Why don't social workers get tipped? They really should, but they don't. Instead we tip in restaurants, but we don't really value food service either. What a strange paradox. Enter my life...
Restaurant work supported me through university as I earned degrees in Psychology and Criminology. After graduation I entered a depressing bout of social work jobs, but kept my spirits up by earning my non-chef credentials ala the Food Network Academy. In 2001 I discovered that an intolerance to wheat was triggering a litany of environmental allergies ranging from cats to pollen. Learning to cook my way back to health consoled me when my college idealism was eclipsed by the realities of the health and human services industrial complex. Fried from social work, I financed my first travels abroad and paid for massage school by bringing people fried food and craft beer.
The irony was this: after years of various social work jobs where I never knew if I was making any sort of concrete impact, my return to food service was tangible and rewarding. I knew I was delivering on what I was hired to do. Later I returned to advocacy, using performance art to raise awareness about domestic violence. I met ends by serving gorgeous, expensive food in an organic Italian restaurant. I volunteered in schools and women's organizations, and while I couldn't count on reimbursement for any of this, food service always had my back.
Over the past 10 years, I have lived on 3 different continents, was initiated into motherhood and witnessed how various cultures use food to celebrate life. After many years of practicing healing arts and going back to school for nutrition, I confirm something I've always suspected: food is the way in to healing some of our greatest obstacles, individually and collectively. It's among the most powerful votes we possess in determining how we show up in the world. And the foods we choose cast powerful ripples of celbrating life on our Earth. Or not.
Do we eat to live or live to eat? The answer is both. I want to help you do two things: First, to activate your greatest superpower: to nourish yourself and your loved ones. Our rates of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease are strong indicators of a food system that is failing us. And being a food lover does't have to come at the expense of your health. We can bridge what your mouth craves with what your body needs. Second, I want to help you merge that inner awareness with an intention of feeding back into the outer world. The Food Warriors Podcast introduces you to the people who are transforming our food system, and gives you a roadmap towards a food system that heals instead of harms. What you will discover is that when you act to benefit your greatest self, your relationships to people and environment are amplified as well. That's why you will hear me say, time and again:
Food is the force that unites our bodies, our planets, and our people.