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Thursday, October 21, 2021

Meeting the ‘Fisherfolk’ at Mahasommut

It may be hard to identify toxic friends, but not for toxic food and Root Garden Open Space is the place you can learn to do so. Forget about ordinary food fest you’ve been to, because we’ll be talking all about sustainability today. This corner of Thonglor soi 3 hides “Mahasommut” food fest. Once you step into the garden, Thonglor buzz changes into chill atmosphere. The event was held December 18-19 2020, 9 AM onwards.

Mahasommut event is a collaboration between the Fisherfolk group and Dear Customers. The festival is divided into 2 parts, namely orange and seafood which is not so hard to guess if you happen to know Thai language. The name comes from 2 thai words; ‘Mahasamut’ means ocean and ‘Som’ means orange. It is well-known that orange and seafood are two of the most contaminated foodstuffs today. So they are chosen for the display at Mahasommut to set examples that it is possible to find fresh and uncontaminated gourmet. In the market, oranges and orange-made products are transported from various provinces such as Nan, Chiangmai, and Chumphon. All seafood is freshly delivered from 7 provinces in Thailand. 

Farmers as well as fishermen, from every region of the country, come together right in the heart of Bangkok. There are food, games and cooking competitions for fun-seekers. Panels are open for discussions about sustainable fishery and chemical-free agriculture on both days of the event. For entertainment, live jazz music and Li-kae (Southern-Thaifolk traditional performance) are scheduled in the evening.

Khun Kae, deputy director of BioThai Foundation, has been working with small farmers to acknowledge consumers about food consumption. In the Mahasommut event, consumers were able to know about the origin of quality seafood that derived from alternative fishing. An alternative fishing means catching with responsibility, concerning resources,using legal tools and chemical free. Purchasing fresh seafood from these small farmers means supporting non-destructive fishing and aquafarming sites. People will get to enhance the right way to pick their food consumption.  When we choose to consume only fully grown fish, we are prioritizing the non-destruction of aquatic farming and resources. Folk Fishing networking’s duty is to accomplish these missions for customers.

Khun Kae also discussed sustainable agriculture which produces seasonal quality food, which is why the event picked orange as an example commodity. The effective sustainable included quality seasonal food, non-chemical production and fair trade. In each store from the event, there will be a contact list and useful information for tracking the origin of each production. Mahasommut event supports farmers’ sustainable food chain as everyone can inspect throughout every process. 

Mahasommut event allows people to purchase the right seafood and oranges. Knowing when is the best time to consume seasonal fruits and their benefits. Do you know when orange season is? Well, it starts in November but it gives the best taste around mid-december til the end of January. Khun kae brought orange, as an example of seasonal fruits, to be a message that there are still chemical-free farms. All the support towards these farmers will contribute to fair distribution among local farmers. This is to balance the equilibrium level between monopoly and small producers.

The event is usually held every year around this time of the month, mostly around Bangkok because they wanted people in the city to be included and connected with the local producers as a community. Mahasommut event is located in the heart of Thonglor so that Bangkokian can be connected with the ocean way of life. Not only that the consumers will get to know the producers but also make a friendship while shopping in the event !

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