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Brazil: TV chef inspired by sustainability

Tearfund is encouraging churches around the UK to hold Stir up Suppers to inspire people to live more sustainably and think about how our lifestyles impact the world's poorest ...

Tearfund is encouraging churches around the UK to hold Stir up Suppers to inspire people to live more sustainably and think about how our lifestyles impact the world's poorest.

In February, TV chef Tom Herbert, one half of Channel 4’s The Fabulous Baker Brothers, travelled to north-east Brazil with Tearfund to see first-hand how the changing climate is making life increasingly hard for the poorest communities.

Along with his 12-year-old daughter, Beatrix, Tom visited farmers in rural communities who are in the midst of a six year drought. He also met people living in extreme conditions in slums (favelas)  who had moved to the city because they could no longer earn enough money off the land.

Tom Herbert said, "When Bea and I visited communities in Brazil I couldn't believe how dramatically the changing climate affects people's everyday lives. Many people are unable to grow enough food to eat due to drought, so they have had to find other ways of supporting their families.

"Having seen the work that Tearfund are doing to help communities thrive, I was really inspired. People have been trained to use simple, affordable methods of collecting water, growing and selling food, and it's transforming their lives for the better."

Tom had a particularly special supper with a group of women who had started their own business after being trained in sustainable agriculture techniques  and rainwater harvesting. They discussed moving from only farming to starting a small-scale business growing fruit, pulping it and selling it as frozen juice.

Tom  said, "We held a Stir up Supper in Brazil with food grown from the surrounding farms. For us in Brazil climate change was up close and personal, but you can make a difference wherever you are."

He continued, "You can hold a Stir up Supper at your church or at home – it's so easy, everyone should get involved! It's a friendly and informal way to get together with your friends and family, and to chat about shopping locally, justice, faith, and poverty over a sustainable meal."

Participants in the supper are challenged to bring a dish that  is vegetarian and has low food miles and minimal packaging. There are plenty of resources to help create discussion such as a film, discussion questions and an activity to illustrate the injustice of our carbon emissions.

For more information on holding a Stir up Supper in your church visit www.tearfund.org/supper

PHOTOS (Eleanor Bentall/Tearfund)

Top: A stir up supper in the rural community near Afogados da Ingazeira, Pernambuco, north-east Brazil

Next: Tom Herbert and his daughter Bea in Brazil.

Above: Farmland in Carnaiba City, near Afogados da Ingazeira, Pernambuco,
north-east Brazil. Communities are being given organic farming techniques which are starting to produce results in climate affect areas.

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