A Story contribution to 2011: The Year of Idaho Food
Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Of course when he said this over two thousand years ago, it was before fast food, high fructose corn syrup and the widespread use of agricultural chemicals. We now live in a time where two thirds of our adults and one third of our children are overweight or obese, where diabetes is increasing in epidemic proportions and lifestyle related cancers are on the rise. If there was ever a time in human history when we needed to take a cold hard look at our food choices, it would be now.
This is why we wanted to bring Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to Boise.
For those of you who aren’t aware of Jamie’s mission, he is trying to change the way we eat in this country. He is not a doctor or a dietitian; he is a chef with a passion and the gift of inspiration. His show, Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, is currently airing Friday nights on ABC. Last season, he went to the most overweight city in the nation, Huntington, West Virginia, to get healthier foods in the schools, teach families how to cook and bring awareness to the issue of obesity. This season, he is taking on the LA school district and the fast food industry. It is his goal to remove processed foods from the kid’s menus and to educate the parents and public on the importance of knowing where our food comes from. Jamie, in an effort to bring this revolution to all American cities, has encouraged people to start their own groups, within their own communities. As a chef, an Exercise Physiologist and lover of nutrition I was moved by Jamie’s passion. So, I started the Boise, Idaho chapter of the Food Revolution with the goal of spreading information, education and inspiration to get parents and children cooking again. Since the group’s inception, I have recruited a Nutritional Consultant and a Naturopathic Doctor to help me provide well informed, quality content to our community Facebook page. For us, it is not just about the TV show, it is about our health, our families and the community. The way we eat needs to be addressed and it starts in our homes; it starts with our food.
It seems that in a mere generation, we have lost the ability to grow and cook our own food. We have failed to recognize, as a country, that our poor diet is at the core of our failing health. At every meal we are presented with the occasion to really nourish our body, not simply sustain it. In order to do this, we have to become more aware of the value and the distinct properties of the food we eat. The oregano that we add to our spaghetti sauce isn’t just flavoring. It is an anti-inflammatory; it eases digestion and has powerful antibacterial properties. The red color of the sauce represents vitamins, and antioxidants that reduce the risk of cancer. Conversely, the artificial flavorings we taste, particularly in fast food, were designed in a lab, not grown in a field. They have been manufactured and engineered rather than cultivated. Consider that these synthetic ingredients might not just be benign additives, but that they contribute to the toxic burden of an already taxed system. These are the connections we need to start making.
It even goes beyond the food. At every meal is also the chance to connect with our family. To share the events of our day; to sit mindfully and to not just to hear one another, but to really listen . . . to connect. There is healing in that moment. Food and family, that connection, is where we gain the strength for all other of life’s opportunities. We miss out on that opportunity when we rush around, eating unconsciously in the car in between soccer and piano lessons. We also miss out on the chance to share the importance of this experience with our children. Each moment we teach our children our values through our actions. These fundamentals of our existence, making a meal and eating it with the family are too important to be discarded or outsourced for the sake of convenience.
This is the essence of the Food Revolution group here in Boise. We want to get people back into their kitchens, cooking whole, nutritious food with their families. The point of this community page is to give you the information and the tools you need to do that. We have a wealth of information, tips and recipes on the Boise chapter of the Food Revolution Facebook page which is updated daily. This is a meant to be a community page; help us to connect our citizens with the local food movements here in Boise. Tell us about your events, share your recipes, ideas and let us know about what you are doing to create change. Inspired action breeds passion in others. We also hope to create enduring partnerships with other like minded organizations within our community to bring our vision into fruition. Look for our upcoming events including cooking classes, and screenings of important food documentaries.
Let us support you on your journey to better health through healthful eating. Together we can be the catalyst and change the way our community eats. Let’s get cooking.
Angela Levesque is a Chef, Certified Exercise Physiologist, Energy Healer and Mind/Body Educator for people with chronic illness. The focus of her work is to assist people in creating the optimal healing environment within the body through self care techniques, diet and exercise. To contact her about the food revolution email firstname.lastname@example.org