A view from the Bean Store: Ashia

A view from the Bean Store: Ashia

by Josiah Meldrum March 19, 2021 3 Comments

Ashia Trevor-Massey started working at the Bean Store at the end of last year, here she reflects on why she chose to join us and what she likes about our shared vision for change.

I am Ashia, I have recently started working for Hodmedod's and have been asked to share my view on the company and what they are trying to achieve. I have a passion towards learning about how wholesome “real” food can be produced in a sustainable, regenerative and low impact way and have loved working for a company that has the same beliefs.

I see Hodmedod's as such an important, pioneering company of a growing, real food network. Their attitude and ethos is a needed change in our modern food system. They are an example of what the food and farming industry could look like with a change in perspective and a bit of imagination.

At this point in our human history we are facing major problems with our planet and way of life. With our fast-paced lives and consumerism at its peak, we are struggling to sustain ourselves. There are problems with both the physical and mental health of the British population and the health of our land and soil, due to a move towards a more artificial diet and intense land management. However not all is lost. Companies such as Hodmedod's and the ones they support and work with are the start of a big change in our British food culture. Tackling the above mentioned issues with an enthusiasm and passion to make a difference.

As a company they approach everything they do in a sustainable and transparent way, ensuring each bean, pulse or grain is traceable back to the very farmer and farm it was grown on, proudly printing their name at the bottom of every packet. This is a novel idea as sadly it isn't seen on most supermarket products.

Not only do Hodmedod's help contribute to a healthier climate and atmosphere by reducing the mileage on their beans, but working with local British farmers also means they can have a close connection with the growers. This is important as it means they can ensure the quality of the pulses and work towards using more low impact, agroecological farming techniques which I feel is a necessary and positive change to how we farm, for the health of our land and soil.

What this company does is innovative, and I believe revolutionary, producing amazing, beautiful, wholesome, organic grains, pulses and cereals. Packaged sustainably and sourced from local British farms (what more could you want!). However, the majority of us as a nation have become increasingly disconnected with where our food comes from. We see the crops growing in the fields but don't always connect it to what we have at home in our cupboards. This is where I think Hodmedod's as a company really comes into its stride. In my opinion, one of the most important things they are doing is changing the philosophy of food culture by changing the general public's attitude towards what they put on their plates. Instead of sticking to a conventional diet they are encouraging a move to a more exciting, diverse one.

Hodmedod's have brought back the growing of ancient grains like emmer and black badger carlin peas for the British market, not only because they are good for us and our soil but because they taste great and are interesting, there is a story that comes with them, making them more than something we just use to fuel our bodies. As shown through the recipe page on their website, they have inspired many customers, me included, to approach cooking with grains and pulses with more imagination and energy and include them as a staple in our diets. 

I view Hodmedod's as a catalyst to a new and exciting future for arable food production and British food culture. I understand how important their work is and see them as living prove that we can sustain ourselves in not only a less destructive but regenerative way. I am looking forward to seeing more of how the company promotes a different way of thinking and hope it encourages lots more companies similar to this to pop up all over the country.




Josiah Meldrum
Josiah Meldrum

Author



3 Responses

Iain Chapman
Iain Chapman

April 27, 2021

Thank you, Ashia, and well said.

I know it’s been a difficult year for the business and hope you’re all doing well.

Sarah C
Sarah C

April 27, 2021

Well said, Ashia! You say exachow we all feel about supporting more people like Hodmedod’s. What an incredible opportunity to work with them. Good luck on the rest of your food and work journey!

Jyoti Fraser
Jyoti Fraser

April 27, 2021

I much appreciate all you write Ashia, and your knowledge of our mass monocultural arable farming, and mass-production-to-mass-retail food chains, unaccountable as to origins or soil regeneration. I value your insights into how Hodmedod and growing numbers of similar, are offering radical, regen and genuinely sust methods of growing and marketing. May you, and they, go from strength to strength!

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