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Message from Jane
So many of us are confused about what to eat, about what is healthy and also tastes good, and how to prepare healthy meals for ourselves and our families. The media is full of conflicting information, one week touting high protein low carb diets, the next week saying diets should be carbohydrate based. Obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes are all rampant here in the US, the land of so called opportunity and abundance. So often, the only news we read about diet and particular food groups are really regurgitated press releases sent to the media by the giant industrial food businesses. In fact, there is little in the mainstream media to contradict these crass corporate interests. They have lots of money to lobby congress and help shape laws which continue to dump nutrition-less foods, pesticide-laced foods, genetically engineered foods (GE), processed foods, chemically polluted dairy products and more on an unsuspecting public. Remember Oprah Winfrey and the lawsuit over her program “Dangerous Food”?
Photo Jane Sherry
On these pages, you will also find some of our favorite resources for reliable and respected information on food, nutrition, farming, csa’s, and farm and food suppliers. The most important thing to remember, is that no one diet suits every body. And that no single diet suits anyone of us throughout our lives or even during the course of a year. Our dietary needs change as we grow older, as the seasons progress throughout the year, as our stresses change sometimes even during the course of a single day. The best advice, is to listen to our bodies, which in their natural wisdom, can instruct us in the best diets for us, if we only learn to listen.
May these pages bless you with abundant health and access to a healthy and abundant food supply!
Selected Food, Nutrition & Education Links
The Ayurvedic Institute
If you are interested in learning some basics about Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of life, health, and principles of balance, visit the wonderful Dr. Vasant Lad’s Ayurvedic Institute. You can order supplies, open their pdf files to figure out what your dosha (constitution) is, sign up for classes and find recipes.
This recipe for kitchari is a delicious and nourishing easy-to-digest classic healing meal that we make in our household when we’re feeling a bit under the weather. You can also find a simple recipe for making ghee, a healthy and delicious staple in our kitchen.
Rebecca Wood’s book “The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia” is one of my favorites and is consulted often to find out the basic healing information of whole foods. Rebecca is a cancer survivor who used a non western medical approach to fight and win her battle. You can buy her books on her website which has a wonderful question and answer section for many different kinds of health problems, good advice for setting up a healthy lifestyle including healthy cookware and wonderful easy recipes. She writes on her website: “A diagnosis of advanced, third stage cancer in 1989 caused me to make some dietary changes. I was able to reverse the cancer using natural methods, but also by adding meat back to my diet and by reducing my carbohydrate consumption. Whether you're vegetarian or not, it's important to determine and implement the diet that works for you. This is the purpose of BeNourished.com.
“The core of my advice since my earliest cooking articles and classes remains the same. Let yourself feast upon delicious and freshly prepared foods. Favor sustainably grown, seasonal, regional and whole foods. And, using the energetic and medicinal properties of foods, skillfully adapt your diet to your specific needs. May this information serve you well and may we all be well nourished.”
Community Food Security Coalition
Photo by Jane Sherry
“The Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) is a non-profit 501(c)(3), North American organization dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times. We seek to develop self-reliance among all communities in obtaining their food and to create a system of growing, manufacturing, processing, making available, and selling food that is regionally based and grounded in the principles of justice, democracy, and sustainability. CFSC has over 250 member organizations”
Read about their “farm to school project”, find out how you can end hunger at the grass roots level with their resource list of community groups, or download some of their free pdf file publications about food security projects.
If you eat animals, you definitely will want to check out this website which will educate you about why grass fed animals and dairy foods are better for you and the environment.
“Eatwild.com features comprehensive, up-to-date, accurate information about grass-fed and organic beef, pork, lamb, bison, dairy products, and poultry. It also features the country's most extensive list of suppliers of pasture-raised products.”
Learn where your food comes from and why you should support small farms and locally produced food. They have useful basic FAQ’s with definitions for csa, sustainable agriculture, gmo’s, organic and many other common terms & buzzwords.
Gary Null’s Natural Living
An indefatigable researcher and Pacifica radiocommentator on health and healing, Gary Null has created a vast web based library of articles that compare and contrast traditional allopathic and pharmaceutical based treatments for health problems with nutritional and food supplement based strategies to achieve health and long life, including: aging, dental problems, AIDS, allergies, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome, diabetes, heart disease and much, much more. Gary provides research papers for activists interested in a range of issues including: access to food supplements, ADHD, genetic engineering, psychiatric force, safe energy, sugar and vaccination.
Green Earth Institute Nutrition in the Schools
Learn about the Green Earth Institute and their committee to change the way children eat at school from a corn syrup, dye and hydrogenated fats diet of pizza and burgers to a healthier diet of whole wheat pasta and tortillas, fresh vegetables and no corn syrup, dyes or hydrogenated fats. Find all the resources you need to organize a group in your area to ensure that your children nourish their brains at lunch as well as in the classroom. Learn what governmental agencies are set up to help you set up a healthy lunch program in your community. There are links to help you serve healthy lunches right now at home and links to free nutrition newsletters.
And while you're there, you can read about the wonderful work of Green Earth Institute written by the Founder, Steve Tiwald. Read about their CSA or become a member if you're in the Chicago area, by downloading their pdf registration form. Learn about their fun kids activities to introduce children to the land and to farming. We need more people and organizations such as the Conservation Foundation, a not-for-profit land and watershed protection organization, who are the lease holders of the land the Green Earth Institute farms and uses for educational purposes.
HealthBulletin.org is a labor of love by Editor William A. Kent, an independent researcher, author and lecturer who has studied health and nutrition for over 35 years. Kent compiles the latest information on nutrition and health from scientific journals around the world. Articles contain brief descriptions of key findings and bibliographic citations, to facilitate further research on the topic. The articles are indexed by subject matter, and it's easy to find whatever you want.
Garden Meal Photo by Jane Sherry
The Institute for Integrative Nutrition
This school is for anyone who loves food, professionals and students alike. If you’re in the NYC area, and want an integrative education on food, nutrition and the political realities of food & food systems, this is a good place to start.
“We are the only school in the world integrating all different dietary theories, from the ancient traditions of ayurveda, macrobiotics and Chinese medicine to the most current concepts like raw foods, Atkins diet, blood type diets, the Zone and the USDA Healthy Eating Pyramid.
We believe there is no one specific diet that's right for everyone. We believe in intuitive eating, based on the individual knowing that one person's food is another's poison.”
This website has some useful resources such as a book review of “The Energy Balance Diet”, excerpted articles from their magazine, and even wonderful recipes, including a recipe for a vegetarian pie using two of my favorite foods: red lentils & millet!
Iroquois White Corn
Cornbread Photo by J. Sherry
[Note: Unfortunately, John Mohawk has sadly passed on as of Dec. 12, 2006. He will be missed by many. You can read an obituary online in Indian Country Today. I am not sure if the white corn is still availabale on the market for the public, but Satya Center is investigating whether it still is being produced for the Restaurant Market, the Slow Food groups & the public. Stay tuned. In the meantime, get yourself some good fresh ground corn meal & use Jane's recipes below for a tasty treat.] Read about this wonderful heirloom corn grown for centuries by the Iroquois people, now re-introduced through the efforts of Slow Food, John Mohawk, a Turtle Clan Seneca (who initiated an Iroquois Food and Farming project back in the 1970’s) and the Pinewoods Community Farming group on the reservation in Western New York. In the 1990’s, the Iroquois growers, academics and others involved in sustainable farming and preservation of heirloom foods grew alarmed as they faced the extinction of this heritage food. Through much effort, a small amount of the corn is available to order. You can read more about this project at the wonderful Bioneers website or find Jane's cornmeal recipes here.
The International Society for Ecology and Culture
The International Society for Ecology and Culture is dedicated to promoting local sustainable food systems as an alternative to global consumer culture. Their focus is on education, local, national and international campaigns as well as community initiatives. You can order their report "Ripe for Change, Rethinking California's Food Economy" or download it for free in a pdf file. This report traces the history of how California became a global food supplier and the heavy toll it has taken on their ecology, highlighting the degradation of water, soil and human health. This report will help you understand how government policies rob us all of our future. They have a comprehensive links page with resources around the world, for anyone interested in changing the way we grow, ship and govern food. Find out about ISEC events around the world. Learn about their current projects and read their many free informative articles online or download them on pdf files to print out for later reading.
The Kushi Institute
“The macrobiotic approach is based on principles, theories and practices that have been known to philosophers, scholars, and physicians throughout history. The term "macrobiotics" comes from Greek ("macro" meaning "large" or "long", and "bios" meaning "life") and was first coined by Hippocrates, the father of western medicine. Its most recent development stems from Michio Kushi who was inspired by philosopher-writer Georges Ohsawa. George Ohsawa published numerous works in Japanese, English and French, which combined the western traditions of macrobiotics with 5,000 years of traditional oriental medicine.”
The Kushi’s are best known for introducing America to macrobiotics. The goal of macrobiotics is to change our relationship with our environment to one of balance. Illness or dis-ease is a sign that we are out of balance. For those of you who are ill, or know someone who is ill, macrobiotics has had a remarkable rate of recovery for many different types of illness, including allergies, auto immune disease and even cancer. Their website includes articles from kitchen remedies to the connections between diet and disease. You can also find some easy to prepare & delicious macrobiotic recipes.
A magazine devoted to Rudolf Steiner's anthroposophical approach to nutrition, health and the environment, Lilipoh offers information on the energetics of food, homeopathy, naturopathic medicine, and social health issues. health, homeopathy and naturopathic medicine, Waldorf education, biodynamic agriculture, nutrition, the arts, community life and more! Filled with lively articles by healthcare professionals, therapists, educators, farmers and progressive thinkers, Lilipoh adds a whole new dimension to healthier lifestyles and a healthy environment.
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York
"NOFA-NY is an organization of consumers, gardeners and farmers creating a sustainable regional food system which is ecologically sound and economically viable. Through demonstration and education, we promote land stewardship, organic food production, and local marketing." They have a Certified Organic Farms Directory, Organic Certification Program, Free Newsletters on such topics as Wild Fermentation, Building Soil Fertility, Seed Saving in a Home Garden as well as the Sacred Service of Seed Savers and much more, as well as publications for sale. They have a "hot topics" column with the latest information on food and agricultural government policies at the local and federal levels. And you can read their wonderful NOFA Farmer's Pledge, a sure sign of a healthy vital farm.
Organic Consumers’ Association
You’ll find hundreds of news headlines on this website dealing with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, corporate accountability, and environmental sustainability. Subscribe to free email newsletters on food issues, participate in OCA campaigns concerning mad cow disease, GE food, fair trade, organic bodycare and more. The Organic Consumers Association was formed in 1998 in the wake of the mass backlash by organic consumers against the U.S. Department of Agriculture's controversial proposed national regulations for organic food. Through the OCA's SOS (Save Organic Standards) Campaign, as well as the work of our allies in other organizations, the organic community was able to mobilize 280,000 consumers to send in letters and emails to the USDA. In this project the OCA worked in cooperation with hundreds of natural food stores, consumer co-ops, Community Supported Agriculture groups, and farmers markets, as well as thousands of individual volunteers across the country--a relationship which has continued through the present time.
Paul Pitchford is a teacher and nutrition researcher. His background is in meditation and East Asian Medicine. He applies thirty years of training in Eastern thought and nutrition to Western diets and is the author of the comprehensive "Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition" published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, California, 2002 Third Edition. He combines his long term practices of "meditation, food an dherbal therapy, zen shiatsu healing touch, and tai ji movement" into his teaching courses. "He finds spiritual awareness and the resulting guidance to be teh essence of life in all its aspects, including diet. Out of preference and to learn more about the nutritive value of plant foods, he has followed a vegan diet devoidd of animal products for the last thirty years." His book, however covers every type of food and their healing properties, and when animal foods may be indicated for healing. You can currently find him teaching his course "Healing With Whole Foods" at the Heartwood Institute, along with Kristen Nevedal and the staff there. He also teaches Zen Shiatsu Acupressure and Asian Healing Arts: A Somatic Approach to Assessment and Treatment, also with Kristen Nevedal & the staff of the Heartwood Institute. Sometimes he also teaches elsewhere so keep a watch at such places as the The Institute for Integrative Nutrition in NYC. Heartwood Institute is a holistic learning community in California, 200 miles north of San Francisco. They offer massage and bodywork education programs & treatments, Asian Bodywork and Nutrition treatment and education programs and wellness retreats. I highly recommend Pitchford's book for anyone who is a serious student of nutrition and the energetic properties of foods.
The Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation
This non profit was set up in “1965 to provide the public and the healing professions with historical and anthropological findings, and up-to-date, accurate scientific information on nutrition and health” based upon the research of Dr. Weston Price.
“The Foundation is dedicated to achieving the optimum expression of our human genetic potential and harmony with nature's laws through the right use of technology and the practical application of the principles of sound nutrition PPNF provides accurate information on whole foods and proper preparation techniques, soil improvement, natural farming, pure water, non-toxic dentistry and holistic therapies in order to conquer disease; prevent birth defects; avoid personality disturbances & delinquency; enhance the environment; and enable all people to achieve long life and excellent health, now and into the 21st century.”
Public Citizen Campaign for Safe School Lunches
Learn about the dangers hidden in your childrens’ school lunches and how some communities are organizing to keep irradiated food out of their kids’ lunch! This non profit website, created by Ralph Nader’s Public Citizen has been “protecting health, safety and democracy” for 30 years!
Roxbury Farm CSA
This is the farm CSA that Curtis & I have belonged to since we returned to NYC in 1990. Roxbury is one of the largest CSA’s in the country, and “the first to have a community in New York City.” They “grow vegetables, herbs, melons, and strawberries, for over 750 shareholders representing over 1000 families in four communities--Columbia County, the Capital Region, Westchester County and Manhattan--on 225 acres in Kinderhook, New York.” Jean-Paul Courtens, the farm’s founding farmer is also a well respected educator. Jody Bolluyt became a partner in 2001. She supervises the day to day farm work and is responsible for the harvest management, distribution, and does much of the administrative work of the CSA membership. You’ll find some of their wonderful articles about everything from current events in agriculture to descriptions of daily csa farm life in our global visionaries section of Satya Center.
At the farms beautiful website, you can read about the groundbreaking work (couldn’t resist the pun) in farmland preservation that Jean-Paul has orchestrated along with their land trust partner Equity Trust. You can also read about Equity Trust in the sustainable agriculture section of the Satya Center website.
“The Campaign for Roxbury Farm is a fund raising effort to support our innovative farmland protection project in collaboration with our land trust partner Equity Trust.
“Equity Trust has provided us with bridge loans to purchase our land; it also receives tax deductible, charitable contributions on our behalf, to repay the loans and finance new farm building construction.
“What makes this project different is the preservation of farmland as farmland, unlike PDR, the acronym for government agency or land trust purchase of a farm's development rights, which protects land only as open space.
“But this farm will remain planted in soil in which dreams of security, sustainability and diversity can be rooted, realized and multiplied. The Roxbury community has made a commitment to raise the money it will take to make the dream real. The total cost of the project is $350,000; we are already more than one-third of the way there. We ask for your help, and your understanding that what is at stake here is not just a piece of earth, but the quality of life on earth.”
If you would like to make a charitable contribution to the Campaign for Roxbury Farm call Jean-Paul at 518-758-8558. All donations are tax-deductible. Please print out the form at the Roxbury Farm website (click on “capital campaign” at the top of the homepage, and then click on “how to donate” also at the top) and mail it with a check payable to The Campaign for Roxbury Farm to our land trust partner, Equity Trust:
Equity Trust, Inc.
PO Box 746Turners Falls MA 01376
Roxbury Lettuce Photo by Jane Sherry
The Sanatan Society
This is a fun yoga site with some rudimentary information about various schools of yoga, ayurveda, vedic astrology & ayurvedic diet with some formulas for creating your own ayurvedic home remedies as well as cooking some easy ayurvedic vegetarian recipes.
Seafood Choices Alliance
This group was created by SeaWeb , “a nonprofit ocean communications organization dedicated to raising awareness of the living ocean. Its subscribers represent all facets of the seafood industry including chefs, hoteliers, wholesalers, retailers and fishermen.” The wonderful sea sense database at the Alliance website, is accessible for free. You can learn about many different fish that you are buying and eating, and perhaps why some fish should be left off of your dinner plate. They make recommendations based upon groups such as Blue Ocean Institute or the Monterey Bay Aquarium, seafood & ocean conservation watch dog groups.
Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
They have a small but very useful collections of delicous vegetarian recipes. You can learn basics about what is a yogic diet as well as basic information about the various schools of yoga.
"Recognizing that the enjoyment of wholesome food is essential to the pursuit of happiness, Slow Food U.S.A. is an educational organization dedicated to stewardship of the land and ecologically sound food production; to the revival of the kitchen and the table as centers of pleasure, culture, and community; to the invigoration and proliferation of regional, seasonal culinary traditions; and to living a slower and more harmonious rhythm of life."
The International Slow Food Movement began in Paris in 1989. Slow Food first started in 1986 in Barolo. Slow Food is a collection of small grassroots farms, food producers, educators and consumers dedicated to diversity and preserving the diverse cultural heritage of food around the world. They are also involved in charitable projects in countries devastated by war, weather and ecological decline, preserving the diversity of animals, plants and foods.
Slow Food USA
Make sure you support any projects sponsored by Slow Foods for instance the wonderful Iroquois White Corn Project mentioned on this page. Look for their snail logo!
South River Miso
Learn the basics about miso: what miso is, where it came from and learn about its health benefits. Download a free pdf booklet of year round recipes for delicious nourishing miso seasoned meals. You can see the kitchen and cooking vessels used to make the miso, and while you're there, click on the various 'tours' from the drop down menu to see the whole alchemy unfold. They even have a flow chart of the whole process from start to finish! Learn about the many delicious varieties of miso they create and order their wonderful products online.
Curtis and I can attest to the wonderful flavor and vital energies this miso imparts to our meals. I use it for salad dressings, sauces, soups (of course) and even have been known to spread some on toast, because it is so delicious. I even have a recipe for uncooked black sesame cookies that calls for a tablespoon of miso! Once you taste South River Miso, you will realize you've never really had miso before! (Unless of course, you make it for yourself!)
Spiritual Food for the New Millenium
Started by Victor & Linette Landa, Spiritual Food for the New Millenium, is a sattwic food mail order service. After tasting this vital food from several different farms, Victor and Linette affirmed the importance of making this food available to others. Literally created to serve the community both near their yoga school and outside of their region, as well as small sattwic farms, all of the labor performed is an act of service. The School of Life is a yoga ashram, a CSA, an educational center and a model of visionary spiritual peace activists. You can read articles & newsletters about healthy food and nutrition, biodynamics farmers, eating as a spiritual practice and learn about peaceful (R)evolution. Their work is informed by a deep love of the world, by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner as well as the many traditions of yoga.
Victor Landa writes in one of his newsletters, “The mission of this newsletter is to provide our readers with information that will inspire them to adopt food purchasing, preparation and eating habits conducive to peace and harmony in their own lives, in their communities and on this planet Earth, our home.” Their sattwic food service does just that!
The Weston A. Price Foundation for Wise Traditions in Food, Farming & the Healing Arts
Created in 1999, (also) to “disseminate” the research of Dr. Weston Price which “demonstrated that humans achieve perfect physical form and perfect health generation after generation only when they consume nutrient-dense whole foods and the vital fat-soluble activators found exclusively in animal fats.”
Beet Soup Recipe/Photo by Jane Sherry
Don’t hold this against them, if you’re not a meat eater, I think even vegetarians can benefit from this website which is full of scientific research. There are many up to date scientific articles about food that you will not find anywhere else. There’s a tremendous amount of information here which is totally contrary to what you may read in the mainstream media. And their research is NOT funded by the beef industry, the dairy industry or any organization promoting these industries. “The Foundation promotes the production of food by independent farmers and artisans, and not by industry.”
The Price Foundation has vitally important information for anyone who uses soy formula or soy milk for their infants and growing children. You can find informative articles on the dangers of processed foods, most of which contain non nutrient foods such as corn syrup and other processed sugars such as sucrose and fructose, toxic fats & oils and the danger of addicting the young to soft drinks. You can find little discussed information about the connection between autism and vaccinations as well as articles on safe cookware, healthy fermented foods or the vitality of native meats.
“The Foundation is dedicated to restoring nutrient-dense foods to the human diet through education, research and activism. It supports a number of movements that contribute to this objective including accurate nutrition instruction, organic and biodynamic farming, pasture-feeding of livestock, community-supported farms, honest and informative labeling, prepared parenting and nurturing therapies. Specific goals include establishment of universal access to clean, certified raw milk and a ban on the use of soy formula for infants.”
(Note: All of the photos on this page are by Jane Sherry with the exception of: ISEC, Nofa, Organic Consumer's Association and the Slow Food Logos, the little corn icon which is clip art and the beautiful photograph of barley being made into Miso which is from South River Miso.)