Food on the road - the JoDa diet

Now, as many of you know, Jonathan and me are passionate foodsavers. In these times of exuberance which we live in, to us it just makes a lot of sense to take care of the food which often is wasted, neglected or simply not known.  In Germany - thanks to the famous work of people like Raphael Fellmer, Raphael Wintrich and Valentin Thurn - we could participate in or also work with the independent platform to act against food waste and in order to find local fruits and nuts and urban gardens to pick fresh organic and self grown vegetables, fruits and herbs of the season.

On the road we wanted to continue this in our opinion healthy and meaningful way of an environmentally balanced diet: In this blog entry we will share some of our experiences with you about the big question: 

How to get (preferably healthy and vegan) food on the road?

Basically we encountered three different ways:
  1. Finding food along the way: with your eyes open for the futility of nature you can detect edible plants, herbs, salads, fruits, roots etc. almost everywhere. What we also encountered a lot were for example corn fields or other fields after the harvest where still a lot of food could be found.
  2. Saving food in the cities and villages: asking for food which cannot be sold anymore like bread of the day before or sorted out fruits and vegetables led very often to interesting conversations and some insights in to the various individual ways of the owners and sellers about their ideas of a healthy food industry. 
  3. Receiving food gifts from wonderful people: preferably in exchange for some work or for a little music or at least after a lovely humane spontaneous encounter we were here in there invited for very delicious food and great gifts by great people.

1. Finding food along the way

In Italy close to Genova while hitchhiking we were lucky to find sun flowers rich of seeds at a gas station.

Later we were able to let the sun flower seeds dry in the warn sun of the Mediterranean Sea right at the beach and Jonathan even created some arts with them :) We would also find walnuts and sometimes almonds.

Still in Germany we couldn't believe our luck to find so many wild apple trees in full fruit that early in the year (late August-early September); it had been a very hot summer especially in the South and good harvesting conditions.

Not only the apples, also the black berries and hazel nuts were ready to eat, sweet and nutritious and two favorite snacks of ours during our time in Germany. Later in Italy and France the black berry time was over already but therefore we would find  sweet chestnuts (maroni), grapefruits, figs, oranges, walnuts and other fruits we never before encountered like the 'carruba' (Johannisbrot) and a fruit we chose to call Haribo fruit since it tasted like Haribo's Fantasia mixture. The fun just never ended with new discoveries and innovative food creations.

In France then close to Bordeaux - of course - we could have taken baths in grapes. Very often in the center of the roundabouts for the cars in this region there were little grape islands planted in the middle of the traffic.  We were able to find out that their sole life-task was to look pretty; nobody harvests them usually. Well, at least not until the Change Hikers arrived :)
P.S.: Here in the back you can see Jonathan in hitchhiking action.

Not to eat, but a great help for the moneyless life as well; the aloe vera was growing in astoundingly huge amounts along the Via della Costa in Italy. We were able to pick our fresh organic sun cream and lotion almost every day.

2. Saving food in the cities and villages

Our first dumpster dived food on this journey: apples, onions, bananas and more from the bin behind a small supermarket in a lovely Italian small village which we had to visit due to its precious little name: Momo :)

Some sage along the way. In Italian cities people grow a lot of sage, rosemary and sometimes even basil and oregano to fill their streets with lovely smells. In the mountains and on dry land we were also able to find a lot of thyme.

In Finale Ligure along the Via Aurelia we were lucky to arrive to a plazza where a huge market just had ended: this is what we could gather from the many leftovers.

Here and on the picture underneath you can see two of our many different dishes: a deliciouse breakfast with soaked grains, rice and fruits on the one hand and an Italian bruscetta JoDa style on the other.

The first saved Baguette of France right behind the French-Italian border, voilà :) "Nu somm dö wojaschör d'almanje e nusessajon a wojasch atraver l'örop sonsarschon. Eskö wusawe pan d'iär?"  

3. Receiving food gifts from wonderful people

To everyone who supported us on our journey in whatever way - by inviting us into their homes, taking us into their cars, greeting us on the street, giving us food from their shops, bakeries and restaurants which was still fresh, being with us mentally, sharing their stories and experiences with us....THANK YOU!

First it seemed as if we would only spend a short time and a few kilometers together..then we started talking about permaculture, music. the Wuppertaler Freilichtbühne..and at a sudden we were together in their garden and harvested horseradish! <3

In the lovely little Italian village of Momo we met our wonderful 'Momo Mama' who asked for our German mothers and took care of us, prepared two fresh salads, gave us water and taught us some Italian while we were trying to tell her with feet and hands the incredible story of Michael Ende's Momo.
A really grand picnic at the Mediterranean Sea sponsored by my dad and Renate! Thank you so very, very much!
This kombucha came from a lady with a heart and mind clear as a summer's sky and a laughter refreshing as Spanish oranges and a beauty not to be put in words. Thank you, lovely Roberta with your lovely Eros, that you squeezed us into your tiny car, took us into your home, thank you for the music under the nightsky and...well, everything!

In Naujac-sur-mer Jonathan's mother introduced us to a lovely couple growing organic vegetables basically just around the corner of her camping. We were very lucky to be allowed to help them harvesting during our time in Naujac....

This is Greg and Jonathan during the potato harvest.