Berrysmith Foundation

Eco Warrior Profile: Costa Georgladis

14-Aug-2012

Costa Georgiadis

The ‘eco warrior’ beliefs are not new, and not the result of alarming global warming stories in the news.  It’s simply been a way of life, for generations of his family members. In an interview with food blogger, Not Quite Nigella, he explains his extensive family background in organics, biodynamics, permaculture, the importance of soil fertility, composting, worms and chickens. “My grandfather was doing that sort of stuff and all the people in the little Greek Island villages were too but they’re not calling themselves permaculturalists, they’re not calling themselves an organic, biodynamic farmer but they are. They know they can’t spray everything and kill the entire insect ecosystem.”Costa sees food not only as a source of great pleasure, but as a celebration of culture. His passion for food stems from his Greek heritage, specifically his grandfather who was a market gardener who grew everything the family ate, and his grandmother – whom he describes as a wonderful cook – who made the most of everything her husband brought in from the garden. To Costa food is more than just survival; food makes memories and connects history, inspires emotion and passion.


In his Ted Talk speech, he explains his perspective on taking responsibility for food and its production values, “If you eat you are a farmer. That’s my grandfather’s theory. Whether you shop at the grocery store or dig things up from your own garden, you are a farmer. We make decisions on what to eat and we can change things with our next bite.”
His directive for growing food is taking the product out of the produce and putting the focus back on taste. “Most of the criteria on which fruit are created are: packaging, storage, transportability and colour, but where’s taste? They want thick skins so they can handle being put in a box and can cop a bump. We want them to fit into a ring this big because that’s the kind of predisposed image and people expect a nice red, round tomato,” he explains on Not Quite Nigella. 

Costa sees the industrial production of food as not only damaging to the environment, but as taking the culture out of agriculture. “Agriculture has been built up around the village. Our village centre was the market – and at that centre our lives revolved around food. It has now shifted to the megamall. But there is a big difference between produce and product. Ask yourself, am I eating produce or a product?”

The most important thing he has learned was a lesson from his grandfather about the importance of soil and composting, a topic on which Costa can go on for hours. His vision is for one where we implement changes to cultivate the earth, create community gardens and feed each other. A key part of this vision is to educate children on growing food in a garden, so that they experience the excitement of growth and feel connected to their food.

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