Celebrating Food Revolution Day
Did you know it’s Food Revolution Day tomorrow? Food Revolution Day on May 19th is about connecting with community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers’ markets, with a mission to promote better food and nutrition education for everyone.
With hopes that this single-day event will effect change in homes, restaurants and schools everywhere, Jamie Oliver, celebrity chef, is fighting to stop a major health issue plaguing our nation – childhood obesity. He’s encouraging the country to take just one day to get into the kitchen to make and eat real food.
What is real food? Real foods include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish and whole grains. Quick-cooking bulgur is a real food, for instance – we like to think of it as the original Mediterranean fast food. Canned and frozen vegetables (without extra salt or sugar) are real foods, too – food doesn’t have to be fresh or expensive to be real. The one thing real foods all have in common, though, is that they’re recognizable as something found in nature.
I’ve always been passionate about creating dishes from scratch and sharing them, so Food Revolution Day is like just about every other day for me. So why am I looking forward to it? I too would like to see our nation get back into the kitchen, to slow down, eat and enjoy meals together as a family.
The benefits of cooking are endless, but here are a few important ones I’d like to share with you:
When you know how to cook, you can stock your pantry with shelf-stable items in bulk: canned beans and tomatoes, whole grain pastas, rice and oatmeal. Fruits and vegetables bought in-season are less expensive, and as an added bonus, they taste better and have a higher nutritional value than those bought off-season imported from a great distance. Eating healthier now saves you from medical costs later.
Tip: For best results, store your whole grains in a cool, dark and dry place.
Working full time and being a mom, I understand how precious time is, but I’ll also be the first to tell you that from scratch is the best use of my time. Meals don’t have to take a lot of time to prepare to taste good and I believe there is no better place for a family to be, than in the kitchen preparing and eating a meal together.
Tip: Many ingredients, like whole grains, can be cooked in large batches and frozen, then reheated for a quick meal later on.
Learning the basic techniques of food preparation opens doors to a whole new world of food. Creativity starts with simple ingredients and basic know-how, but once those skills are learned, the real fun begins. Let the flavors and textures be your guide; try different cultural combinations of ingredients to find what you love.
Tip: Begin your creative journey with the traditional diets of your heritage.
Won’t you join me on Food Revolution Day (and every day) to rediscover the value of cooking and eating whole foods?