Friday Keynote: Food, Health, the Environment and Raising a Generation That Cares About All Three



Westin Peachtree Plaza Hotel
210 Peachtree Street Atlanta
United States

Welcome to the BlogHer Food '11 liveblog of the Innovator Interview: Food, Health, the Environment and Raising a Generation That Cares About All Three

Elisa Camahort Page introduces Laurie David and Asata Reid.

Some of the opening conversation was lost due to a computer problem.  I'm very sorry. -Joy-

Elisa - It’s clear from the Kitchen Generation that some of today’s youth is finding a connection to food.  (Kitchen Generation ran an earlier panel called "The New Generation".)

Asata – If kids can grow it or cook it they will eat it.

Laurie – When kids start rejecting things…one big rule is everyone tastes everything.  My family dinners (growing up) were terrible.  Who’s going to leave the dinner in hysterics?  I was always hiding my vegetables.

<<QUESTION FROM AUDIENCE:  How do you get a 3 yr old to eat the food?>>

Laurie – You’re responsible for the what and the where, but they’re responsible for how  much (they eat).

Asata – I have a rule that there’s no argument at the dinner table.  If they want to spit it out, they’ll have to clean it up.  If you can’t behave you’re dismissed.  You’re not going to ruin it for the rest of us.

Laurie – I have one suggestion for people.  One of the most important things you can do at the table is to come up with some fun things to talk about.  If you have little kids you can talk about all the things you like about each other.  With older kids you can talk about your pet peeves.  You can find out what you’re afraid of.  I found out my neice was afraid of sponges, duing these talks.

Elisa – How do you flip the switch to healthy eating?

Astra – Find a passive way to learn about eating healthy.  Join a blog that will send you recipes and information.

Laurie – One of the things I would suggest is to buy organic.  Start a family ritual of “Meatless Monday”.  Eat less meat.  Reducing the amount of meat you eat would be a great way to start getting healither. 

<< QUESTION FROM AUDIENCE – How do you reinforce the message to eat well when others in the family don’t support it?>>

Asata – I’m not an "all or noner", I’m a balancer.  I’m going to make sure that what you eat at home is so good for you it will make a protective shield around you.  You might have to have a “come to Jesus” meeting with your husband if he’s the one not being supportive with healthy eating. 

Asata says she empowers the kids by asking what they should have for dinner, but it all has to come through her for final say as to what they have.

<<Question – How do you make all those decisions about eating sustainable foods?>>

Asata – We eat a lot of broccoli, chicken and drink orange juice.  I’m willing to pay more for it.  It’s a judement call based on the day.  (If they eat a lot of a certain item, she buys sustainable.)

Laurie – If it’s seasonal.

Asata- Jarring and canning work wonders. (during off season)

Laurie – Every meal is a teachable moment.  We talk about current events and politics all the time.  We talk about food and issues at the table.

Elisa – What’s the first change agent you can make?

Laurie – Are you serving water?  How much plastic are you using?  The kitchen is the greenest room in your house.  Try to influence your circle.  Start a “no idle” rule at your school.  Try to influence your friends.  When you connect the dots it’s incumbent on you to teach others.  It’s not about being preacy.  It’s about sharing information, not living in denial.  It’s about wanting good things for the people you love.  Look at the power of Twitter.  Now you can influence so many people with good information.

Asata – The blog is a powerful tool.  Everyone connects with that voice because it’s YOU talking.  It’s also something you can leverage for networking.  All you need is a hash tag and you can take over the world.

Laurie – Cash register receipts are coated with BPA.  If we put our minds to it, in 6 months we can see change.  This is the power of tweeting and blogging and bloggers.  Taco bell is already going to stop using bpa coated receipts.  Coca-cola has BPA lining their soda cans and they’ve chosen not to change that.  We have to get a little mad, a little activiated and push for change.

Elisa: The change starts personally, but we can keep taking one more step and go out there.

Laurie has a dinner conversations weekly column on the Huffington Post.


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