Written by: Marla Miller
I won’t waste ‘ink’ ranting about the recent announcement by a MAJOR fast food chain that they’ve added a hot fudge sundae with bacon to their menu.
If I were queen of the food universe, I’d make these fast food peddling, money gobbling conglomerates pay for all the havoc their bloated food menus wreak on Americans’ health, especially the health of our little ones.
So instead of ranting, I’m taking the high road by sharing GOOD news made by GOOD folks who “just say no” to nasty, fattening foods and “yes” to foods that enhance health and taste good, too.
If you haven’t seen Will Allen on news shows yet, you will. This former Pro basketball player is hard to miss. In the early 1990′s, Allen traded in his European Pro ball career to return to his roots, farming.
Oh, and he’s not just your ‘garden variety’ farmer, either. Will Allen is THE leader of the urban gardening movement. Never heard of it? Then you’re definitely spending too much time in fast food lines. Allen has been making the talk show rounds to promote Good Food Revolution, his new book about a passion he comes by naturally. Will Allen’s people were farmers.
“At one time, 300,000 African Americans farmed the land. Now there’s barely 18,000 of us,” said Allen in a recent CNN interview. But according to Allen, that number is growing thanks to Michelle Obama’s White House garden. “Once she planted her garden for all to see, 10 million Americans started planting gardens, too.” Will Allen’s nonprofit, Growing Power, recently received a $500,000 grant from the MacArthur Foundation that will be used to sprout more gardens in urban areas where fresh and good food is scarce. Specifically, Will Allen has his sights set on the teaching kids. He calls them ‘the new farmers’ and says this crop of farmers will come from urban America. Perks of urban gardening grow beyond offering good food. “Creating communal farms fosters relationship building…These farms engage the community….We organize around the work we do. We grow food,” says Will Allen. You can see why he made Time Magazine’s 100 people who most affect our world list, can’t you?
So does healthy food mean boring? NO WAY! Praise the foodie gods that American chefs are finally coming around to taking more leadership roles in preparing healthy cuisine. I recently discovered a lovely cookbook that’s gluten free- Nourished: The Art of Eating and Living Well. Penned by California personal chef, Luna Paige Smith, Nourished is loaded with luscious and easy to fix dishes that aren’t bogged down with long lists of ingredients. Chef Smith’s philosophy is simple. A healthy diet should be rich in veggies with a secondary emphasis on meat, eggs and fish; an emphasis similar to Alica Marie’s in The Booty Bible. The good chef’s spin on a personal fave of mine- potatoes Au gratin – includes substituting summer squash for potatoes and instead of cheddar, she uses goat cheese, a cheese that isn’t likely to cause lactose intolerance.
It can be done, eating well. Urban dwellers have resources and home cooks do, too. We just have to shift our way of viewing food; a shift that includes driving right by fast food restaurants. Remember this, any fast food restaurant that in 2012 continues to create fat saturated dishes doesn’t care about America’s health. They care about profits-theirs.
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