Any time there will be a mention of food movement, people will remember Michael Pollan as a key influencer. Michael is food journalist and he is professor at UC Berkeley . I found him during my desperate search for answers to my basic questions in relation to what and how should I eat. He turned out to be the Messiah. His books,lectures and movies gave me inspiration to take this initiative . From him, I learnt about food movement, I learnt about US Food and agriculture industry related fact sand how in mid 60s a local farm that was feeding 50 houses in a most healthy fashion wiped out and got replaced by mega industrial farms.These farms changed the landscape of how food reached our plates. It was very shocking and eye opening discovery and av ery unfortunately truth. If you would like to learn more about these events, you may check out Edible 101 course by UC Berkeley recording…..Edible 101
Michael also has interesting perspective on cooking and its history in US and how fast food industry took over America’s kitchen. In his Netflix series Netflix “Cooked” “Cooked” he highlights how cooking food at home as opposed to factory processing makes it more nutritious. Cooking food and using traditional techniques of fermenting, stone grounding, sprouting, etc add a colony of microbes to the food that are essential for good digestion and providing the nutrition to the body. Modern food industry practices are processing food such a way that it is depriving food of nutrients and adding unnecessary calories.
The tradition of cooking almost disappeared from America’s kitchen in mid nineteenth century with the onset of women liberation. The women decided to go to work to fulfill their aspirations, dreams and to prove themselves. Unfortunately, least they realized that they were leaving behind a very decent important job of cooking fresh and healthy meals for the family (I know it may sound very anti feminist) but in fact the job was not paid and least appreciated and people didn’t think it requires any talent. And it was by no mean a wrong decision but it had impact on what we put in our plates for dinner and how it gets there.
When women went to work, a conflict arose between men and women on the issue of cooking. Smart, educated and working women refused to take single handed ownership of cooking at home. This increasing conflict open the door for the fast food industry that came with the promise to share the burden of cooking for the household and also to resolve this fight between men and women. And as a result 60 years after this change, we see the epidemic of chronic illness and obesity on a rise here.
Cooked series invite America’s public to go back to their kitchens and re engage into small and basic cooking practices that adds nutrition and flavor to their food. He also specifies that we all need to rise above gender or age clashes when it comes to cooking. A family should come together and cook as a fun activity and not as chores without any gender bias. Practice of cooking is an art and it is satisfying. What the home cooked food offers to the body is far more satisfying and healthy.
Mindful Living club’s philosophy is greatly impacted by Michael Pollan’s ideas and have guidelines on how to identify what is a real food, where to find it and how to eat it. Eating food is not just a physical activity. People need to get connected with the food they put in their month more at spiritual and mental level. This approach nourishes the body completely.
This was around the time my daughter was searching for colleges; tired and exhausted from all the road trips, I took refuge in audio books and youtube lectures etc during the car rides on my favorite topic; “Food” , What to eat and what’s wrong with my lifestyle. How do I change my routine so I could sleep better, how to pick my recipes so I don’t wake up tired and exhausted next morning with no energy to start a day that I know will have monumental challenges. My search for never ending probes on basic questions was keeping me more awake than the actual food that I ate at night .
And here it was, answer to all my questions; Thanks to the modern times we live in ( Information is so easily accessible!) , I turned to Youtube and I don’t recall what the search words were but here it was, a recording of a course being offered at UC Berkeley (Edible 101:Edible 101 )to address the Food movement and US issues related to Food and Agriculture. I had read Michael Pollan’s ” Food Rules” before and hearing him again on this forum made it impossible for me to turn away from this course. “Food Rules” was a fun read with fun pictures and some interesting guidelines on what is real food, how to eat it and when to eat it. It was like a user’s manual on eating. I totally agreed with the rules. Hearing him again made me think. This time his tone was more serious and the topic was more based on actual underlying issues that US Food and agriculture industry has created for a common person in terms of eating healthy. I learn about Food Movement. I learnt Food Movement is real and it’s here. It took me about 24 hours of listening to get a hang of this issue.
I felt connected to the Food Movement and realized that I have a responsibility to my community to take this message and educate people on this issue. I had to do something!!!
And here it is; the foundation of my “Mindful Living Club”; a step towards making a difference in the life of common people who wakes up with their dream and to face a challenging day. They don’t have time to go through 20 different sources; youtube lectures series etc to verify that what is in their plate is real food and is healthy. They trust the grocery stores, farmer, distributer and above all our regulation agencies that they are watching out for them ensuring what they are eating is a wholesome nutritious meal. I felt strongly that People have a right to know the truth. They have a right to know how the capitalist society greed is standing between them and their nutrition which is essential for them to meet their day with courage and energy.
My program has adopted major key agendas from this course “Edible 101” and provides guidelines and make suggestions on what is the best way to eat food and stay healthy.
If you wish to go over the lecture; here is the edible 101 youtube. They are about 16-20 lectures; each 2 hours long. They are thought provoking, candid and hit the root cause of what is wrong with the food we put in our mouth. It’s not just the increase in the distance between the farm to plate, but also the greed of food and agriculture industry in this capitalist society that has made eating healthy almost impossible for a common person who has no time or energy to do their own little research.
If you are tied up, I can be of help and summarize this for you in my next blog. So on enjoy your day; just one tip; Stick to foods that are local and pick the real food to eat from the grocery stores (Food with basic 2/3 natural ingredient; anything after that is just chemical) ”