‘In the end, the power of love is all’

Pierre Rabhi
Pierre Rabhi

As one of France’s most admired environmentalists, Pierre Rabhi advocates a simplified existence in order to live a sustainable, happy life. Jane Hanks falls under the sage’s spell in an exclusive interview

Pierre Rabhi is a French farmer, writer, philosopher and environmentalist who is well known to the French as a man who has been promoting an alternative, simpler way of life for many years, long before it became fashionable. He is now 80, but retirement is not for him as he continues to strive to create what for him would be a better world, with less emphasis on making money and more on being happy with what we already have.

Just recently a report from the government environment and energy management agency body Ademe quoted an Ipsos study which found that most households thought they had a total of 34 electronic pieces of equipment, but in fact the figure is closer to an astonishing 99 and that people buy three times more now than in 1960.

One of Pierre Rabhi’s many books, Vers la Sobriété Heureuse, was translated into English last year, The Power of Restraint. What did he mean by this title?

“We live in a world where there is part of it which is suffering from over consumption and throws too much away, and another part where there is still famine. We produce 40% more than we need.

“One fifth of our world, of which I am a part, uses four fifths of the world’s resources. I cannot morally accept that situation. To change that we need to adopt more modest lifestyles. In our society we have more than enough to eat, but even then we are not happy.

“There is no joie de vivre. People in the West are always worrying about what they do not have, rather than enjoying what they do have. If we were producing all these goods and people were satisfied, then maybe our civilisation would have been successful, but people are not happy, so we must change things.”

Source THE CONNEXION: ‘In the end, the power of love is all’

Tasting Paris: A Chat with French Food Connoisseur, Clotilde Dusoulier

Food is at the heart of French culture – it is quite literally the bread and butter of their way of life. Clotilde Dusoulier, a French food writer based in Paris, knows just how important it is. She’s passionate about the fresh, wholesome foods that have influenced her lifestyle and career; she writes about it on her blog, Chocolate & Zucchini

We got the chance to speak with Clotilde about French food and culture, her writing, and the importance of learning to cook. Keep reading to find out more!

SIGNATURE: When did food become such an important part of your life? Did you always know you wanted to be a food writer?

CLOTILDE DUSOULIER: I grew up in a French family where fresh, seasonal food was important, but we didn’t make a big deal out of it. It’s only as a young adult, when I moved to California after graduating, that I took stock of my culinary heritage, and became fascinated with food, and what it says about us. I started to cook with increasing passion, as a creative outlet and a way to reconnect with home.I always knew I wanted to write, and I stumbled upon food writing specifically when I decided to start a blog in 2003 to share my passion for cooking. I realized it was a topic that inspired me endlessly, and allowed me to connect with others in a genuine and meaningful way.

Clotilde Dusoulier
Chef and author Clotilde Dusoulier

 

“My mission is to give my readers fresh ideas that keep them excited and motivated to cook on a day-to-day basis.” 

CD: It’s a toss-up between a baguette and a croissant! Both are iconic products of French baking, and neither is as beautifully crafted as they are in France, and in Paris specifically (pardon my Parisian bias). On my food walking tours, we spend time discussing and appreciating what makes a stellar baguette and croissant, where to buy 

 

SIG: If someone were traveling to France for the first time, what would be the first thing you recommend to eat?

CD: It’s a toss-up between a baguette and a croissant! Both are iconic products of French baking, and neither is as beautifully crafted as they are in France, and in Paris specifically (pardon my Parisian bias). On my food walking tours, we spend time discussing and appreciating what makes a stellar baguette and croissant, where to buy them, and how to recognize them.

SIG: How does food impact French culture? What are some traditions that have stood the test of time? [ . . . ]

Continue Interview at SIGNATURE: Tasting Paris: A Chat with French Food Connoisseur, Clotilde Dusoulier