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Visit the Cook for Good blog for wildly good cooking tips, money-saving ideas, book reviews, and more from Linda Watson and guest bloggers.

Friday
Jul072017

Netflix Movie Okja

Like Wonder Woman, the new Netflix movie Okja starts in a tropical paradise full of love and isolated from the cruelties of the outside world. In both, a young heroine leaves to confront evil and shows bravery, physical prowess, and compassion despite her innocence. But in Okja, the heroine doesn't have superpowers or warrior training. She's a teenaged farm girl who loves her close companion, the superpig Okja.

[Minor spoiler alert!] Alas, the Big Food conglomerate that owns Okja comes to take her away. After all, the superpig was bred to taste $%#&^ good. Watch the Okja preview clip here to get a feel for the beauty and horror of this riveting film.

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Friday
Jun302017

How fiber feeds your gut microbiome, no yogurt needed

Dietary fiber is often described as the stuff we eat that we can't digest. But that all depends on what you mean by we. Fiber feeds our gut microbiome, the bacteria that live in our digestive tracks that help us extract nutrients from food.

five types of dried beans

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Friday
Jun162017

The People's Summit: Winning Clean Energy and Climate Justice for All

I wish you could have been with me at the People's Summit. Over 4,000 people came together to make the world a better place. It was a big love fest, ending with us all singing This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land. I was so moved I just had to hug the woman standing next to me, a stranger no more.

Although Bernie Sanders wasn't asked my question about food during the Q&A after his speech, I asked it myself at the session on Winning Clean Energy and Climate Justice for All. The session was moderated by Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr., President and CEO of Hip Hop Caucus. (Don't you love his hat? Science Not Silence!) Just before I asked my question, he answered a question on financial divestment like this:

I think it is very important for all of our organizations, labor unions in particular, even our green organizations, to divest immediately from fossil fuels. We cannot be a clean energy movement and still rely on dirty fossil-fuel money. There are no jobs on a dead planet. That isn't a slogan, that's a real deal. We as a movement have to do that and make it happen.

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. of the Hip Hop Caucus and Linda Watson of Cook for Good

What a great lead in! When the microphone came my way, I said ...

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Sunday
Jun042017

The Spheres of Engagement: How to Communicate about Food

After I woke up to the difference we could make by eating organic, plant-based food, I wanted to share the news with everyone. What a great way to save money, eat fabulous food, and make a difference! I even changed my job title from "Chief Cook and Researcher" to "Food Evangelist." My sense of urgency made me want to grab a bullhorn.

Yet I knew that lecturing people rarely works unless they've asked for a lecture. Even when I teach cooking classes, leavening the lectures with demos and dialog makes the information tastier. In daily life, it's better to share lunch than to preach. Show how much you enjoy your hummus wrap and bring fabulous cookies to share. Maybe you'll inspire someone to do the same.

Yet this seems so slow and even impractical in some cases. I doubt either of my Senators would eat cookies from a constituent. To complicate matters, what works with one person in one setting or on one day may not work in a different situation or time. I've had three quite different chances to communicate about food recently. This led me to the idea of different spheres of engagement and the productive actions that can happen within them.

spheres of engagement

Spheres of Engagement

You

You can be most direct and have the most influence ...

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Friday
Jun022017

How to wash kale, collards, chard, and other greens

Some kitchen workers must not know how to wash kale or other greens. All too often when I eat out, I bite down on unexpected grittiness in the greens. Yet it's easy to get greens clean if you use a wash tub and a little patience. Save time and water by choosing easy-to-clean greens.

washing beet greens in a tub

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