It’s time for edtech to step up and make good

1. What’s wrong? There’s an irreversible revolution going on in education and change-makers don’t know how to capitalise on it – yet! 

Traditional education is over. Everything has changed. 

Don’t believe me? Google it.

Education technology and technology education have taken the world by storm.

The one has pushed and pulled the other to a point of no return.

Traditional education institutions have opened the gates and companies and organisations are streaming through and knocking down the fortress walls, gaining direct access to the potential billions who are hungry to learn and advance themselves. Meanwhile, they are tracking what students want to know, so the lines of supply and demand are set to converge.

Politicians are full of it, and my country deserves better

Paul Albertella on flickr

Paul Albertella on flickr

1. What’s wrong? There’s a general election and no one will explain their policies. I get the feeling I’m being taken for a ride

I’m well-educated. Not by the paid-for formal education system I bought into, but my own self-teachings. Hello – internet! *waves*. Hello – libraries! *bows*. Hello – low-budget airlines! *flies*. Thank you – friends *blows kisses*

 

I’m ‘young’ but only because I look it. I’m not apathetic.

I’m a voter, but only because I feel guilty not voting.

I’m disgusted with the lack of choice. I’m shocked with what consecutive Labour and Con-Dem governments have done to the UK, to politics and to democracy. I’m scared by the unquestioning, bland reporting by some media outlets.

Kids need epic food, but mums have already got enough on their plate!

1. What’s wrong? Mums are getting a raw deal on kid’s food

Nico

We’ve got to improve the level of food available to our people otherwise destined for increased diabetes, depression, and obesity. We don’t deserve premature death!

 

We’ve started our mission to convert the UK into an epic food destination with REPpic.me – epic recipes in pictures.  These step by step epic recipes in pictures are a whole new way of cooking that will turn you into a super-hero in the kitchen, a naked chef, a joyful chef, perhaps, but for sure: an epic chef! 

But is this enough? Of course not!

We need to get into the stomachs of the children. Why? Ask any chef or foodie where they got their love of food. What are their most treasured memories? It’s cooking with grandma, street food with dad after the footie, mum’s incredible apple and blackberry pie.

Every kid deserves these special memories, experiences that will shape their food choices and their well-being FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES.

The epic Cristina Raad has two fabulous kids, 9 month old Ariana and 5 year old Nicolas. This is her story:

Cristy_Raad“New mums do their best to get organic, nutritious foods for their baby. The market and quality has improved massively since Ella’s Kitchen revolutionized attitudes towards baby food – you now have a variety of tastes and fruits that you wouldn’t find in the jars. Ariana won’t touch those jars, they’re disgusting. Ella’s tasty products are perfect when you’re on the go, but you need more for every day.

And what about Nicolas? He’s not going to eat mashed foods, neither am I. I can’t be dirtying a pan for one kid, the other, then myself. There wouldn’t be enough time to go to the loo!

I also noticed the drop-off in quality in what I was feeding Nicolas as he got older. In come the fish fingers, out goes the fruit and veg. It happened to me! It was only because of Ariana’s baby needs that I brought all the fresh ingredients back in.

In the supermarket I was confronted with no variety for fresh but a massive variety of rubbish. Look at the packages they offer – they are vile! When you do go out, how can the children’s menu be so awful? My son loves sushi, he can’t eat that junk.

So what to do? I looked up baby-led weaning. You introduce pieces of what you are eating to your baby as early as possible. The secret? Cut them into the right shape – chunks they suck and learn to eat themselves. Honestly, I didn’t do the baby-led weaning because you’d have to clean the kitchen every five minutes. But it gave me an idea.

2. What’s the big idea? Little Finger Food

What about baby-led epic food? A whole meal in a bite.

With kids in the house I need three things. It has to be:

  1. Quick
  2. Easy
  3. Not messy

The thought of giving rice to a child sends chills down my spine – having little tiny rice grains all over the kitchen – just the idea of incessantly wiping that stupid high-chair!

11-COUSCOUS-AUX-7-PROMOTIONALBut what about couscous that you can serve in a neat ball? Put it in front of Ariana, she’s happy, eats at her own rhythm and there’s less mess. Turns out Nico loves the couscous balls, and I can prepare dinner for me and my husband around couscous too!

Very practical, pop them in a lunch box for a no-mess portable snack, and better still, freeze them for a rest day. Get some meals done in advance for the promise of putting my feet up? The dream!

This concept removes processed food from baby and the family’s diet as much as possible. It’s a new culinary respect for children. It’s time to respect the food that we’re giving our children!

We can make children love food all through their childhood. They say you have to introduce a new taste 25 times before you can be really sure that they don’t like it.

So I’ve developed practical step by step easy-to-follow innovative new recipes for tasty fresh bite-sized food, Little Finger Food!

Designed by a busy mum for other busy mums who need practical epic food solutions to introduce tastes and healthy habits that will stick with their children for their whole lives.

Quick. Easy. Not messy!

These are guaranteed to build the kind of food memories that turn people into food lovers!

First I’m working on the recipes – completely new combinations of epic food for families with children. Then we’ll develop the app for google glass as mums and dads need to follow hands-free visual instructions to get the job done quickly.”

3. How can others help? Test, taste and tell us!

0.1.Bulgogi_Spring_Rolls_Korea_ recipe_reppic_World_Cup_of_FoodWe need to hear from parents who are setting their kids up for an epic life through epic food. We need them to test the recipes and tell us:

How did the food go down? Was it quick and easy enough for you to make it again, and was it relatively mess-free?

We need to learn more about mum’s needs to be able to put epic food on the table day in day out. So please share this with any mums and dads you know!

From there we’ll develop the google glass app, then a delivery service for moms and dads to order in when they’re too busy, tired or bored to cook. Time saved to play with the kids instead!

What do you think? Any suggestions? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook.

First big idea spins off into new business: REPpic!

Well, it’s been one hell of a ride! We’re so grateful for the continuing ‘egging on’ and encouragement. Still a long way to go! But we’ve achieved our first SPIN OFF!

Today we launch REPpic.me !!

This is it people! We have lift off! Reppic.me has spun off in just three short sleepless months!

Want to help us? Do these three things:

1. Check out the website.

2. Follow on Facebook.

3 .Subscribe by email.

Tell your friends – anyone who eats on a daily basis! Anyone who cares what they put in their mouths and their stomachs! Anyone who wants to make epic food for themselves, their friends and their family.

Here’s a timeline of how this happened:

18 July 2014 – Challenge completed

Finally, despite sore eyes, muscle pain and repetitive strain, the final World Cup of Food reppic is published, but the mood is dampened by horrific world events.

13 July 2014 –  World Cup of Food challenge ACHIEVED!

Against all odds, we manage to make and photograph an epic recipe in pictures for every country in the World Cup, live, during the  World Cup. It would take more time to post them all, though.

15 June 2014 – Rabbit sacrificed for England football team

Sticking to our culturally provocative roots we reconstructed exactly what happened to Peter Rabbit’s father in an English cottage garden. To achieve epic food maybe we ought to know more about where it’s coming from? We knew exactly where that rabbit came from.

Tale_of_Peter_Rabbits_father

12 June 2014 – launch of World Cup of Food

We launch a near-impossible 32 day challenge to make a reppic – epic recipe in pictures – from each country in the World Cup, LIVE, that is DURING the World Cup. Our first post tackles Croatia.

P1110105-2

8 June 2014 – chef Cristy Raad joins the team

After spending a weekend together, Cristy Raad sees how her ideas overlap with ours and she jumps on board. She doesn’t just join the team, she makes the team!

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21 May 2014 – first feedback

Hero Nick follows the first reppic and makes pastitsio. He generously gives helpful and motivating feedback, including reducing the number of steps (see extract below). We adjust accordingly.

A great idea. I had a go making the Pastitsio dish. Firstly, it was the tastiest dish I have ever made and one of the few times I have done any real cooking. Like many areas of life, I suppose you get out what you put in, but in all (including cooking time) it took me 2 hours. However, it was worth it and I am a novice – if I did it again, it would take me a lot less time.

  • The pictures: make the reppic easier to follow. Seeing that the pictures were similar to what I had made, gave me confidence that I was on the right track.
  • You can tick off each of the ingredients on the screen as you prepare it.
  • You inspired me to do some proper cooking and now want to do more.
  • You taught me how to make béchamel sauce (which you can use in other dishes)
  • I had a sense of achievement at having cooked a dish from scratch. It was fun. It tasted great!
  • Clearly show preparation and cooking time at the start of the reppic.
  • Having never done it before, I took me a long time to make the béchamel sauce. I wasn’t sure how much milk to add at any one time so took a conservative approach. Perhaps I could have added more milk or could have added it at smaller intervals.

5 MAY 2014 – reppic big idea launch

5th May we launch our first big idea on Cultural Provocateur.  I most arrogantly proclaim: ‘I demand epic food every day, the problem is I live in England‘ and after years of frustration, decide to start doing something about it.

We propose a new system for recipes, one that aims to increase access to epic food in Britain, starting in the kitchen.

I had personally suffered the scenario pictured below, a mismatch between my reality (on the right) and the recipe book dream (on the left). I didn’t want to experience this again.

cooking_flop

My husband, one of the world’s best amateur chefs, gets stuck in. He makes Pastitsio, a meaty Greek pasta dish and I photograph and note each step – 33 steps in total. We start designing a site for ipad / fablet / smartphone viewing.

It’s a whole new way of cooking that turns you into a super-hero in the kitchen, a naked chef, a joyful chef, perhaps, but for sure: an epic chef!

We call it reppic – Epic Recipes in Pictures.

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Back to now: bigger ambitions

Looking back, perhaps our ambitions are too small.

Not everyone agrees with me, but I’ve found that the UK has low accessibility to epic food. Many say this is improving. That’s great, but I think we can do a lot better. In London and Cardiff we were able to gather ingredients for dishes from 32 countries in just 32 days! We have the tools, we have the ingredients. We could all be eating epic food everyday at home and in our Great British pubs, cafes and restaurants, so why aren’t we?

We aim not just to find out, but to work with those who want to make these islands a culinary delight, mixing techniques and ingredients from cultures the world over. We can make London the capital of the leading innovative food nation in the world. The health and well-being of our fellow women and men depend on it. Our children’s very survival depends on it. Our economy depends on it. Join us to make it happen.