NATURAL WONDERS: Elisabeth Fekonia from Permaculture Realfood will be running workshops in Warwick on how to make cheese, sourdough and fermented foods.
NATURAL WONDERS: Elisabeth Fekonia from Permaculture Realfood will be running workshops in Warwick on how to make cheese, sourdough and fermented foods. Contributed

'Honest food' on menu as home cooks shun preservatives

FOR decades brie cheese, sourdough bread and fermented foods have been conveniently available on supermarket shelves.

But with a growing number of people more conscious about the additives and preservatives they ingest, home-made alternatives are gathering a strong following.

Elisabeth Fekonia from Permaculture Realfood calls the home-made creations "honest food”.

She will be travelling to Warwick next month to run a workshop dedicated to teaching attendees how to recreate favourite foods at home.

This includes camembert and brie cheese, sourdough bread and wraps, as well as sauerkraut and other fermented foods.

Ms Fekonia has been running workshops for about 13 years and has noticed a growing number of people jumping on the bandwagon.

She believes health issues have sparked a greater interest in making real food at home.

"So many people these days are having digestive issues, they're suffering allergies and food intolerances,” she said.

"We're sick of additives and pesticides, people collectively are really looking for good-quality food.”

About 25 years ago, Ms Fekonia and her late husband, Frank, decided to become self-sufficient.

She tends her own garden, spins wool and makes dresses.

She has also taught herself how to create food products using lactic-forming bacteria and simple ingredients such as milk and cheese cultures.

"I think there's the awareness we're not eating enough living food and we don't have the gut flora we're meant to,” she said.

"Cheese is raw fermented food, we get all these variety of different bugs and that diversity creates a better stable environment in our gut.”

Ms Fekonia has reaped the physical benefits, as she "never” contracts colds and feels much healthier.

Aside from the health benefits, making time to make food from scratch is seeing people reconnect with food.

"It's just all lifestyle but it's also satisfying, if people get involved in gardens they have so much joy in it,” Ms Fekonia said.

"There's nothing more satisfying as eating your own tomatoes or lettuce that you've grown there.

"That's how it is with all your home-made food.”

Ms Fekonia also raved about the flavour of food made in a home kitchen.

"Sometimes I have a bit of commercial cheese, feta looks very enticing but it tastes like cardboard to me, I've got food according to my preferences,” she said.

Many people lived frantic modern lives but Ms Fekonia said it was important to re-evaluate how they spent time and energy to make time for simple yet essential pleasures.

"I think too often people are too busy with things that don't really matter, it's really depending on where your priorities are and getting the kids involved,” she said.

The workshop will run on November 10 at Warwick Baptist Church.

For more information visit www.permacultureproduce. com.au or find Permaculture Realfood on Facebook.



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