The Revolution is Delicious

Most nights we spend a couple of hours quietly reading before bed. But every once in a while we have a “date night.”

Our date nights are typically as nerdy as our ordinary nights. Last week, on a date night, we went to see Ellen Gufstafson speak at a nearby girls’ boarding school.

We were pleased that the menu included food from our farm.

We were pleased that the menu included food from our farm.

Ms. Gufstafson is an activist in the local food movement. She gave an inspiring talk. She believes, as we do, that by making better food choices we can make the world a better place. I haven’t yet read her book We The Eaters, but it is in my soon-to-be-read pile.

I was pleased that she addressed the commonly-held belief that eating better means having to suffer some sort of privation–that having a nutritious, ethically-sourced diet means being hungry all the time and having to give up tasty food.

Not true, she argued.  Just as we keep telling people, eating well means eating the best-tasting food you’ve ever had.  A good diet will leave you feeling better, not worse.

I liked her punch line, “There is a revolution going on, and the revolution is delicious.”

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11 comments on “The Revolution is Delicious

  1. avwalters says:

    I remember, as a kid, how we’d learn of other cultures and their foods, and we’d all be revolted. Really, yak butter! Grasshoppers! Raw fish!
    Now that’s the way I feel about the Standard American Diet. (Which, Michael Pollan says is killing us.) I came to it honestly, from a family of cooks. But food allergies and sensitivities meant their was no looking back. In a funny way, I feel that it makes me one of the lucky ones.

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    • Bill says:

      Ellen Gustafson said she had an epiphany moment when she was somewhere in Africa (I can’t remember where) and stopped at a roadside market to get something to eat. All they had there was the same crap food you’d find at an airport or a checkout line in the U.S.–junk food, candy, potato chips, soft drinks etc. She realized that our Standard American Diet was being exported, even to places like rural Africa.

      She said whether we call it the Modern American Diet (MAD) or the Standard American Diet (SAD), it is as bad as the acronym suggests. She argues that the world follows America’s lead, so by changing how we eat we can change how the world eats. She recommended changing our diet and calling it the Natural American Diet. NAD, she said, isn’t a word but at least it isn’t a bad word. Afterwards,during the Q&A, one of the freshman girls said why not call it the Real American Diet? RAD!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Joanna says:

    What a fantastic strap line. We need more of that to inspire hope

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    • Bill says:

      It was an inspiring talk, and it was encouraging to see how excited the students were about it. I can’t imagine high school kids being interested in that sort of thing when I was in high school.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like a great evening and a great message. Nice to see your farm credited on the menu. I’m fascinated by that menu – three different greens if you count the salad! I love the regionality of this kind of eating.

    We don’t have a whole lot of greens available locally yet, so our leafy greens would have been a small salad from a nearby farm that grows baby salad greens in greenhouses. Grits don’t exist here, so that portion of our plate would have had potato, and the soup would likely have been squash soup – there are still a few winter squash in the markets. We might have had a couple of spears of asparagus on our plates, and dessert would undoubtedly have involved rhubarb (which you don’t have). Another delicious meal from the other side of the continent and several degrees latitude up. No deprivation necessary – except for southerners who might miss their grits :).

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    • Bill says:

      Of course it was a challenge for our friend who organized the dinner to find fresh produce here this time of year. Asparagus would have been a great addition to the menu, but it was just prior to it starting to arrive. Supplying schools with fresh food is a challenge, since the school year was determined based upon the agricultural calendar. Schools are in session when there isn’t much farming going on (and therefore when there isn’t much fresh local food).

      I hadn’t noticed the regionality of the menu, but you’re right. Turnip and mustard greens are Southern staples, as are grits. It’s not evident from the menu but our sausage is Southern-style “breakfast” sausage (probably being served with shrimp for the first time ever). Of course one of the joys of seasonal eating is that it reconnects us with our local food heritage.

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  4. Certainly looks tasty to me, Bill. Speaking of Date Nights, Peggy and I highly recommend them. There are too many things in our busy lives that get in the way of each other. Date Night, whether it is nerdy or not, provides time for each other. Peggy and I started having Date Nights on Wednesdays in 1990. Gradually we trained family, friends and employers that Wednesday night was our night… i.e. don’t plan any events that involve us. 25 years later (and into ‘retirement’) Wednesday continues to be our Date Night, except now it has morphed into a Date Day. Occasionally something pops up that we have to switch. But it is rare. –Curt

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    • Bill says:

      That’s great Curt. For a while we had once-a-week date nights, but we’d usually go to dinner somewhere, then end up at a bookstore, then back home before dark. We eventually realized we might as well stay home, eat supper and read books here.

      Nowadays our date nights are when we go to hear a lecture or see a play or concert. They’re less frequent, but our normal nights still feel a little like date nights too. 🙂

      I strongly agree with your point that it’s important to carve out special time for dates, no matter how long you’ve been dating. It’s very cool that you have kept your tradition going for so long.

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      • Laughing… going out to dinner and a bookstore has always been one of our favorites. I know I can browse online, but somehow it is never the same. We also include plays and concerts— not so much lectures. –Curt

        Liked by 1 person

  5. EllaDee says:

    I like the menu and the punch line too. Food revolution is a win-win for eaters. We need educate, and realize advertising isn’t educational as Sara recently commented to one of my posts. For me the first step was realizing I’d lost touch, I was being misinformed. Once I accepted that, making the change although time consuming getting & keeping up to speed, information-was simple.

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    • Bill says:

      Advertising isn’t educational. Great point. Reminds me of the reaction I get sometimes when I tell people that television doesn’t exist to entertain them–it exists as a platform for advertising. If they’re entertained, that’s just to keep their attention until the next advertisement.

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