At a recent event at the Culinary Vegetable Institute, we were honored to have Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn as a presenter and guest. Dr. Esselstyn is the author of the New York Times' bestselling book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. This book was based on 20 years of his in-depth research that shows the healthful benefits of a plant-based diet. His daughter, Jane Esselstyn, a well-known health advocate and author in her own right, also provided an illuminating presentation. You can find out more about their healthy eating presentation here but, in the meantime, here is the mouthwatering menu provided that night:
Courses were paired with wine, with temperance drinks also available; the latter included cherry and lucky sorrel soda; dill, spruce and fennel kombucha beer; and ice wine elixir tea.
Farmacy = yes, you can have incredibly flavorful foods that are visually appealing and bursting with nutrition. Yes, healthy eating can be a treat for the palate.
Farmer Lee Jones reminds us of a saying passed down through the generations: that you can pay the farmer or you can pay the doctor. That saying is at the core of the food as medicine movement – and, while Lee agrees that eating nutritional foods are a crucial foundation for health and well-being, that saying and movement can closely resemble the “eat your vegetables before you can have dessert” rule from our childhood. And, the concept of farmacy is much broader and more beautiful than that, and is more closely related to this modified saying: Yes, you can have your cake and eat it, too – because, yes. You can have flavor AND nutrition AND beautiful plate presentation. Farmacy = you can have it all.
“Think about it,” Lee says. “At The Chef’s Garden, we start with healthy soil. We then plant our crops in harmony with nature, never trying to outsmart Mother Nature. As these crops grow in healthy soil, they take in the sun’s vibrant rays. So, when we harvest these crops, they are chock full of nutrition. In short, the process goes this way: healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy food for people.”
There’s one more core component to farmacy: visual appeal. “Because people have, all too often, eaten vegetables that aren’t sustainably grown, they may associate them with little flavor, basically a way to take in roughage. That’s why visual appeal is also so important because, when a vegetable looks sexy, the diner is halfway sold, already.”
“The way I look at it,” Lee says, “dining experiences aren’t just about satiating the stomach. If that was the case, then people could simply go to a grocery store or farmer’s market and load up on food. What people really want is to satiate mind, body and spirit. That happens when foods are flavorful, nutritious and visually appealing.”
Chefs – here is what makes our products different, and here are the fresh vegetables, microgreens, herbs and edible flowers currently available.