The Miraculous Healing Power of Good Food

Interview by Billy Shore

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

What will it take to help our nation get healthy? Add Passion and Stir guests chef Seamus Mullen, (Tertulia in New York City) and Sam Kass (former Executive Director of Let’s Move! and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Policy for the Obama White House) are passionate about nutritious, good food. Kass has experience setting the Obama family up for better food choices. “We eat what we see,” he says. “If we’re constantly having to fight ourselves and rely on willpower, we’re going to lose every time.” Mullen discovered the miraculous power of good food during his own health crisis. In the midst of very severe, life-threatening symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, he thought, “What are the factors that create an environment in which the body can be either healthy or ill?” He realized he could fight his illness. “I didn’t have to be a sick person… Food was a tool I had at my disposal.” He completely eliminated his disease by changing his diet.

Both guests talk with host Billy Shore about the broad impact of ensuring all Americans are able to make healthy food choices. Kass and the Obamas set an example for the entire country, beginning with the White House gardens and expanding nationwide through health programs and food policies. They began a conversation with the nation about what we are feeding our kids. “If we want to really change [healthy food options], we have to change our cultural values about what we eat. It’s not about health food, at all – it’s about good food and what we mean by that.” Mullen believes that all providers of food, including chefs, have a responsibility to the people they feed. “If we can just create health and wellness from the beginning,” he says. “If a tree has brown leaves, you don’t paint the leaves green. You look at the root system and the soil.”

Listen to these stories of massive change through better food, as well as which qualities make a good president.

Resources and Mentions:

No Kid Hungry

Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign is ending child hunger in America by ensuring all children get the healthy food they need, every day.

Tertulia

Chef Seamus Mullen’s award-winning Spanish restaurant in NYC, which brings together the spirit of the tertulia with a menu that celebrates Spain’s exquisite products and flavors. After exploring the region of Asturias in northern Spain, Chef Mullen discovered the singular charm of the sidreria, or the local cider house. There is a distinct energy created by the waiters pouring cider from high above their heads, the buzz of guests around the bar, and the simple, delicious food coming out of the kitchen. Tertulia offers a menu that honors Spain through his distinct approach. From a variety of tostas to sartenes (small, grilled sharing dishes), to tapas and larger platos familiares, it’s the ingredients which are the real stars. This is, at its essence, what they refer to in Spain as cocina de producto.

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