“In [Western] medicine, we believe that one hormone can fix a problem as complicated as obesity, one neurotransmitter can fix something as complicated as depression, or one DNA strand can heal a cancer,” said Daphne Miller, MD, before a packed audience at the Ferry Building recently.
“What attracted me to sustainable agriculture,” the Harvard-trained family physician continued, “was looking outside of that reductionist approach and seeing colleagues who were thinking about the sun, moon, rain, microbes, animals, and humans in this incredible, complex ecosystem. They were thinking in a way that I, as a physician, wanted to think.”
Jaded by modern medicine’s emphasis on isolating symptoms rather than treating the whole patient, Dr. Miller went back to the land to inspire her practice and set out on a journey to visit farmers who are eschewing business as usual. She shares her stories and discoveries in her new book, Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us about Health and Healing. Read more
At a panel on food systems at the Food Book Fair in New York City last weekend, nutrition and food expert Marion Nestle proved a force with which to be reckoned. Her co-panelists included Jared Koch, founder of Clean Plates, and Nate Appleman, the celebrated chef who is currently head of the culinary team for Chipotle. The chain has been recognized for their efforts to serve locally-sourced and responsibly grown produce and meat, against the grain of the conventional food system. Moderator Evelyn Kim asked a question which dominated most of the discussion: Can big food corporations do good? Read more
Clean Plates—a healthier eating website, published guides, free app to restaurants in New York City and Los Angeles, and now, a cookbook—is the brainchild of Jared Koch, a nutritionist, health coach, and food critic. Clean Plates focuses on choosing real food; eating more plants; if you eat meat, knowing its source, and reducing toxins—all concepts familiar and cherished by Civil Eats readers. Starting with this post, we’re excited to begin sharing some of Clean Plates’ content, including this recent post about the freaky facts about conventional orange juice.
Koch is bringing these ideas to a wider, more mainstream audience, something that’s bound to be good for us all. Clean Plates’ approach, through Koch’s concept of “bio-individuality,” shows that eating healthier can be an easy, pleasurable, and sacrifice-free adventure. We recently talked with Koch about what inspired him to help everyday folks live more conscious, healthier lifestyles. Read more
Of all the life changes that having a baby brings on, perhaps the most pivotal is that it makes you examine what would happen to this new little being if you were suddenly gone. Our own mortality is abruptly mirrored back to us with the entrance of offspring, so some of us sign up for life insurance, talk about creating trust accounts, or set up legal documents and wills. I think that to truly take care of our children and create a stronger sense of security, separate from the paperwork and bureaucracy, parents need to take care of themselves first. And there is no better time like the fresh spring season to start. Luckily, we have Rebecca Katz’s newest book, The Longevity Kitchen , to guide us.
The Longevity Kitchen is not a sensationalized, trend-centered tome on the latest superfood. It does not preach extreme cleansing programs or offer strict dietary regimens, nor does it make huge exclamatory claims about losing weight or solving every problem you’ve ever had. Instead, Rebecca Katz, known for her reputation for blending culinary sensibility with nutrition knowledge, has put together this latest collection of recipes by simply following the theory that real food is good for you. Read more
The New York Times recently published a report that focused on fraud in disbursing settlements for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) discrimination among African American, Indian, Hispanic, and women farmers. Reporter Sharon LaFraniere wrote of “career lawyers and agency officials who had argued that there was no credible evidence of widespread discrimination.”
But there is a long train of evidence of discrimination, much of it from the USDA records at the National Archives, as well as from records of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, National Sharecroppers Fund, NAACP, SNCC, and land grant universities, among other sources. Since the mid-1960s, USDA officials have continually denied discrimination, but the record indicates otherwise. Read more
If you’re reading this, chances are you care about the earth and try to make decisions that minimize your environmental footprint. You probably turn off the lights when you leave the house; you probably recycle; perhaps you’ve installed a low-flow showerhead, use public transportation, ride a bicycle for local errands, carry a reusable water bottle and frequent the farmers’ market to buy local, organic foods… but have you thought about how much of your food you end up tossing in the trash?
In the US, we waste roughly 40 percent of all the food we produce. This is totally insane – and it’s an environmental nightmare. Read more
For more than 35 years, Deborah Madison has been an ardent vegetable evangelist, starting from her early days cooking at Chez Panisse and then founding Greens Restaurant. Among her numerous books, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is a trusted essential for many home cooks. She is also a strong advocate for farmers markets, seasonal cooking, and heritage seeds.
As the daughter of a botanist, Madison inherited a natural curiosity for the plant kingdom. In her latest book, Vegetable Literacy (Ten Speed Press, 2013), she unearths the botany, history, and culinary connections within 12 plant families. From her home in New Mexico, she talked with CUESA about her discoveries in the garden, how understanding plant relationships can help us be more confident cooks, and why a radish top is a terrible thing to waste. Read more
Each year, Americans raise and slaughter approximately 10 billion animals, primarily for domestic consumption. Most consumers, however, have no idea how the meat they purchase at the supermarket is produced since the advertising is so misleading: images of happy cows in pasture producing milk and chickens being raised in spacious buildings while the company CEO walks among them making sure they are eating a healthy diet. Read more
Pastoralists in Kenya, rice farmers in India, and industrial feedlot operators in the U.S. have all contended with the increased frequency of drought and erratic weather. New agricultural ideas and actions are essential amid rising climate stress, a growing human population, widespread degradation of ecosystems, and rampant food insecurity; nearly one billion people regularly don’t get enough to eat. Read more
Crunchy and savory dulse flakes lend a taste and texture similar to bacon when sprinkled over artichoke croquettes. Kombu dissolves in chipotle black bean and mushroom chili, giving it a trace of saltiness before being finished with crème fraiche. Agar agar, a clear, tasteless alternative to chemical-based and animal gelatin, creates a thick, smooth base for dark chocolate orange pudding. These three ingredients share one thing in common: they are sea vegetables. Read more