Oct 25

Food – The Holiday

Our national holidays celebrate the birthdays of great men who have formed our country (think Washington and King), days of remembrance for those who have served and those who tend to be taken for granted (Mother’s and Father’s), but how does food fit into this scenario? Is our newly coined National Food Day a sign that real food is becoming a thing of the past?

I had been struggling for weeks to come up with a way to spend this day that seemed fitting of the occasion and admit that I failed. As an advocate for clean food, this important day should have had great meaning to me. And yet, somehow when the day finally rolled around, it felt quite empty. As our food and our environment are ever changing, I find myself wondering if the political agendas that are shaping our food system are moving us forward, or possibly backwards? Our First Lady is visiting Chicago and addressing Mayor Emanuel’s food summit where just this past summer the mayor brought in Walmart and other grocery chains to discuss opening stores in areas deemed food deserts. Have we gone so far astray so as to believe that Walmart is the answer to food accessibility?

As many of my readers already know, here in Connecticut I work closely with Urban Oaks Organic Farm – a 4 acre, year-round organic farm, also in a designated food desert – where a single city block provides endless educational opportunities, community events, connection to the land and to purpose, volunteer opportunities, access to locally grown food for all, and an incredible blend of cultures that makes a Friday farm stand feel like a multinational celebration. THIS is the true power of food – to bring us together, to celebrate our differences, to nourish the land and our communities, to fuel our local economies, to support our good health, and to break bread together with one purpose. True nourishment and not big box agribusiness.

These are the goals that motivate me every day. So, on our first national Food Day I honored food by enjoying a locally grown apple dipped in locally grown honey. I prepared delicata squash roasted in apple cider for my girls who devoured every last bite except minus the stems. I made a warm and hearty soup for dinner with locally grown onions, carrots, kale, beans, spinach, parsley and chopped tomatoes. And I was nourished. It was a simple day, and it was delicious. And today and the next day and the day after that I’ll do the same (just with a different menu). I will make conscious choices, I will prepare real food, and I will appreciate every bite. Perhaps if you join me, we can make Food Day worth observing every day, and prevent true nourishment from becoming more than just a day of remembrance.

Eat clean live well!



  1. Posted October 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Hello Terry,
    It was certainly serendipitous that my husband met you at the market and bought me your cookbook. You must have impressed him because I have so many cookbooks, he never buys me one! I am loving it and just finished eating a delicious bowl of the Red Lentil Sour with Turnip and Parsley and my family also loved the Green Fries!
    Thank you for visiting and commenting on Maia’s and my website gimmethegoodstuff.org.
    I enrolled recently at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and once I started reading your cookbook of course I noticed that you were a graduate! As I said, serendipitous that he ran into you that day.
    I am having great fun with your cookbook and I am thrilled to find another who is on a similar path. I don’t know if my husband mentioned that we recently left our home in central Vermont to live in Pennsylvania where the consciousness about food is quite different. I wasn’t aware of the National Food Day!
    It looks likes you have connections to Vermont also. We lived there for almost 30 years and raised our children there. Thanks again for your work; I am certainly benefitting from it.

  2. Posted October 26, 2011 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Suzanne, if there was one thing your husband made clear, it’s that you and I were on similar paths and meant to meet! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my books and thank you for stopping by my site to say hi! Looking forward to sharing the journey from here. Ah Vermont… Yes, a very special place to me and my whole family. Enjoy your IIN adventure and keep me posted of your experience. I’m sure my readers will be interested in your insights as well!

  3. Posted November 7, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

    I completely identified with your sentiments. It’s hard to know how celebrate. I think it was primarily because my food choices were the same as every other day. But it does make me happy to know that more and more people are becoming aware of the need for clean, local food alternatives.

  4. Posted November 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    My husband bought your book home from an event at his office last week. This is just the reboot our family needed, thank you. I’m really enjoying the recipes…red lentil soup and cabbage salad is tonight’s dinner! One question, as an 8 month pregnant mama, I’m wondering what is a good substitute for mirin?
    Thanks so much,

  5. Posted November 15, 2011 at 10:22 pm | Permalink

    Hi Stephanie, Substituting for mirin depends on the recipe. Mirin is a sweet cooking wine, so balsamic vinegar often works well. In recipes where you don’t want to add that dark rich color you could use a golden balsamic vinegar. Alternatively, you can often just take it out and adjust your seasonings to taste. Enjoy your cookbook and clean creations, and wishing you a happy, healthy pregnancy!

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