It all started when...
I realized that I was more interested in learning who, what and how of the ingredients in my kitchen than whipping them up in a dish. I used to write a blog called "Ilke's Kitchen" to introduce Turkish cuisine on the weekends. During the week, I was a water/wastewater engineer, designing treatment plants which clean water before bringing it into our homes, and before discharging it into our waterways.
When you bring sustainability into the equation along with all the facts and news about water scarcity, climate change, reuse efforts, erosion, pollution, vulnerable lands, lack of economic opportunities for farmers, lost seeds, ineffective policies, at some point, the line between the professional and personal lives and interests blurred. Agriculture is responsible for 70% of water withdrawals globally, with a lack of efficiency of how that water is used. Population is estimated to increase to 10 billion by 2050. This will necessitate ramping up the agriculture production drastically, about 70% by that same year. Meanwhile, agricultural runoff continues to be the main contributor of non-point source water pollution with the use of excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides. Without gaining efficiency, getting smarter about how we use resources and how we impact environment, we are not going to be able to feed the world and protect the one and only Earth.
We might try to live our lives in silos, pretend that the dinner you are eating is not connected to the water supply of your town, not connected to the water bill you are paying or why you have to pay more for the same vegetables that used to grow closer but now they have to truck it in because of the low yields in your area. Not to mention the person who lost his farm and livelihood because they can not get good produce or yields so they can not make the payments on their house, loans, farm equipment they purchased.
Every inch of this Earth has stories. Every person who tends the soil, packs the produce, brings it to you has stories. We all are intertwined in and with these stories. We are all one.
Now I am writing this blog to introduce Turkish ingredients and produce, and the people who plant, harvest and, process them. It is about the people who take great care of the ingredients of life in the best way they know how.