By Kelly Dobkin
Ziggy Marley, son of legendary reggae musician Bob Marley, is down at the 2013 SoBe Wine and Food Festival for a few events this weekend, and will be performing at the closing show tonight, hosted by Guy Fieri. So…why exactly is Ziggy part of a giant food fest? The musician has his own line of organic coconut oils and roasted hempseeds and is committed to supporting an organic lifestyle when it comes to food and just about everything else. We sat down with Ziggy yesterday for a chat about the importance of eating responsibly, his possible LA restaurant and more. Check it out below.
Zagat: Your event tonight supports sustainable, non-GMO foods, is this a cause that’s important to you?
ZM: It’s important to me and it’s important that we spread the ideas of eating within our means, eating within our ecosystem, being a part of nature. Instead of trying to do whatever we want to do. Food is such an important part of life and our well-being that even though you say like, apples might be good for you, but if an apple is out of season where you are, it’s coming from 100,000 miles away, the vitamins in that apple are gone. So I mean we have to think about those things and consumers we’re the one who are feeding the corporations, we’re the ones who want everything any time. We have to balance ourselves.
Zagat: What made you want to produce your own food products?
ZM: It was an idea. I’ve always been into food. I grew up in Jamaica and food was always important. Before I came to America, everything was organic and with the seasons. Coming here and hearing all this stuff was kind of shocking to me, because even though I’m here now, I still try and eat the way I grew up in terms of how I eat and what I eat. And to be a part of the discussion about food and organic and things like that is a part of who I am, just like my music. It’s the same thing, it’s another way to express myself outside of music and to expand the ideas.
Zagat: For you, is there a connection between food and music?
ZM: Ya mon, I mean, I’m on tour right now and how do I do a concert every night if I ate sh*t? How would my body react, if I ate junk? It’s like an athlete, you have to eat proper. It’s very important to me. I really look at what I put into my body. Especially now I’m getting a little older and I’m getting more in tune with my body. I’ve eaten bad food and I’ve eaten good food and I know what I feel like.
Zagat: Are you opening an restaurant in LA?
ZM: It’s something I thought about once and said it. [Laughs.]
Zagat: Would you ever open one?
ZM: Why not? I have an idea. Obviously I’d want to use organic products. But I’d serve Jamaican cuisine but my own twist – it’s my twist on Jamaican cuisine that I do in my house. And I think people will enjoy it, we’ll see.
Zagat: Your event tonight is being hosted by Guy Fieri – are you guys friends?
ZM: I don’t know him but I like his show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I don’t eat most of the stuff on it but I like it! [Laughs.}
Zagat: You obviously eat super healthy, any guilty pleasures?
ZM: I like cupcakes, french fries. Some days I might eat french fries. I like to make my own, sometimes I buy them. I find myself not finding the urge to do that lately.
Zagat: What ingredients from your native Jamaica do you think are underused in American cuisine?
ZM: I think disregarding that I’m from Jamaica or whatever, hemp I think is underused, underrated, over-demonized, misunderstood so I think hemp seeds if the world could get on board especially in the poorer countries where nutrition is a problem. Hemp seeds have great nutritional value to poor people who have issues with giving their kids nutrition. Instead of flying that powdered milk in to help the poor, have the people grow some hemp and crush it and make some hemp milk, or make porridge with it. It’s really nutritious. I would focus on that right now.