“Macrobiotics is all about living in harmony with ourselves, with others and the planet,” says co-founder Nicola McCarthy. “It’s about eating local, seasonal produce and we are extremely lucky to have a number of organic producers in or around Forest Row enabling us to source the freshest organic produce for our café.
From an eco and also a community perspective, we are all supporting each other: the farms grow it, we buy it from them, sell it on it the form of macro soups, pasta dishes or whatever in the café and the food has probably travelled no more than a mile and came out of the ground sometimes only hours before it was bought.” The more traditional Japanese ingredients found in many macro dishes can be more problematic: “As far as possible, we source ingredients such as seaweed from places like Ireland to avoid importing it from Japan,” says co-founder David McCarthy, “we buy a lot of our rice and grain from places like Italy but there are still some ingredients that have to come from Japan because currently they are the only people making them.
We hope to change all that as we grow as a company and a resource for healthy, environmentally sustainable eating.” The ethos of a macrobiotic lifestyle is balance. Everything is considered according to its impact on the environment and the preference is for natural materials for home furnishings: wood, cotton and wool as opposed to synthetics; all cotton mattresses; natural cleaning products, soaps and cosmetics. Microwaves, electric blankets and using any form of electricity for cooking are all avoided. TV and computers are used only sparingly. “Everything about our Western lifestyle is out of balance,” says David McCarthy, “and can be categorised in one word: waste. We waste the planet’s resources, our health, psychological well-being and our money buying processed food encased in unrecyclable packaging.
A macrobiotic lifestyle seeks to waste nothing and that is why we are here. To try and stop that waste and help people balance their lives.”