Sébastien Boudet is a baker and chef, known from TV’s “Nyhetsmorgon” and “Dessertmästarna”. At his artisan bakery “Sébastien på Söder” we had the chance to meet him and talk about ecology and the future.
Sébastien takes out a large ball of dough and starts kneading, while running back and forth – helping a customer, throwing in some used plates to the counter and putting some towels in front of us. Meanwhile, he talks incessantly about ecology. “Ecology is NOT a trend! It’s about producing food without poisoning the soil and groundwater, and instead using diversity and the natural cycle. People need to change the way they consume food – common sense!”
It was about 15 years ago that Sébastien started talking about ecology in public spaces, which was met with ugly words and threatening emails. At the same time, he received emails from eight different Swedish farmers who wrote: “FINALLY, someone is talking about this!” At Sébastien in the South, everything is organic and local, and Sébastien himself says he has chosen to go organic early because he knows it’s the right thing to do and that it will make a difference.
Everyone will go the same way, sooner or later
Food does not cost what it should
When we start discussing the fact that many people don’t buy organic produce because it’s much more expensive, Sébastien says that food doesn’t cost what it should today. He cites products such as coffee, tea and bananas as examples. These are products that come from vulnerable countries, and are sprayed to maximise yields in order to sell more. The chemicals contained in the spraying are toxic to humans and animals living near the farms, making these vulnerable people even more vulnerable. “Even nature is being poisoned! We can’t go on like this, we have to start producing food that costs what it actually costs – with clean water and fresh air”.
38 tonnes of onions harvested due to wrong appearance
While Sébastien brings us cinnamon buns and coffee, he continues to talk about the waste, which is greater than ever. 400 tonnes of food are thrown away every year and it is mainly between the producer and the consumer shelf that most waste takes place. For example, a farmer may have a defect in a harvest of 38 tonnes of yellow onions, which means that they look slightly different from what we think an onion should look like. “38 tonnes of onions are ploughed instead of being eaten, even though there is absolutely nothing wrong with either the taste or the nutritional content, it’s just the appearance that’s ‘wrong’.”
Cucumbers and tomatoes are not available during the winter season!
We start talking about how we find it difficult to buy organic today, and wonder if you can really trust organic labels in stores? Sébastien says that if you don’t have the possibility to buy local, you should at least try to buy seasonal produce. For example, during the winter season in Sweden, cucumbers and tomatoes are not available, and therefore we should not buy them, but instead buy cabbage, root vegetables and onions that are in season now. “Buying an organic tomato from Portugal doesn’t feel good either – because it’s been transported here anyway.”
“This is a ‘regular’ bun – the rest is crap!”
As our conversation with Sébastien draws to a close, he points to his buns and says: “This is a ‘regular’ bun, the rest is shit.” He then starts talking about bananas again, saying that today a “regular” banana is a sprayed banana, and an organic banana is a “special” banana, which is completely wrong. It should be the other way around.
An organic banana should be a ‘regular’ banana and the one we think is a regular banana should be called a ‘sprayed’ banana in shops.
With these words we would like to end this post. I hope you’ve had a wake-up call too, because we did after the interview. Thank you Sébastien, for what you do and the inspiration you gave us!