Tania Douthwaite is on a mushroom mission to raise funds for two causes close to her heart. For the entire month of November, she has pledged to miraculously consuming only 1 bowl of brown rice with Life Cykel oyster mushrooms and Life Cykel microgreens as part of the Mushvember campaign. No money will be spent on dining out or extra food items, except from those acquired through trading of existing goods. Tania wants to consume things she has grown, or all the things she already has in her pantry at home. This way, she promotes the Hindu virtue of aparigraha – non-greediness, and only consuming just enough of what we need.
“It’s all about people’s increasing needs and wants and the earth’s decreasing resources,” said Tania. “Portion sizes are increasing but we really don’t need that much food. It’s pure consumerism and the religion of economics; pushing the idea that ‘we need more’.”
Tania’s Mushvember campaign was birthed from her Sustainable September campaign four years ago, which also held the same motivators in aparigraha. These campaigns are very personal to Tania, who having witnessed countless numbers of homeless people on the streets in her local community in Fremantle wanted to find a way to raise funds to feed them. St Patrick’s Community Support Centre provide free daily breakfasts and subsidised lunches for Freo’s underprivileged, which is where she hopes to raise money towards. The other half of the funds raised will go directly to SCOOP Australia, who organise school lunches for the Jeevan School of Light in Varanasi, India.
“It only costs about $40AUD to feed 130 children and their 20 teachers per day. These kids are from the slums, so I really hope I can reach the target and be able to provide something simple and nutritious to them and improve their day to day lives,” said Tania. “All of these kids are suffering from malnourishment to some degree, some severely.”
Tania hopes to reach her targets by the end of November, allowing her to provide the funds to assist both these worthy causes. She wants to lead by example and show others that it is very possible to practise aparigraha in today’s society and live sustainably with minimal or no waste produced.
“The fear of living without the choice to eat well is incomparable to what these kids and our homeless go through on a daily basis. I hope I can show grace in my practise, and share with you what a beautiful thing it can be to lose yourself in the service of others.”
To donate to help Tania’s cause, head to https://www.gofundme.com/givefood4thought. Tania is also selling Life Cykel Coffee Mushroom boxes to grow your own oyster mushrooms, with $10 from every sale going towards the Mushvember campaign.