Trialled in 2017, the Lost Art of Living Festival has now become an annual ‘health’ event in Lancaster with a strong holistic food theme. It saw more than 2000 people attend events in 2018 and will hopefully see even more people participate when it returns to Lancaster this September (from the 19th – 22nd).
The festival is coordinated and funded by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust with in-kind support from local partners and a few small local grants. The festival’s master mind – Ian Dewar- sits of the Sustainable Food City Lancaster Food Partnership, ensuring that holistic food activities feature throughout the three day health festival and visa versa- health is strongly ingrained within the food partnership’s work.
When asked how the idea for the festival came about, Ian commented: “There is an unavoidable crises in health care that can’t simply be met by money. It needs a change in culture. Fundamental to this change in culture is a need to completely re-think our relationship to the physical world in terms of food and the environment and their specific role in health and wellbeing. The fact that the Health Festival is supported by the Trust in partnership with local partners, supports health care in coming out of a silo. It supports a future health care system that is based on collaborative partnerships. From the festival experience we have learnt that this form of community engagement gives us a different insight into health care, and exciting new ideas are coming out of it.”
2018’s Lost Art of Living food-themed events were varied and included a bread making workshop with local teenagers at our local ‘Real Bread’ bakery: Filbert’s Bakery.
A ‘Breakfast after Brexit’ conversation was held around a table in Lancaster’s vegetarian and wholefood cafe – The Whale Tail. This conversation was lead by Professor Linda Henry from the University of Lancaster who specialises in food supply chains.
Chris Holland, a professional Chef from Sous Vide, ran cooking demonstrations with local residents, using local produce from Claver Hill community farm. All participants left with recipe cards for seasonal meals and knowledge of where to access fresh, affordable and and organically grown local produce.
A seasonal Harvest Market was attended by an estimated 600 people, plus the Royal Lancaster Infirmary chefs who ran healthy cooking demonstrations.
In preparation for September, we have started discussing ideas for food-themed events. A nutritional disco, Harvest Market, gleaning and Precious Plastic events have all been mentioned. What else would you like to see?