Organic orgy

September 2010

Who remembers the Demeter Bakery in Glebe in the 80s? It was in the building on the corner of Derwent and Mitchell Streets that now houses Gil Teague’s terrific gardening and food bookshop, Florilegium. Back then it was about the only dense, chewy sourdough you could get. And it was made in an old Scotch oven (still there) using biodynamic principles with biodynamic ingredients. Hard to believe that back then most people ate that soft, white, fluffy stuff that is vaguely reminiscent of bread. The reason for this trip down bakery lane is that I met Hamish Mackay at a dinner the Organic Federation of Australia put on after the Organic Expo in August. Hamish was one of the founders of the Demeter Bakery and he now runs biodynamic workshops around the country.

Meeting Hamish, going to the Expo — huge — and eating an all-organic dinner at Agape (1385 Botany Road Botany, Ph 8668 5777), a terrific organic restaurant, reminded me of just how far the organic/biodynamic movement has come from the early days of spotty fruit sold by people smelling of patchouli oil. And another memory. I organised an organic dinner on September 11, 2001 (something else happened that day — can’t for the life of me recall it), and it was really hard sourcing an all-organic meal (we couldn’t find an Australian organic beer and now there are at least five).

And the next stage? Hope it’s not the industrial organic we saw in Food Inc.

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