Why do all the cool kids love Jack?

Jackfruit is trendy right now. I love Jackfruit. I don’t love trends. Trends tend to forget the why and bypass the essence just to be cool. That sucks. 

That’s what happened to Jackfruit. People started calling it a meat replacer. That is bullshit. Jackfruit is rich in fiber and minerals. Lots of good stuff. Meat is protein. 2 very different things. 

Do people need more fibre and minerals? I believe so. Do people need to start eating foods that nourish the Earth, not destroy her? I believe so. Can people do with less meat? Is protein overrated? Do we need more vitality of living foods and less density from animal products? I say yes. 

Is eating meat wrong? Who am I to judge. Although I have invited our students to kill their own animals. Most meat eaters tap out the moment I asked them to slash the chicken’s head off with a rusty knife. 

Jackfruit is just so much cleaner and less intimidating. Eating animals requires respect and courage. Qualities we have lost as humans. And supermarkets took over from there, wrapping meat in sterile plastic. 

So why did you start eating Jackfruit Simon? Well it happened that some 8 years ago I started cooking at a Silent Retreat center in rural Bali. The closest supermarket was a 40 minute drive. I promised the founder of the center to cook nothing with eye balls so I had to get inventive. See I don’t like rabbit food. 

All the foods that were known to me like potatoes and cabbage would get hammered in the garden by pests. And farmers didn’t want to deliver because of the distance. I kept running into these giant fruits on my morning walks through the jungle. So I started talking to the locals. And they showed me the way with Jack. 

Young jackfruits, the fruits that have barely produced seeds, fruity flesh and aroma yet, if cooked correctly, has a lovely, stringy texture that somewhat resembles meat. If seasoned nicely, and cooked to the correct moisture level it gets exciting. To make it meaty, one has to incorporate an ‘umami’ taste using things like soy sauce, miso, nutritional yeast, fish sauce, or even parmesan cheese. Grilled meat naturally has a very savoury taste, you’ll need to work on that since you are cooking young fruit, not grass fed beef. 

Ripe jackfruit is a whole different story. It is super aromatic and delightfully textured. Any cooking or seasoning would be unnecessary, some would argue even disrespectful. To tackle a whole ripe Jackfruit you need skills. First you had to fight the insects by bagging the fruit to protect it from invaders, laying eggs inside the fruit and have their offspring devouring the fruit from the inside. You might bump into insect damage in your 20 kg fruit, but you can just cut around it. 

Jack will bleed very sticky way upon slashing him. Rub your hands and knife in oil beforehand and you will thank me later. Fruit segments are the size of a tulip and contain a protein rich, large seed. You may cook these seeds, peel it and use like chick peas in Jack hummus. Or fry them until crispy and season them with salt. The protein in jackfruit is in the seed, not in the flesh. Strangely enough Jackfruit hipsters don’t eat them seeds. Suckers. 

Lastly. Understand that Jack is an enthusiastic boy. He likes to produce more fruits than he can typically sustain. By us harvesting some of the young fruits, we ensure Jack saves himself and remains strong enough to nourish those remaining fruits all the way until sugary sweet ripeness. Perhaps Jack wanted us to cook young jackfruit curry all along. Who’s to say trees don’t whisper to us in our sleep? 

10 ways to thrive on the New Earth

April 2020. Many of us realize, the world will never be the same. Now is a more powerful time than ever to create the world you want to live in.

Ask yourself, if all my wishes came true, would it change THE world or just MY world?

For those who want to step up and create heaven on Earth, here are 10 powerful habits to get started.

Yoga, which includes meditation, means union

  1. Take time to meditate. This doesn’t mean you’ll have to sit like a monk on a mountain (but by all means go for it). This is a matter of taking active steps to quiet the thinking mind and connect to your inner wisdom, in a way that works for you. It may include long walks in nature, wildly dancing, singing or lying flat on the kitchen floor. There are many ways to suit many minds. For beginners I recommend guided meditations. Jon Kabat Zinn is a mindfulness meditation teacher that has guided work available online. Remember that guidance is just a signpost, ultimately you want to find a way to be able to quiet your mind by yourself. Fear and trauma are often blocking our natural inner peace, in the next step we explore how to embrace and heal it. 

2. Embrace fear. These times bring about fear and anxiety around security and stability for many. Instead of panicking, and making decisions out of fear, why not use the fear to heal old wounds? The reason many people fear is old traumas around security and health are being activated by the current situation. This in itself opens up a powerful portal for healing. There are potent modalities to help you deal with fear. Besides meditation, explore ‘holotropic breathwork’ as a tool to heal trauma and find increased inner strength. 

3. Find purpose by becoming of service. In our old system, we were trained to work for money, status or societies expectations. As a result, increasing numbers of people experience burn out, mental/physical issues and a lack of fulfilment,. Now that so many of these structures are crumbling, there’s a great opportunity to give yourself permission to do the things that you are passionate about. It is natural for fears around money and future scenarios to arise, that is why we address these in steps 1 and 2. It is vital to build a foundation of trust and connection to greater intelligence before embarking on the path of greater purpose. Star today by actively asking the question, what does life want to birth through me? Use your emotional response as guidance and trust that those things that truly excite you are of service on Earth today. 

Service is not one way traffic, but a symbiotic relationship with all life forms

4. Take steps towards self-sufficiency. This is a big call, and many are overwhelmed by the idea. Remember that every journey starts with a single step. You don’t have to grow all your own food today but you can plant 1 seed in 1 pot. You don’t have to change your whole life around, but you can make small changes in your current situation today.

5. Find a willingness to forgive and let go of the past. Many of us hold grudges things that happened in the past. To hold a grudge is like drinking poison and expecting your enemy to die. Now, more than ever, it is vital to accept the past, no matter how painful. To let go and forgive has nothing to do with letting anyone get away with anything. It’s an act of kindness to yourself, to acknowledge that you will not ruin your present moment with painful memories from the past. Forgiveness can’t be forced so make sure to be gentle and kind to yourself in the process. Trust that by being curious about any grudges inside of you, and with a willingness to heal and forgive, the actual forgiveness will come naturally at the right time. 

6. Create space for the new. Become clear on what you want to dedicate your energy towards. There’s is no space for false politeness and pleasing the wrong master on the New Earth. If you don’t feel inspired to put your energy towards something or someone, but you are doing it anyway for false reasons like fear of scarcity, fear to be disliked or to please others, you are clogging up your space. In order to welcome the new, it is vital to be brave and let go of the old. This includes possessions, commitment and relationships that don’t support the greatest version of ourselves.  

Healthy, colourful food supports a happy life

7. Be flexible. This New Earth IS being born, but not on your terms. This is not the time to stare blindly at things that are seemingly going wrong. After all, imagine you wouldn’t understand childbirth, and you’d walk into a maternity ward witnessing a woman give birth, you might believe something is going terribly wrong. Trust, the messy bloodiness of this time and become the all-knowing cosmic midwife to support. Be brave, but vulnerable. Be positive, but be open to receive help. Stay focussed on the big picture, and don’t be distracted by fear-based media panic. Know that when calm, focussed and kind, you will be able to make healthy decisions in every moment. 

8. Maintain a strong immune system. Yet to be fully understood by science, the immune system is a reflection of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. These aspects of your health are inseparable. Fact, when in fear, your bodies cells contract, and your immune system lowers, channeling energy towards a ‘fight or flight’ response. Many are now in a constant state of fear only caused by an imaginary threat! Tackle your immune health by taking full responsibility for your health. In step 9 we explore ways to improve your physical health through diet and exercise today, and in final step 10, we address holistic health, that includes all aspects. 

9. Cultivate a sustainable, healthy diet and exercise routine. The key? ‘Blissipline’, not discipline. ‘Blissipline’ means having healthy habits out of a love for the self, doing things that you know make you feel good. Whilst discipline can sometimes result in self-hatred and burn out. Instead of listening to dietary advice from another source, become self-aware. Take careful notes of the way your body feels after consuming certain foods at certain times. Observe your digestion, your skin, your breath, your eyes, become intimate with yourself. Experiment with periods of fasting, a great way to start is intermittent fasting. Remember that the stomach and digestion take a lot of energy to process food, so don’t eat too heavy before sleeping, meditating or doing creative work. Start preparing your own food. But only when you feel inspired and excited. Work with ingredients you feel drawn to that are easily and locally available. Similarly, seek out an exercise routine you enjoy. Feeling social? Team up with a friend. Remember that exercise puts stress on the body, and that the strength you gain is through the recovery process. Build up slowly, and give yourself plenty of time to recover. 

There’s space for all life to thrive in abundance

10. Cultivate holistic health. Ultimately, your health is a reflection of your thriving on this Earth. Any disease is an opportunity to grow and learn a better way of thriving. Self-love, gentleness and surrender to the inevitability of the present moment are key. All of the previous steps may contribute to finding greater health, fulfilment, joy and purpose in the only narrow part of life that is real, the present moment. Moreover, people on the New Earth will become more intimate and accepting of the opposite of birth, death. Rather than this terrifying event, which no one likes to talk about, death will be recognized as a beautiful part of the eternal cycle of life. Just like in the forest, where the death and decomposition of leaves, plants, bugs and trees are the very fuel for new growth. Death will be celebrated on the New Earth. A closer relationship with endings urges us to celebrate life now and encourage us to make our dreams come true before it’s too late.

The future of Food

All that’s left to ask our farmers: ‘are you growing food or commodities?

All that’s left to ask our cooks: ‘are you cooking for love or profit?’ 

It’s an exciting time to be alive. For some, life seems limitless. With enough funds, one can go around the world in 48 hours. Restaurant hop your way through Europe, slide around street food Asia, still your appetite in the Americas. If that sounds like too much effort, you can get the whole circus to come your way, by simply visiting your local supermarket. I’m sure our grandparents were beaming with excitement over the introduction of the first paprika, the new generation is increasingly harder to impress.

Just as we’re getting used to eating anything we want, that very culinary luxury is under serious threat. With our oceans estimated to be empty only a few decades from now, our soils have 100 harvests left in them and climate change getting more and more personal, we now ask ourselves the question ‘how will we feed the world over the years to come?’

Kaline Food Trip_136
Students of New Earth School learning about soil health

How did this happen? Why does a species which has been enjoying seafood for thousands of years all of a sudden worry about empty oceans? Why are more and more people becoming allergic to our daily bread, the very life force that allowed us to thrive? What happened to the crusty gold which we ripped up in pieces to keep our families together?

Part of the answer is found in the industrialization of our food production, which has gradually happened ever since we evolved from hunter-gatherers into agriculturalists. It took a serious turn when steam and coal engines were added to the formula. It took a major leap after World War 2, when machinery, heavy chemical usage, and genetic alteration of crops became fuel for the grand feast, the unimaginable scale on which food is produced by a handful of determined players. The oil, pharmaceutical and biochemical industries are fuelling the trail of industrial-sized farms, factories, supermarkets and fast food outlets that please the majority of the modern-day appetite. At what cost?

Kaline Food Trip_472
Sharing food forest abundance at New Earth Cooking School


One major factor is overlooked in the capitalistic quest for ongoing growth. The flip side of the coin, death and deconstruction. Look at a forest, in the view of mainstream business, failure is happening all the time. Leaves are dropping, plants are dying, flowers are wilting, everything that once came from the soil returns there shortly after.

Because things die and wither in a forest, humans never need to interfere with a plough and buckets of fertilizer. A healthy forest is self-regulating, abundant and ever-expanding. It thrives by dying, at least from a human perspective. One could argue that nothing dies, only life takes place, expressed in various forms. Slowing down in order to grow, economists find this hard to grasp.

External input doesn’t make sense to one forest because one would have to ‘steal’ from another forest. Harmony is what’s needed. All species support each other from there. The key to the survival of the human race is for us to realize our place in nature, rather than trying to put nature in its place. Every cell in our body wants to thrive on this planet. It’s time for our minds to catch up with this reality. Harmonize. Or die.

Patching up the problems

Malnutrition came to Africa when the balance was removed. Cattle were introduced and the medicinal plants on which tribes relied for their thriving disappeared. Most of the beef destined for export to Western steak houses. Barbed wire fences to protect those cows captured and killed the local wildlife. Vital parts of a delicate ecosystem were disturbed, people lost touch with nature in favour of a dream of financial wealth and malnutrition is a result. This story has repeated itself in one form or another around the globe.

There are many other reasons why people die hungry on a planet of abundance. This article does not aim to identify or simplify the exact causes of this. Instead, it illustrates how many efforts to combat the problems of our modern system fail because the system itself is the problem. Or perhaps more correctly, the greedy and destructive mindset which paves the way for such a system to exist.


Input vs Output

Mono crops by default disregard the natural will of nature, hence nature puts up resistance. Through violent use of chemicals, machinery and regular ploughing we can temporarily win the war.

An example. Forest is cleared to grow enormous fields of corn. Grasshoppers come and destroy the fields. The grasshoppers are not the problem. They are there to eradicate a crop that is a threat to the eco system. Excessive forest clearing is the problem. ‘Pests’ are agents of re-balance, they may come to make way for trees so the birds have a place to live. The birds eventually will re-balance the numbers of slugs and insects. What we call ‘weeds’ are helpful plants which nourish the tired soils with nutrients and minerals.

‘Pests’ are no threat to humanity as such. Nature wants humans to thrive if we give her a chance. One reason we don’t understand this is because most farmers have stopped viewing their produce as food. It has become a commodity, a simple calculating of input and output aimed at a financial, not nutritional surplus. Humanity does not thrive in such a system. Because of soil degradation, higher inputs are needed every year, the only ones profiting are the companies who supply such goods. Although ultimately they don’t profit either, despite their financial wealth and power they are in dire need of clean water and nutritious food themselves.

Mono crop systems have never proven to supply us with more food per hectare in the long run. Small scale, mixed produce organic farms and so-called ‘perma-culture’ operations are generally more productive, with a lower input and little or no negative impact on the environment. Produce grown in rich soil without the aid of chemicals is far superior in terms of taste and nutritional value.

Even traditional mono-crop farming is more productive. Take rice farming in South East Asia for example. The introduction of hybrid rice and chemical fertilizers temporarily lifted the production, until soils became depleted. It sadly also reduced the ‘by-products’ of the rice fields, the delicacies on which the peasants who work these lands would thrive. Dragonflies, eels, frogs, water spinach and many other species reduced or disappeared because of heavy chemical usage. Those aspects are never included in calculations. Many farmers now want to convert back to organic farming yet struggle as the degradation of their land forces them to apply artificial chemicals.

So where to go from here? Wait for government legislation to support organic farming and ban unsustainable practice? Slowly this is happening, but you are the one you’ve been waiting for. Consumer demand drives the market. Awareness is the key.

Remember, you vote with every bite. Make sure you vote well. For support on your journey, browse www.newearthcooking.com.

Science has failed my world.

I feel uncomfortable uttering this statement. And for good reasons. In the eyes of the masses, criticizing modern science is often terrain of the unemployed or uneducated.

Besides, history teaches that being different is risky business. I’m not surprised that the need to ‘fit in’ is deeply ingrained in the human psyche. Recently one would be burned, impaled or stoned to death for being revolutionary. Thanks to scientific advances such as printed and digital media, today most of us can express ourselves relatively freely throughout most parts of the world.


A vintage calculator

Humanity has made vast technological leaps in recent decades. I remember the evening in 1985 when my dad came home with a calculator the size of a bedside cabinet, from his daytime job at Philips. Around that same time my mother gave me a beautifully illustrated book on deep ocean creatures. Night after night I was tucked away under my blanket wearing goggles and a head torch, diving 13 kilometers deep into the world of deep ocean exploration. In my mind I was a scientist.

Science at its core is man’s quest to understand the natural world. A noble journey that pushed brave individuals to the very edges of our planet which turned out to be round after all. Sheer determination and unsurmountable brainpower gave us greater understanding of plant chemistry, disease, interstellar relations and the mechanics of perfect ice cream.

Modern science is an integral part of human evolution. Its delicious fruits, such as faster travel, easier access to food and instant communication with our peers are gratefully gobbled up by most of us. The way we juggle deeply entrenched reptile brain emotions and outdated believes in a modern world fueled by god like technology is downright miraculous.

In my opinion, sheer rational knowledge, ungrounded by greater wisdom of our place in the universe has become a dangerous doctrine. We’ve seen agricultural advances that lack a birds-eye view of the biosphere, resulting in the destruction of our precious natural environment. The genetic modification of organisms is likened to changing random pages without understanding the book of life and may be one of the great threats to the survival of our species.

We now know that over the last half a billion years there have been five mass extinctions on Earth, times in which the diversity of life suddenly and dramatically contracted. Today, science is monitoring a 6th mass extinction happening right under our feet, and it’s predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs. But for the first time around, the force behind this event is us.

Or more precisely, the force behind it is the science that failed my world. It’s the dogmatic science which is fuelling the egocentric quest for material advances whilst ridiculing both ancient and modern modalities on the basis of them not (yet) being understood. This science has swapped the desire to understand the natural world with a quest to dominate and ultimately destroy it. It favours chemical warfare to eradicate symptoms over true understanding of the cause of modern challenges, cancer and chronic disease being classic examples of these.

Evidence of destructive agro chemical science floats around the river outside my rural Bali home every morning, in the form of potato crisp packets and bottles of pesticides.

What failed me is the way we ignore the spread of refined sugar, yet praise our heroic missions of teaching tooth brushing to African kids with pearly white teeth. It’s taking away a countries greatest treasures, clean water and healthy soil, then classifying them underdeveloped because of their lack of infrastructure. Colonial ignorance destroyed indigenous and shamanic wisdom whilst spreading the gospel of short term prosperity.

Indigenous Australians, the oldest living culture in the world

A perfect example is the recent history of the land now called Australia. Instead of embracing the wisdom of the inhabitants when stepping foot on their land, the Europeans chose to ignore the brilliance of a race which managed to thrive in one the planet’s harshest landscapes. Instead, they answered their craving for cheese sandwiches. Vast amounts of forest were cleared, cattle and other feral animals were introduced and hybrid wheat varieties were developed which could withstand the hot climate.

Through the lens of modern science, these are significant agricultural advances which have brought great prosperity to this land. Economically speaking this is true, Australia being Asia’s major wheat supplier. The irreversible damage that was done to this fragile ecosystem that went along with headstrong Western approach is often left unspoken. Indigenous wisdom on earth care and ancestral responsibilities are considered interesting (but highly unscientific) at best. Australian indigenous heritage may be proudly represented throughout art galleries and even National Park management, it’s rarely taken seriously enough to be part of a long term food security strategy.


Earth, as seen from space

Moving forward. Not until NASA gave us images of earth seen from space could we possibly understand that earth resources are finite. In other words, we are going to rely heavily on science to reverse the damage where possible and create a radical new system for sustainable living. Einstein proved himself not to be just extremely smart but wise when saying “We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them”

People of that level of thinking are not afraid to admit mistakes from the past. Or admit that the old way of thinking is ‘kaput’. Scientists as part of this new paradigm recognize their place in the totality and the limitations of the human mind. In this new way of being, we embrace but don’t require ‘scientific’ validation of modalities that we know to be effective. Personally, I’m glad that meditation enriched people’s lives before Harvard research agreed. Nor so I share the naïve new age desire to cure every disease with Apple cider vinegar.

Ultimately this is a call for the collaboration of humanity. A call for the headstrong, the open-hearted and the muddy feet to embrace each other’s differences and be united by the love for our natural environment.

I’m off to the bathroom, I’m going to scrub my skin with an ancient Balinese spice mixture aimed to rid my biggest organ of toxic traffic pollution which by the way is at levels still deemed ‘safe’ by the Indonesian government.

Will I wait for the government to step in and tackle pollution? Will I wait for science to back up my detox strategies? Or is that radiant glow I experience after a good scrub and shower all just in my head? If so, modern science is invited to get their teeth stuck in the mechanics of the placebo effect, a mystery yet to be understood. I truly hope I will live to hear their findings.

The best farm is the one without fences. Your animals contend and self-policing, therefore none of them wants to escape. Are we stuck inside one without even knowing it?

Have you noticed how agriculture defines regional identity? Idaho. Potato country. Townsville: The sugar cane capital. A mixture of climate, soil PH and economic demand must have prompted farmers to all start growing the same crop.

For unknown reasons to me, my home turf was deemed perfect for pig farming. I grew up in Oink Incorporated. Hog Heaven. The pigpen of the Southern Netherlands. My landscape was dotted with neat windowless brick sheds and large silos lined up next to them. Childhood wouldn’t have been the same without that sweet morning smell of pig manure. And although we could smell them, rarely were we blessed with the sight of these adorable pink bacon bellies. In fact, no one really knew what went on inside the 4 walls of these mysterious shacks. Nor did many want to know. Although I did. Consciously or not, at the age of 14, I befriended Paul, the first son of a renowned pig farmer.


I remember riding my squeaky bicycle along the back roads lined with wildflowers and willow trees to the next town where my friend lived. It was a playground of dirt bikes, muddy fields, semi-wild animals plus his parents would happily let us drink Heineken in the hay shed. This was a far cry from my concrete council-funded block where every move you made was tracked, recorded and gossiped over by a team of hard done by single mothers who by default didn’t trust 14-year-old boys. When I was at Paul’s house I felt free.  Out of sheer appreciation for Paul’s lovely parents, I offered my help wherever I could. To my excitement, my first job was to stick a tube of diluted pig sperm up the sacred parts of a sizable, sweating, plump porker. ‘Squeeze it really softly boy, take your time’, Paul’s dad whispered in my ear as he stood behind me. My nostrils flared up under the pressure of nitrogen-rich air, I nervously looked at the excess sperm regurgitating from the pigs bottom. I wondered if she liked me.

As my unofficial apprenticeship unfolded, I learned that the true success of this man agricultural endeavours was not down to the number of piglets which would leave the premises in pursue of their pork chop purpose. Rather, it turned out that Paul’s dad was indeed a master of genetics. It was his little backroom lab, where the DNA blueprint was developed for the meatiest and most marvellous ‘Über Schwein’. 9 months from birth, these piglets will cooperatively march their way to the slaughter camp and with the right vaccines and antibiotics, without dropping dead on the way.

I was blown away by the predictability and precision of this operation. Everything was mechanized, any guessing was smothered under the steel thumb of agricultural science. The pigs were calm and contented, I couldn’t help but wonder if they were happy. ‘Of course, they are!’ Paul’s father boasted as we walked through the shed. ‘Look around! They have an abundance of food, clean water, a place to sleep, what else could they need? In fact, if I open the doors right now, none of them will walk off. They are way too comfortable here!’


That afternoon I rode my bicycle back into my neighbourhood. I looked at rows of identical houses. Square foot garden blocks. Neat rows of oak trees. There was a contentment in the air here, not unlike what I felt inside the pig farm. Guilt rose to the surface as I feared that I indeed grew up inside one without even realizing it. Here the fences opened decades earlier, and the farmer was right, no one ran. It seemed that everyone was too busy comparing their 30 m2 garden to the neighbour’s pathetic 25. Some pretended to run every year in summer when they drove their camper vans down to France. Despite having a trunk full of Dutch peanut butter and pasteurized apple juice, they seemed relieved every time they conquered another holiday mission so they could return to the safe and slightly sad confines of 9 to 5 predictability.

The elusive notion of freedom is something that stirred me well into adulthood. Its virtues were communicated by advertisements on bus stops on my early morning trip to school. Take the Marlborough man, a cowboy-hatted hero who told me just with the look in his eyes that he is free and I am not. But I may get a taste of it through lighting up one nicotine loaded gifts.

The first time I truly felt free was when riding the rooftop of our backpacker van through remote Western Australia at the age of 23. Western Australia was as beautiful as it was brutal, its rough interior pushed me to face my inner farmed pig. My squealing reactions to mosquito bites and spiders in my tent at night. The lack of sanitary infrastructure forced me to face my own shit. Literally, as I would have to dig a hole daily, sometimes twice, wiping with twigs and leaves on days we were out of toilet paper.

Freedom peaked every time I refused to do things that did not feel truthful or satisfying. This radical honesty had me walking out of office jobs, randomly moving countries and arguing with established medical professionals. It’s been an unpaved path of questioning political protocols and turning my back on the voice of society which regularly haunts me when I face up to my fears.


On an outer level, many a dream have already come true. Today I’m a chef-owner, school founder, public speaker bla bla bla.. I have friends, lovers, family and tons of fun. I feel good when I help people, through being there with them, and I feel tingly and excited when they tell me I inspire them. However, beyond the rush of outer pursue there’s something deeper. It’s a sense of inner peace. A feeling that even if all of who this identity would fall away, something will be left. The feeling of being free. I have not worked a day in my life since that year I spent living in vans and hostels around the Pacific rim. I truly feel I have left the pig farm. And I’m at a point of no return.

For humanity to stand a chance of survival on planet Earth, I call for mass pig farm evacuation. No more sleeping on concrete slabs eating pellet food from shiny packaging. We are destined for greatness and expansion, not slavery and pensions.

There’s a great awakening accommodation this evacuation from enslavement and our only job is to wake up. The top 10 regrets of people on their deathbed does not include ‘not working enough.’

There’s purpose brewing in all of us, and unless it’s frothing on the corners of your mouth with every word you utter you’re not there yet. So for today, let’s turn up the heat. Jump.

The pig farm is wide open and the forest is calling.  Run piglet, run!

Dear Daniel (sorry, some one had to tell you)

Dear Daniel,

I watched your mum feed you pure love and you thought it was rice. This morning I saw the way she forced spoonfuls of steamed love hearts into your hungry little mouth whilst making sure you didn’t choke the cat again. You will never find a better cook than your mum. The reason is simple, no one will ever love you more than her, so no one will cook food that feeds every cell of your body with carbohydrates, electrolytes and angel wings. That’s the magic of food.

Here’s the sad news. Someone stole the magic. It probably started with German professors in white coats who invented fake nitrogen 100 years ago. Nitrogen is to plants what lollipops are to you. They can’t get enough of it! Mother Natures answer to Santa Claus’s roof top performances is called ‘composting’. By doing this miraculous cleanup trick she drops a few lollipops at the hungry roots of plants and trees every now and then. Just enough to keep them happy. Like any good mum, she makes sure that there are plenty of other yummy things to eat too, like dead spiders, bird poo, and even fish guts which are left behind by greedy bears who ate too fast. These yummy treats keep the soil healthy and from there grow lots of super-strong plants for all of us to eat.

Now back to the Germans. They thought it was a good idea to raise plants entirely on lollipops! No longer would plants stuff their hungry roots with mouldy leaf sandwiches, no longer would slugs moisturize their leaves with slimy hormone creams. Just boring nitrogen pellets that taste like sawdust, for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Sometimes Nature protests and says ‘I just want to build a forest where forgetful squirrels accidentally plant walnut trees! (this happens all the time in a forest) so she gets to work. She sees a field full of bored and hungry corn plants so she sends in these really amazing fixers that can provide all sorts of yummy food for the soil. The farmers call these helpers ‘weeds’ and usually sprays them with stuff that smells worse than mum’s hair spray and makes everybody cry and sick and sad.

When the boring food is ready for harvest it gets brought to really big buildings without windows or even playgrounds that they call ‘factories’. The cooks who work there are trained to follow very strict recipes and the only way to make them work is putting a giant steel lock around their heart and keeping the key in a special ‘safe’ inside a bank next to mysterious papers that speak of mortgages and pension schemes. That’s another bedside story.

The cooks in the factory have great big spice racks just like the shelf in your mums’ kitchen. But on their racks, we don’t find pepper corns and cinnamon sticks. Their spices are called things like E671 and 2-hydroxybiphenyl. These spices can give you very funny dreams and if you eat too much of them you may never wake up again, so the cooks must wear masks and gloves to stop them from getting sleepy and falling into the giant soup pan.

The factories place this strange stuff in very shiny and colourful wrappers and sometimes even use kids your age to promote this stuff as ‘food’ on national television! When you watch these advertisements remember what I said before, you will never find a better cook than your mum.

I know there may be a day when you leave school and instead of going home to drink fresh Jasmine tea with your mum you will choose to ride your scooter to the corner shop instead to buy snacks from a food factory. If the potatoes in your crisp packet taste too salty, remember it’s because of the big tears they cried when they were thirsty for worm juice.



The KEY to PERFECT health

Confession: I have no idea if apple cider vinegar cures cancer. I’ve successfully removed a wart with it. I can confirm it tastes great if mixed with olive oil and crushed garlic, poured over steamed and crushed new potatoes, finished with fresh mint and sea salt flakes.. But I don’t know if it will save your life.

Apple cider vinegar or ACV as serial users call it. . I recommend you always choose the raw, unfiltered version, with this beautiful probiotic gunk, referred to as ‘the Mother’ floating in it..

I know even less. I don’t know if you should be vegan. Or carnivore. If you should exercise daily. Or weekly. If male ejaculation is healthy. Or if running makes your skin look old. I am learning a lot about these and more by experimenting, observing and drawing my own conclusions. I’ve discovered some of my own truths about what works for me. But absolute truths about health? Don’t ask.  

But let me tell you about Nature. And since Nature is present at birth and death and everything in between. Since nature is that driving force flowing through all living things. Surely she can help us understand health.

Nothing is separate. Everything exists as part of an ecosystem. You could try to find yourself through spending 5 years at a silent retreat, or you could carefully look at a mouldy sandwich just before the ants carry it away. (I did both).  I learned a lot about health, myself and the world by observing abandoned food items in tropical environments. I recommend you try it too.

Ants are helpful, smart AND strong. (5000 X their own body weight without a single moan)  In the end, zillions of their decaying little bodies add valuable nutrients to the soil out of which the future of life thrives. 

Back to that sandwich, born from wheat, which grew from soil. A complex web of life, a thick layer of stardust mixed with the genes of everything that ever happened before today. I think our soil deserves better than to be called ‘dirt’.

After harvest, the kernels or wheat berries were ground into fine powder to which h20 (4.5 billion-year-old water) and ancient NAcI (salt) were added. Microbes helped wheat grow and next, they will help us making bread. The very wild yeast species that were present on wheatgrass, the baker’s hands and mixing bowl are conspiring in a divine culinary dance to raise the dough and make this bread fluffy and digestible. 

Wild yeasts love feeding on bread. So do the microbes in your body, who cleverly communicate their desires into your brain chemistry giving you a sudden craving for sandwiches. Those microbes also lived in your mother (and her mother) and likely colonised your body the moment you moved through her birth canal. Her breast milk contained the perfect nutrients designed to nourish your newly enquired army also referred to as your ‘microbiome’. At that very moment of birth, you made a deal with life. You scratch my back and I will scratch yours.  

Microbes, minerals, animals and plants ‘welcomed’ the human race on Earth. The deal: we will walk each other home.

You never need to feel lonely. You have more living beings inside of your body than there are stars in the galaxy. 90% of the cells in your body are not even yours. They belong to creatures to who YOU are the entire universe and as long as they get to feast and play and thrive in your hair, on your skin, in your stomach and under your nails they will do anything to keep you happy in return. Imagine how supported you are? 1400 species of microbes in your bellybutton alone!

Yes, my friend, you are the garden of Eden. You are the cosmos. You are an ecosystem hosting life. You were brought into existence and you will be eaten by little creatures who ran the show epochs before anyone had ever heard of homo sapiens. What can we learn from this? To be healthy means to befriend all life.  

Sterile places don’t exist outside laboratories. And that is a good thing.

What is your desire for health really good for unless you desire health for ALL living beings? Why fight the corn slashing grasshoppers with chemical warfare if they came here to fix your soil? Why kill the headache whilst it is trying to tell you something? To be healthy is for all life to thrive. Modern medicine is spending most of its efforts fighting symptoms, the voice of life itself

Want to see something really healthy? Go sit in an undisturbed forest. No doctors. No painkillers. No fertilizers. No sunscreen. No health insurance. No ambulance. Just a divine interplay of birth and death as the universe expresses itself through various forms. Life couldn’t be without those 2 and perfect health is to stop making such a big deal out of them. Celebrate both. Or at least accept both. But to have $10.000 baby showers whilst not daring to speak about your father’s funeral is a perfect way of denying life itself.

How about, ‘perfect’ health starts with accepting life’s seeming imperfections? Instead of aiming for optimum physical health we can start embracing the perfection of the present moment. In those moments, of awareness and deep connection with all life, she might just whisper a personalized health secret or 2 into our bacteria riddled ears. Sssshhhh, she urges, this is true, but only for you.  

Trees can teach us about respect, boundaries and sharing space


Understand THIS to understand food

Friends. Don’t get lost in the world of food. To really make changes to your diet, soil to stomach so to speak. it’s important to grasp the following points: 

  • There are at least 30.000 varieties of edible plants available to humans
  • Most plants on earth, over 90 percent, are perennial, which means they exist for more than 1 year.
  • In modern agriculture, we focus on merely a handful of edible or useful plants which are grown for human and animal consumption as well as biofuel. Nearly all of these are annual plants. 

Various classified types of plants and trees we find in Nature

  • Modern agriculture relies on external inputs. One needs to extract from the earth, (oil, minerals etc) in one location to produce in another location. This crude oil driven bubble of abundance is entirely unsustainable and destined to burst. 
  • Nature, whether it’s expressed as a rain forest, ocean or swamp etc, is self-sustaining, regenerative and ever-expanding. It thrives, without the need for inputs from elsewhere. The fuel behind nature is the ecosystem itself.

It might seem that one person is working this giant field of wheat but in reality, there are countless people involved, producing the machinery, chemicals, tools and seeds that are involved in large scale agriculture. Evidence suggests that small farms are more productive than large scale operations, 70% of the world is still fed from small farms. 

  • Agricultural fields need constant attention from humans in order to exist. Crops fail if there is too much or too little water, extreme wind, sun etc. 
  • Nature always steers towards self-protection, in a forest, for example, all species work together through symbiotic relationships to protect and support each other. That’s why natural disasters, such as earthquakes, typically are only disastrous to man-made structures such as buildings and vehicles


These banana trees are held up by a bamboo stick to stop them from getting blown over by the wind. In a forest, they are protected from wind by bigger trees. 

  • There are many ways to produce food. The plantation model, the mono-crop type of food cultivation common today, is relatively new. Humans have grown food in more complex and intelligent ways as we have clear evidence of various forms of forest farming in ancient cultures around the world. Whilst the plantation model gives rise to many forms of forced labour, class structures and control, forest farming facilitates a platform for community strength and collaboration. 
  • Traditionally in Bali, rice farming wasn’t as dominant and common as we have seen in recent decades. The roots, shoots and fruits that we may find in a forest garden were a lot more common in the Balinese diet, with taro root (colocasia esculenta) a more common staple food than rice (oryza sativa) up until the 1970’s. 
  • With current pressing issues such as climate change and environmental degradation, it’s more important than ever to embrace the food production methods which support all life, our precious bodies included. 

Balinese rice paddies surrounded by useful trees such as coconut.

What a time to be alive!

Get onboard the New Earth Ship

What a time to be alive!

Get your wellies out, in 2019 we are going to be knee deep in tears of joy and chocolate mud.

What a time to be alive!

Solstice & Xmas, celebrating the sun of God and the son of God simultaneously, Indonesian Mother’s day, coinciding with the arrival of no one less than my very own Mother here in Bali.

On TOP of that, the whole of Bali is preparing for that super sweet and special day in their 210 day calendar cycle, Galungan. It is really their version of Xmas.

So as Western Expats and Balinese wannabees alike are raising Xmas trees around Bali, (the tree at Zest is made from straw) every Balinese person is simultaneously raising their version of a Xmas tree: the Penjor (whilst western wannabees like myself are watching in awe).

The Penjor is a magical giant bamboo pole shrouded in occult symbolic grandeur, and offerings to honour the Gods and their home of the sacred East Bali volcano Mount Agung. It’s a time that the ancestral spirits are coming home for a period of 10 days to spend time with their families feasting and forgiving, laughing and loving. I guess this giant bamboo post is a good way for the Ancestors to recognize their family home.

All of this magic is playing out over the next few days. Are you still breathing because I barely  am!

I hope your next few days are filled with warm fuzzy feelings, hugs, connection and cream pies. (Whether that cream is made from coconut, cashews or the finest Jersey clotted cream, I won’t judge you for your dietary choices, ever!)

I hope you will take time to bask in joy, relaxation and a knowing that you’ve done amazing. Far beyond anything you realize. You’ve touched many hearts, changed people lives with your very glance and made people’s day with the profound things you said. They all love you, your parents, the Universe, Jesus, Buddha, and especially that jolly chubby man with the white beard. Ho Ho Ho.

With that knowing of your worthiness let there be no need for boundary stating, angry complaint letter writing or make up sex in the new year. (Try tantric sex instead!)

In other words, Carpe Scrotum, grab life by the balls. Be humble, but don’t be shy. Be kind, but most of all be real. Trust your body’s reaction to every person, place or situation and stay in your truth. The only way to give your power away is by fearing them or believing you need them.

(Light worker’s hack: next time you interact with someone, keep some of your attention with your navel, and don’t let anyone drain you through your cosmic umbilical cord)

Got it?

Align with your only source of power which is within, allow your love of all (including yourself) to flow.

Show up, act and speak from that knowing of perfection and notice how you will become a magnet.. on steroids.

There won’t be a need to protest, state your boundaries, resist or judge as you are simply too busy voting for all the good things you believe in with every word you say and every thought you think. Halo and all! You go, you angel-winged maddafakka!

I’m leaving a turbulent, creative and crazy explosive 2018. We gave birth to Zest Ubud (which is successful beyond anything we imagined) The New Earth Cooking school became a reality (even though I still think I’m dreaming).

I shared my love of food around Asia, Australia and Africa and I can confirm a mass awakening is happening across the globe.

Get your wellies out, in 2019 we are going to be knee deep in tears of joy and chocolate mud.

Sure there have been raging storms, earth quakes, lighting strikes, bursting hearts, bandaids, sore thumbs and tough love but most of all, and I will sum all the good stuff up in one way, I’m experiencing a glimpse of the Paradise this Earth will be.

I hope you are brave enough to get onboard the New Earth Ship because this Titanic ain’t waiting or sinking! We’re waiting to hear from YOU at hello@newearthcooking.com.

With love,

Simon and Team