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”. 

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 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

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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?

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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?

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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