Teaching Food with Marion Nestle

Marion Nestle, the teacher of all food teachers, was my guest on #LunchAgenda this week. I could hardly wait to ask her about how she created a food curriculum for university students, and for tips about teaching elementary students in my job as Cooking & Gardening Teacher at Mundo Verde Bilingual Public Charter School. 📝🍎 Catch the episode when you have a moment:

LISTEN TO MARION'S INTERVIEW

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LUNCH AGENDA PODCAST

I've already made updates to my curriculum plan based on her advice, and hope some of her pearls of wisdom help you in thinking about your role as a teacher--whether your "students" are your children, or your coworkers at the office.

Favorite quotes from Marion:

Marion Nestle pic.jpg

I had home economics in the eighth grade. The girls took it, and we started with cookies. Who doesn't want to know how to make cookies? It's not a bad way to begin, and it takes the fear away....just make sure they're small!

The real issue [for students learning about food] is being able to look at foods that are on the market, that are not very expensive, and think "This would be yummy"!

There's an extraordinary amount of organizing and recruiting allies [in good food advocacy campaigns]. It's not something you do on your own. Very often, food advocates don't have a clearly defined goal; they're critical about something without thinking through what needs to change, and who needs to change it.

Our students come in wanting to change the world. Our job is giving them tools to do that. We teach them how to have any group that is the target of an advocacy campaign involved from the very beginning, so that you're not going into a community and telling them what they need.

You want to have a food supply that everyone in the population has access to. The reason that foods are priced the way they are has to do with supply and demand, but it also has to do with politics. How do we get kids to understand the politics of pricing, and about why foods in low income areas are not as high quality as in high income areas?

Marion's Action Item to improve the food system:

  • Vote with your fork: Every time you make a choice of food, you're making a choice about the kind of food system you want.
  • Get into politics: The easiest way is to find an organization that's working on a food issue that you care about, and join it...I find that I can google 'food advocacy' and the name of any town in America, and find what you want.

LISTEN TO THIS LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

Activism Lunch Date with Julia Turshen

Are you an activist? How does it feel to identify that way? These are questions I pondered during this week's Lunch Agenda interview with Julia Turshen. 

Julia's 2017 bestseller Feed the Resistance is a bridge, for people who have followed her accessible recipes to walk alongside her into activism. For people who come to the food movement because of their love for the pleasure side of food--cooking, tasting--and are navigating where they fit into the “issues”. 

LISTEN TO JULIA'S INTERVIEW

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LUNCH AGENDA PODCAST

 Julia Turshen. Photo by  Gentl & Hyers .

Julia Turshen. Photo by Gentl & Hyers.

When asked about the label "activist", Julia quoted her mom's favorite saying: “'I don’t care what you call me, as long as you call me'. The term activist is a term I hold in high regard, and absolutely revere and have respect for. I don’t always willingly assign that label to myself but I will absolutely accept it.”

Julia suggested these actions for all of us to take:

  • Join a CSA this spring to invest in a farmer and fill your kitchen all growing season long! Julia did her homework and found these two great farms owned by people of color: 

Three Part Harmony Farm in DC

Five Seeds Farm in Baltimore

  • Draw on the 400-and-growing women included in the Equity at the Table database when choosing photographers for your project, speakers for your conference, or chefs for your restaurant.
  • "Whether you’re a cookbook author or an editor — or just someone who buys a cookbook as a gift now and then — there’s something we can all do to shift cookbook publishing in a more equitable direction," says Julia in the article she discussed in our interview, where she talked with Samin Nosrat about code-switching. Check out her list of 19 things we can all do to address racial disparities that afflict the cookbook industry and move us toward a more equitable place.

Julia asks, "Are you taking action, and is your action consistent?" If you haven't already, pick up Julia's book, Feed the Resistance, and pre-order Now and Againher leftovers-themed one coming out this Fall!

Today's Kiko's Food News headlines:

Annie’s launches regenerative agriculture products

Cannabis sales may surpass soda by 2030

What do the major changes at Whole Foods mean for food entrepreneurs?

Trump to allow drug testing for food stamp users

Partnership for a Healthier America Summit

LISTEN TO TODAY'S LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

IMG_9823.jpg

Food Policy Class, Lesson 1

 Ona (left) in a DC Council hearing alongside Ward 5 Councilmember (and Food Policy sparkplug!) Mary Cheh

Ona (left) in a DC Council hearing alongside Ward 5 Councilmember (and Food Policy sparkplug!) Mary Cheh

If you tuned into Lunch Agenda today, I hope you came away with this message: local government NEEDS to hear from you--about food policy ideas or whatever's on your mind.

Today I recorded the first Food Policy Class, aimed at leaving you with hard skills after you tune in. Our teacher was my bright and helpful friend Ona Balkus, legislative council to DC Councilmember Mary Cheh. Ona guided us on how to effectively advocate with DC government, including a primer on the budget cycle just in time for you to get involved this spring. Here's how:

Now that you're ready to testify, what other tips did Ona share on today's show?

LISTEN TO TODAY'S LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LUNCH AGENDA PODCAST

Ona's sound bite: Is it worth testifying?

A: "You know more than you think you do. If you're listening to this podcast, and you've already listened to previous of Kirsten's podcast, you already know more about food policy than many of the Councilmembers....These agencies have a LOT going on, they're working on a lot that's not food, and food can often get lost in that conversation."

Also, re: DC statehood: "We just crossed the 700,000 mark for residents in the district, which makes us more populous than two states: Vermont and Wyoming. Yet they have two senators and at least one member in the house, and we have no voting members in congress."

Ona's action item:

"Wherever you are, take one step further in being active with local government. In this time and age, local government is a place where we can make real change, and move forward on progressive change."

Kiko's Food News headlines:

Adaptogens and neuro-nutrition

Pepsi dips its toes into the sparkling water market

AccelerateHER Business Plan Competition for woman entrepreneuses

Other links we discussed:

DC Greens Budget Advocacy Workshop on March 19--Sign up!

 

LISTEN TO TODAY'S LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

Food at School: Part 3

I'm trying something new today, to make it easier to make your food decisions matter. At the top of each Lunch Agenda episode blog, I'll explain how to take an action recommended by a guest on the show! 

This week we closed out the Food at School series with three powerful young "Lunch Ladies": Christie St. Pierre and Morgan Maloney from Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia, and Kelsey Weisgerber from Mundo Verde in DC--bring on the hairnets!

When it came time for action items, Morgan invited listeners to "Just plant a seed. Now that we're coming into springtime, we all have this opportunity to take our food into our own hands, whether you're planting a single seed in a tiny pot hanging out your window, or a bucket in your front yard that you filled with soil." Wanna try?

Now that you're ready to plant, what else happened on today's show?

LISTEN TO TODAY'S LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

 

SUBSCRIBE TO THE LUNCH AGENDA PODCAST

 

Christie's sound bite: 

"I knew we had made it when the kids came in and said, 'This salad bar is lit!'".

Kelsey's sound bite:

"We're transitioning to a new full-scale kitchen, with a hood system...the tilt skillet's the dream. As a 30-year old lunch lady I didn't think that would be my golden excitement piece, but here we are."

Link discussed in today's interview:

Mundo Verde's community dinners will be announced here

Info about Fairfax County Schools salad bars

Kiko's Food News headlines:

Trump’s proposed budget replaces SNAP funding with “Harvest Boxes”

An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t

AccelerateHER Competition for Woman Food Businesses

 

LISTEN TO TODAY'S LUNCH AGENDA EPISODE

Podcast: Breaking Bread at the Capital Area Food Bank

Can you believe today is November 1st, and just like that, the season of giving is upon us? Maybe it's because the election is shining light on the struggles many Americans face every day, or maybe it's because bringing a little girl into the world fills the well with limitless love to share....but I hope you all are, like me, thinking about who you can give to before year end, if you're able.

 CAFB's food assistance partners learning all the best reseeding techniques in our Urban Demonstration Garden

CAFB's food assistance partners learning all the best reseeding techniques in our Urban Demonstration Garden

One idea: the Capital Area Food Bank, which I have to admit I miss thinking about daily now that I'm on maternity leave! Speaking of, if you have 25 minutes, I invite you to have a listen to an interview I gave last month about the food bank's work for a new podcast, Breaking Bread--a few listening options are here:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-breaking-bread-podcast/id1168322074?mt=2


https://soundcloud.com/user-767355871


http://tunein.com/radio/The-Breaking-Bread-Podcast-p922253/

If you've ever been curious to learn more about the CAFB, here it is through my eyes. As always, welcome questions or feedback :-) 

Here's to health and sharing!

Kitchen Dreaming

What happens when you get two optimistic home chefs into a newly owned house with an outdated kitchen? Nick and Kiko's first renovation!

When we moved into our Bloomingdale rowhouse in 2014, we knew there were some fish to fry before we could build the kitchen of our dreams; 2015 was mostly occupied with getting hitched. But with that joy behind us, we moved on to the next one, feeling so lucky that we could create a space to anchor our home our way, and hopefully grow a family in. 

So we began meetings with fellow Crispus Attucks neighbor Charles Warren of Teas Warren Architects. This being a first renovation for both Nick and I, we were open to his (and let's be honest, our parents') wisdom, based on the following sure-fire goals:

  • Bring the outside inside, and re-orient the kitchen to open up towards the greenery of the park out our back door, through knocking down a structural wall and installing big old casement windows. This is the wall we would lose:
  • Re-orient how we move into and out of our house, with most of that happening through the back of the house. This would involve creating a mudroom-like portion of our new kitchen, and some kind of bike shed for the back yard so we could stop hauling them in and out to commute to work every day.
  • Replacing EVERYTHING from the old kitchen--from the appliances, to the cabinets, floors and countertops, it all had to go. Literally the only thing we kept was the garbage disposal. 
  • Replace our big black "disco bathroom" and its unnecessary bath with a smaller powder room.
  • Open up the pathway between the kitchen and dining room to let that great light flow from the park towards the front of the house.
 On the Georgetown canal, around the time we moved out of our ground floor and began camping upstairs.

On the Georgetown canal, around the time we moved out of our ground floor and began camping upstairs.

We chose to work with Something Different as our contractor, based on a recommendation from our neighbor down the block, and navigated through the contract negotiations as we learned about concepts like "allowances" and "punch lists."  

 

We were told four months, but did add a couple elements like a skylight on our roof, so six months later, we are able to move into our new kitchen!

 Carrera marble countertops all around, and we chose the two pendant lights from Design Within Reach. We did our cabinets (white uppers and grey below) from Ikea, which was pretty easy but not the cheapest due to the slick modern finish we chose (and how many cabinets we have--packrats!)

Carrera marble countertops all around, and we chose the two pendant lights from Design Within Reach. We did our cabinets (white uppers and grey below) from Ikea, which was pretty easy but not the cheapest due to the slick modern finish we chose (and how many cabinets we have--packrats!)

 Our project manager Noe, who was a cabinet maker in Guatemala, banged out our mudroom from scratch. Might I add he had a baby mid-way through our project, and was back about two days later? Intense. We're still waiting on the baskets for the right column compartments. 

Our project manager Noe, who was a cabinet maker in Guatemala, banged out our mudroom from scratch. Might I add he had a baby mid-way through our project, and was back about two days later? Intense. We're still waiting on the baskets for the right column compartments. 

 Here's our little breakfast nook--the seats open up to what I think will be toy storage one of these days. Still debating whether to get cushions made to go on these seats....thoughts welcome?

Here's our little breakfast nook--the seats open up to what I think will be toy storage one of these days. Still debating whether to get cushions made to go on these seats....thoughts welcome?

 And the view looking into the kitchen from the dining room. We're pretty stoked about our Forbo "click" linoleum floors--very soft with their cork underside, and hide dirt like nobody's business.

And the view looking into the kitchen from the dining room. We're pretty stoked about our Forbo "click" linoleum floors--very soft with their cork underside, and hide dirt like nobody's business.

 We redid the tiles in the entryway of our front door with marble hexagons. Now when someone opens the front door, they can see all the way to the park.

We redid the tiles in the entryway of our front door with marble hexagons. Now when someone opens the front door, they can see all the way to the park.

 The new Canadian cedar bike shed was constructed from a kit--notice our new deck on the second floor above the kitchen.

The new Canadian cedar bike shed was constructed from a kit--notice our new deck on the second floor above the kitchen.

 Yes, the kitchen is pretty white--I think that's how we Bourne women like it. So we've been adding the Renzbo "collector's touch", like with our hodgepodge fridge back in action (chose this Fisher & Paykel model because it's magnetic.)

Yes, the kitchen is pretty white--I think that's how we Bourne women like it. So we've been adding the Renzbo "collector's touch", like with our hodgepodge fridge back in action (chose this Fisher & Paykel model because it's magnetic.)

 No kitchen is complete without a little fishy friend--we named Mochi in honor of the rice paddy puddles from which we learned his ancestor hail.

No kitchen is complete without a little fishy friend--we named Mochi in honor of the rice paddy puddles from which we learned his ancestor hail.

Spring is really here, and we celebrated last night by cooking my buddy Samin Nosrat's Persian Kuku--a frittata stuffed with chard, dill, cilantro and leeks. Like a champ she of course uses the chard stems and leek greens. Here's the dramatic flip moment--success! Delish, and next time we'll try adding mozzarella.

 Write here...

Write here...