WeFeedback – Show us your Fridges

Why I give a damn

You may already know that my two deepest passions are literacy and the quest to eliminate world hunger.

My paternal grandmother was illiterate, and I grew up in a house that placed a super emphasis on the joys of reading. As a result, my brother and I are voracious readers. (Admittedly, night-time twitter habits have had an adverse impact on my bedside reading).

My great-great grandparents came to South Africa as indentured labourers, to work on the sugar cane plantations in Durban.

I was 11 years old when Nelson Mandela was released from prison in 1990. I spent my childhood living under the Apartheid regime. My family resided, even after the Group Areas Act was abolished in a formerly Indians-only area; we still have our family home there in Pietermaritzburg.

My parents, like so many parents in South Africa during that time, sacrificed much so that my brother and I saw the value of education and had the best of opportunities available to us.

I did not grow up in poverty, I had a largely middle class upbringing. But from the lives of my parents and grandparents there are two essential elements I pieced together at a very early age – you can not teach a hungry child. Often education is scarified in favour of sustenance. My own mother and grandmothers are cases in point.

Perhaps, these are some of the reasons that motivate me.

My life today

My life today is a living, breathing paradox – many privileges and access to the very best food (and books and technology), living in a classified Third World country, which whilst fraught with developmental issues and a significant majority for whom my life is a polar opposite, is spectacularly far off from the world’s very poorest.

I enjoy every morsel of food I eat. At times it’s foie gras, truffles, chalmar beef, spices from far off lands. You read the blog and the tweets; you know.

At the same time I’m fraught with guilt and riddled with sadness at the wastefulness and excess of my own life and that of my friends, acquaintances, peers.

There have been times when an impending feeling of futility settles over me. Not so much in that the 1 billion starving people can’t be helped. But more so, in that those who have the power to help (I do not refer to governments, but rather to people like you and I), do nothing. Won’t be convinced to do anything. Not our problem.

And so, I begin some mornings, dragging myself out of bed, the night time conversations I have with myself on the projects I brain-storm and possibilities I see, shattered by the light of day.

Is it not our problem?

Is it more complicated than that? We don’t know what to do, where to give, which out-stretched hand to appease. There are many, I know.

And, we have our own responsibilities too- family demands, bills to pay, children to educate and nurture. I acknowledge this.

There is but one question that spurs me on and it is this:

“If not our problem, then whose?”

Our children’s?

In my case, personal happiness extends beyond my backyard, and that of my neighbours’. I will help the people living inside South Africa and those living outside. The world is my home and I if I do not make the sacrifices to make a difference to it, no one will. Or maybe you will (I pray this is true).

One charity ball attended, one mouth fed, one bin of waste recylcled is a start. But is not enough.

How long will it take to reverse the figures? Ask a gushing Ms Universe for an approximation. Brutal truth is that with natural disasters, current legislations in place, wars, famine, it will be a long, long haul yet.

Do I think it an impossible task? I won’t even consider that question. I can not entertain it. Not for long, anyway.


I have been liaising with the incredible people of WeFeedback at the World Food Programme since March. They believe. Their belief  and tireless work fuels me and especially so in the darkest of hours when the facts make an overwhelming case for me to consider giving up and to block it all out.

You can read about our first WeFeedback dinner here. Scroll down for the video we made in that post.

More global WeFeedback meals are to be hosted in the month of August, which the W.F.P will showcase on their blog. If you’d like to get involved, please email me or contact me via the blog.

Join me in feeding back to change lives

What’s in your fridge

Mark Menjivar started a project called You are what you eat, where he studied and photographed the interior of fridges across the United States for three years to understand our relationship with food better.

In his own words:

“An intense curiosity and questions about stewardship led me to begin to make these unconventional portraits. A refrigerator is both a private and a shared space.  One person likened the question, “May I photograph the interior of your fridge?” to asking someone to pose nude for the camera”

Wefeedback thought it a great idea (we are all such curious kitties), to get supporters to send in snaps of their fridges and to work out, using one or two items in the fridge, how many kids we could feed with that.

Fridges from our Foodista Friends

On Saturday past, I asked a few members of the local food and wine community to submit images of their fridges (which I have emailed to the W.F.P). I know it’s a personal and incredibly private thing to ask. I took my snap, without doing the week’s fruit and vegetable shopping and I was afraid for one moment, that I’d be judged. And also deeply ashamed by the ‘luxuries’ that find permanent abode in our fridge.

Funny creatures we are!

In our fridge there’s a large range of pestos, sauces, tapenades etc from South Africa and travels. Food, however simple needs flavour.


This is Jacalini’s fridge; she blogs at www.chefprive.co.za. I love the nail polish on the top right hand shelf.

Bernice blogs at gluten-free, natural ingredient blog BettyBakesBlog. The Danish feta looks really yummy.

Maggie and Hennie who blog their adventures at www.batonage.co.za do not cook at home. Not often anyway. They are wine and bubbly buffs, as is evident from the fridge, right?

This is Nicola’s fridge- she blogs at www.wotsforlunchblog.com. Nice balance of greens and beer!

Robert blogs at www.talesfromthtable.co.za and shares his current fridge with housemates. Coke Zero on the shelf – could do with a glug right now!


 Above, the gorgeous Dawn’s fridge. She owns and runs Jorgensen’s Distillery along with her husband Roger and their family. Can you spot the bottles of Jorgensen vodka and others? Dawn blogs her travels at The Incidental Tourist.

This is Skye’s immaculate fridge. Skye is the communications and PR manager for Cape Town Tourism and she lives and breathes the Cape Town message: inspiration, you’ll find it in our city. I spot many local products in her fridge, including Princess Pesto, Wellington’s sauces and home-grown bubbles.

If you’d like to share a snap of your fridge, please send me an email or contact me via the blog and I will forward your images and blog name (if applicable) to the W.F.P or tweet them a pic @WeFeedBack.

If you’d like me to add your pic here, let me know.

Note, everything expressed above are entirely my own views.

This post has been featured on WeFeedBack’s blog & Flikr Stream

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