Over the coming weeks before Terra Madre Salone del Gusto 2018 commences we are sharing short interviews with some of the youth delegates and other Scottish food leaders attending the biggest global gathering of food communities in the world!
Next up is Frankie Vaughn, a freelance researcher, broadcaster and all around creatively talented lady with a background in neuroscience and nutrition. Frankie is always on the search to understand what we eat, why we eat it, and the role that food plays in our lives.
What’s your happiest food memory?
Where to begin! Food has featured in all of my happiest memories, from birthdays and significant occasions to quality time with quality people. One of my best meals thus far has been a Thanksgiving dinner with university friends and flatmates. We burned the kitchen counter in the process (and lost our deposit as a result), but it was undeniably worth it for it food and fellowship.
What originally inspired you to get involved in your work?
I suffered from anorexia as a teenager, but am incredibly fortunate to have received excellent support from a dietician, who later inspired me to study nutrition once my relationship with food was back on track. From here, I became increasingly interested in the role that food plays in our lives.
How are you helping to or hoping to build a better food system?
I am passionate about equipping people with the resources they need to eat healthfully – with physical and financial access to ingredients, with the skills to prepare enjoyable meals, and with the emotional tools to navigate the complexities of branding, body image and trends. With a background in science communication, I currently work in the factual TV department at the BBC, and aspire to build a career around improving our understanding of food through the media.
What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?
I see food insecurity as an increasingly urgent issue in the UK, and the complexities of economics, culture and education make this is a hugely challenging issue to solve. I hope to see a multifaceted, multidisciplinary approach to tackling food poverty, stemming from governmental concern rather than a reliance on civil action (although this can undoubtedly play a significant role.)
How can we best stimulate young adults curiosity about food and agriculture and encourage their participation in building healthier food systems?
Food is something that we all relate to, and it serves as a powerful vehicle through which we build relationships, identity and strength. In a culture of increasing individualism and loneliness, I believe we can harness the power of food to provide young people with a platform for community – be it through supper clubs, community gardens, morning raves or bake-offs.
Who are your food heroes?
There are so many incredible people working in food and agriculture, and many of them are unsung heroes, working quietly behind the scenes. I admire any parent who has persevered with helping their children to enjoy eating vegetables and anyone who has ever had the patience to grow their food from scratch.
Which of this year’s Terra Madre themes most relates to your work and why?
With a background in neuroscience and nutrition, Food and Health is the theme to which I most relate. I am eager to use my education and experience to improve public health and wellbeing, through a better understanding of food, better access to food, and better relationships with food.
If you could travel to one country in the world to experience their food culture where would it be?
I would love to visit Georgia – I’ve heard their feasts can last for days! As a part of the world about which I know very little, it would be amazing to explore a new country through their rich food culture and traditions.
You might not know this but…
I wrote an award-winning rap about fat cells as a postgraduate student. Science is cool.