Margo recently went into the Big Apple for a super-cool round table discussion with environmentalist, director and cookbook author Laurie David, hosted by The Huffington Post and Rodale. Check out what she learned!
In all my years of covering events, I have never once been greeted by the guest of honor upon arrival. But there she was, right by the elevator banks at the swanky Huffington Post offices: THE Laurie David! The environmental activist who produced the Academy-award winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth was there to promote her newest projects and took the time to introduce herself to everyone who attended. (Color me impressed from the start!)
The roundtable discussion began with David showing the trailer for her next documentary, Fed Up, which takes aim at the billion-dollar food industry and is narrated by Katie Couric. Opening in theaters across the country on May 9, Fed Up explores the science of sugar addiction and how additives in our foods are causing life-threatening diseases.
The Weinstein Company (who picked up the film at the Sundance Film Festival this year) is so impressed with the information that is uncovered in Fed Up they will release a version dubbed in Spanish as well. You can check out the trailer here.
In addition to bringing the less-than-healthy practices of the food industry out to the masses, David is also the co-author of the just released The Family Cooks, which features more than 100 recipes created by her friend Kirstin Uhrenholdt who was also in attendance.
Though mentioning being quite shy and uncomfortable with public speaking (in contrast to the totally at ease David), Uhrenholdt made a passionate case for creating family traditions around food — and specifically meal prep — that will counterbalance the 30 years of marketing and advertising that gave us the “cooking is a drudgery” message. (Sound familiar? Preaching to the choir here!)
Together these two women are advocating a campaign to rally around the concept of the “Home Cooked Sundays” challenge. With most families being available to help out on Sundays, the authors want to get people to stop looking at cooking as inconvenient and time consuming. Rather, by planning out the meals for the week as a family, cooking together can create more closeness while getting everyone to eat healthier.
David emphasized the importance of the family meal in her own home and proudly noted that her daughter requested to live in an apartment when she went to college so she could cook for herself. (Dorm food apparently is even worse now than ever!)
The feisty host also let us know how much she despises the expression “picky eater” when describing the eating habits of kids.
“It’s up to parents to help develop their palate,” David said. She and her co-author suggest preparing three recipes per week to assemble on Sunday as a regular family routine that will then be used for several meals.
Before leaving we were given adorable glass jars filled with “Coconut-Mango Chia Pudding,” which is a yummy recipe included in The Family Cooks. Score!
Do you think you can bring “Home Cooked Sundays” into your life? Were family meals a part of your personal growing up experience? —Margo