananga-a-kai - a series of cooking demonstrations and tastings to celebrate Maori New Year Matariki. Mana Kai television chef Rewi Spraggon will be hosting the session on Tuesday and Wednesday, from 6.30pm-9pm. Meanwhile, if you've always wanted to know how to lay down a hangi, then head out to Te Tahawai Marae in Pakuranga on Saturday 18 June for a hangi-making workshop.

- NZ Herald

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