Joyful Eating

I just visited Austin, Texas, where the Whole Foods Market originated.  The picture on this blog is a sign in their flagship store in Austin (which seems to be about 4 times the size of the one in St. Louis).  I love the idea of “joyful eating” and I love the values that the Whole Food Market espouses, particularly, (1) to sell the highest quality natural and organic products available and (2) satisfying and delighting their customers.  There was obviously great care taken with what they sell and how they present it to you.  I was delighted at every turn.  My visual favorite was the cupcakes with the doggies on top and my favorite to eat were the cilantro tortillas (Yumm!!).  It was heaven for a foodie like me.  So, while I don’t have a Whole Foods Market in Columbia, I do seek out the same pleasures of eating in Columbia and you can do this anywhere.  I go to the farmer’s market, I pick my own berries at the various farms in the community, I try to raise a small garden, I look for similar qualities in food markets that I go to in Columbia and try and to support local (although sometimes more expensive) markets that espouse healthy values like Whole Foods, and if I had a bigger family I would look into the many food co-ops that are available.  I didn’t go to the Farm to Table event this past weekend because I was in Austin, but I heard it was amazing.  All of these things bring pleasure and joy to the eating experience.  But, like many things, it just needs to be a value and a priority.  Look for ways to make your eating joyful.  You might find that you eat more healthy and you have more fun!!

Speaking of fun and healthy, I am passing along an invitation to a Vegan Soul Food and Movie Night on Sunday, June 20, at 5:30 p.m. at Café Berlin, 220 N. 10th Street.  There will be a harvest of local greens (collards, black mustard, kale) served with black eyed peas and cornbread.  They will be showing a movie called “Holistic Wellness for the Hip Hop Generation” that highlights holistic approaches to mind, body, and spirit that help people make connections between lifestyle factors and illnesses like cancer, obesity, and mental instability. It is being presented by Centro Latino to benefit Comedor Popular. Comedor Popular, also known as “people’s diner,” is a creative (and never-before-tried-in-Columbia) project in progress at 609 N. Garth Street. This Centro Latino initiative is aimed at fighting obesity fourfold: by establishing a plant-based eatery; cooking classes; wellness and obesity prevention programs; and a retail shop selling fresh, seasonal produce.  The event is free and open to the public.  Donations will be accepted for the People’s Diner. For more information call 573-230-3843.

Please come help support this important project and meet Eduardo Crespi, director and founder of Centro Latino and the man who is making it happen.  He is also looking for building contractors who might want to participate in the construction process and asking for donations for construction material. If you have any contacts in the construction trade who might want to donate materials or help in some way, please contact Eduardo at 573-268-9533.  Hope to see you at the dinner!