A Life-Giving Alliance: Farmer-Chef-Health Practitioner
8.) Farmers and chefs can have an extraordinary influential on local community health. This truth is the living and life-giving foundation of Cheeta!
Date: 7/24/2014 7:10:52 PM ( 8 y ) ... viewed 1301 times
A Life-Giving Alliance
The potential that farmers and chefs have to be at the front-line of well being is the living and life-giving foundation of a community vision that I call Cheeta: Culturally Healing ~ Ecologically Enlightening ~ Transformative Arts.
My connection with the Biodynamic Association in America has recently allowed me to receive notification of a new group with a mission, the subject matter of which corresponds with my "High Ideal" of Cheeta!
The founder - Melissa Greer, D.O. wrote:
"In medical school I learned very little about the role of nutrition in health. Much of what I did learn in conventional nutrition teachings I have found has little actual meaning in wellness. No one ever spoke in medical school about the role of the farmer in health or illness. As a medical student I was taught of the helping role of the physical therapist, the nurse, the masseuse, the diabetes educator… but no mention was made of the local farmer.
Yet the role of the farmer is an extraordinarily influential one on local community health. Farmers have the potential to be our front-line of well being. ..."
Dr. Greer's introduction was followed by a description of a new group: "Bridging Biodynamic Agriculture and Anthroposophic Medicine". I joined the group and submitted my introduction!:
This group is the most wonderful sight (from my perspective)! Although the group is new I have reason to believe that there has already been some "bridging" between the two fields (of Biodynamic Agriculture and Anthroposophical Medicine). In any case I feel I have been living in the spirit of this bridge since I first connected with an Anthroposophical conference in 1990 soon followed by my attending Rudolf Steiner College between '90 and '92. At the college I started a group to explore our mutual interests in forming a farm-based healing community. This impulse has essentially initiated me onto a rather long and serpentine path that I've recently recommitted to and declared as my "High Ideal":
I'm a bridge-builder and my community interest is to bring ... the "three areas of Anthroposophic Medicine, Waldorf Education, and BD Agriculture" together into an Eco-village that I call Cheeta (an acronym for "Culturally Healing - Ecologically Enlightening - Transformative Art". This is my vision now in addition to being a nutrition-therapy chef creating food-as-medicine for individuals. I wish to do therapeutic chef work on a larger scale and especially train others in all aspects of an integrated system primarily focused on nourishing children to give them the very best possible foundation for fulfilling their destinies as well as meeting what lies before us in the world.
I'm attracted to this group as I think it's primary purpose corresponds with my "High Ideal". My vision is about integrating the biodynamic agricultural impulse directly into the kitchen/s connected to the farm and then to the school children. Then (the) role of health practitioners in the community can most easily refer back to both the farm and the kitchen in regards to the child's nutrition. I see the wisdom of the farmers, chefs, teachers and practitioners (as well as parents) forming a new community-based support system for children and for their parents. I believe that any like-minded bridge that connects all who travel on it is a most essential one for the future of humanity!
Thank you all very much for being here!"
Very soon after joining this Biodynamic group I realized that chefs can be the master link in actively "bridging" bio-intensified farms & farmers with local health practitioners who include nourishing therapy for their patients. Jessica Prentice, Porsche Combash and co-workers at the "Three Stone Hearth" - community supported kitchen have co-created an archetypal model for this.
July 3, 2015 -
"The father of modern French cuisine, Auguste Escoffier is famous for championing gelatinous stocks and sauces, not only because of their full-bodied taste but because of their role as a digestive aid and nutritional powerhouse." With that in mind we can think of the Cheeta acronym as: "Culinary Healing ~ Enlightened Endoderm ~ Tasty Arts!"
A Google search for "community supported kitchen"(CSK) gave me "about 4,120 results"! Not all are actual kitchens however these search results indicate that the subject matter is alive and growing since the CSK idea was first pioneered nine years ago. "Three Stone Hearth was founded in June 2006 by a cooperative of five worker-owners".
I consider Jessica Prentice to be the high priestess of CSKs. I have been "observing" Three Stone Hearth remotely over the last several years since it has come into existence.
I also discovered what I think may be something on the order of a daughter CSK (to Three Stone) that was founded by Tressa Yellig.
Jessica says: "It has always been our goal to create a model that would be replicable. So far, Tressa is the only person who has done that in Oregon, taking what we're doing and morphing it into what would work for her. She's been in business a few years now. She's been doing well."
"We have a lot of health care practitioners that refer people to us. That's how we get a lot of customers: people who are told by a doctor, 'You need to eat these pastured bone broths.' People either don't have the time, or they are not well enough to make them themselves. ... the basic concept is ...: very nutrient dense, healing food is accessible to more and more people."
I am so glad to hear Jessica say this! It validates my vision!
Health care practitioners who are introduced to the local CSK can then write nutrition therapy prescriptions for their patients that can be filled at the CSK! Those patients who are interested as well as the practitioners can be offered food-as-medicine workshops at the CSK.
I commented the following at the Have Fun Do Good Blogspot:
"Thank You Britt and Jessica!
Can hardly tell you both just how encouraging it is to hear this conversation! The sharing of this communication between the two of you is greatly valued here! Communication is life and it is also the foundation for community and I get a lot of life and a deep sense of community through what is published here!"
I am inspired on a daily basis with the CSK vision. I now see it as a fulcrum point between manufactured foods of commerce and real nourishing foods that come from nourishing farms that are then prepared by and for real people (as opposed to manufactured products for "consumers". A nourishing culture includes close connections, relationships and conversations between food sources, the kitchen alchemists and the community all with a community-building spirit and soulfulness that are just not part of the business equation with most "foods of commerce". The contrasts are profound! The real heart of this vision is a very well nourished community! I believe this deserves to have great works of art expressing in many ways the beauties and joys that a CSK offers against the dark background of a truly decayed food system. (One positive note is that you can compost those products! ; ~ )
I see real nourishment as a four-fold culture that includes:
1.) The nourishing substances,
2.) All the individuals who participate in the "culturing nourishment" process,
3.) All the processes involved,
4.) All the individuals who are being nourished.
Chef Jemichel's list of "Nourishing substances":
1.) In my thinking, the very, very first nourishing substance for human babies (as well as all mammals) is mother's milk. However, not all mothers nurse their children or continue nursing them for the full cycle of time that children can be nursed. Then a farm's "Real Milk" can be considered if it is grass-fed, whole and raw. After all, mother's milk would not come pasteurized, would it? Real Milk also includes all the various forms of culturing the milk into kefir, yogurt, soured milk and more! Finding the right milk is a worthy process! I personally like goat milk! Dr. Bernard Jensen highly recommended it and especially still warm, right after the milking (which will be possible with a CSK located on or right next to a farm)! (I intend to try camel milk some day.)
Regarding milk for children - Rudolf Steiner recognized the that the infant "does not have the strength to deal with earthly substances, so nature provides a nutrient substance, milk, which demands no forces of its own from the infant and thus makes the incarnation possible."
From: "The Anthroposophical Approach to Medicine". Preview at Books.Google.com
2.) The next nourishing substance is Broth!
Here is a very nourishing food that I would virtually always have working in a CSK. Traditionally "stock pots" worked continuously. It's practically a lost art.
3.) And soups that are made from these broths!
4.) Then possibly juices (for which there are hundreds of books on all the different kinds of juices that one can possibly have). This either requires a juicer (so that you are getting the freshest possible juice) or this is another food process that may be best in a CSK. I once worked for a juice company that had an industrial size press that was based on the famous Norwalk Press.
5.) Traditional Beverages.
There are dozens of lacto-fermented beverages that are nourishing, super-hydrating, thirst-quenching, and most delicious!
6.) Lacto-Fermented vegetables.
7.) Eggs from pasture-raised poultry.
Another of many reasons why I recommend having the CSK on a farm.
"Eggs from pastured chickens contain vitamins A and D – eggs are a sacred food in China. A nursing or pregnant woman in China will eat up to ten eggs per day, if she can afford them. The Chinese recognize that eggs are a brain food, ensuring that the child will be very intelligent if he or she gets the nutrients through her mother’s prenatal diet or through her milk."
8.) Living soil! I am now declaring living soil as an important nourishing substance that needs to be considered for inclusion in the CSK environment. Wherever a CSK is located it can at least have worm bins. The worm castings can then be included in a potting mix and at the very minimum the CSK can grow baby greens. These baby greens can be potted in small starter pots that can be a source of very fresh greens for the CSK subscribers. One of my favorite greens is beet tops! "Your Enchanted Gardener" says: "plant a beet and you're a gardener"! Then you can harvest the beet tops and they will continue growing back! The CSK can plant the beet and then the subscriber can take home "Keep the Beet" and just harvest the greens! Although anyone can do this virtually anywhere I still hold a vision for a CSK on a full working farm with the animals! (There you can have enough living soil to roll around in! ;-) And the compost piles that can be built on a farm are so far beyond the limited composting that is possible in the city! But in any case start composting where you are and at least grow some soil!
Consider "Soil as Medicine"!
Dr. Dale Jacobson, DC (DJ) in "Raw Milk: The Whole Truth" says: "Pasteurized and sterile are like magic words in this society. People are in love with those concepts. What they don’t understand is that’s what's killing them."
Mark McAfee: "That’s exactly right."
DJ: "The kids who eat dirt in Mexico don’t have mineral deficiencies. The people in this society that wash everything and sterilize and use Listerine, they are walking candida cases."
Fortunately, you may not have to "eat dirt" to benefit from having living soil in your environment! However, it is a link in the circle of life (and there are nutritional therapy and other remedies that include clay as a healing agent)! In any case connecting with living soil can bring you closer to the literal foundation of the many nourishing foods that come from the soil! Children say grace: "Earth who gives us food to eat". It is the living soil that makes that possible!
Here is my vision for a Community Supported Kitchen that I offer to the world and with a special interest to communicate this vision in the communities of Waldorf Schools:
"I envision Community Supported Kitchens that are located on or next to mixed farms that include pasture dairy. The 'ownership' of the kitchen can be as diverse as that of Community Supported Agriculture. A CSK can be held in a private Trust with a trustee/s representing each party of interest.
The dietary orientation of the CSK will include a mix of traditional foods with an overall emphasis on nutrient-dense foods. These are foods that have been grown/raised on nutrient-dense soils, harvested at their peak of ripeness and processed in proper ways that maximize their nutritional capacity and deliciousness. (For further information on nutrient-dense foods see: Nourishing Traditions. For further information regarding nutrient-dense soils see Biodynamic agriculture and other sustainable agriculture approaches that build up the soil.)
The kitchen can offer opportunities for training in various capacities including culinary, nutrition, nutritional therapies and CSK gardening. These trainings can be made available on a tuition basis.
If you do not already know about the advantages of organic and especially Biodynamic foods then you may at least appreciate knowing that: "Children consuming an organic food diet exhibit reduced pesticide exposure, and a lower body burden of pesticides (Curl, Fenske & Elgehun, 2003). The expectation of consumers that organic food is a healthier choice for them and their children is corroborated by a meta-analysis of the nutritional value and safety of organic food (Lairon, 2010).
Three Stone Hearth (TSH) is a CSK in Berkeley, California and probably the leading example of a successfully run Community Supported Kitchen. ("Salt, Fire and Time" in Portland, Oregon is another example.) THS was inspired by CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and therefore people can look to CSAs to better understand the idea of CSK. The vision of a CSK needs to be fine-tuned to the community that it is intended to serve as well as the location.
When the Waldorf School was founded (Steiner) proposed that education must have a therapeutic orientation – always serving individual development and focusing on the child’s developing health. Thus the pedagogical question
becomes a medical-therapeutic question."
Waldorf CSKs would be devoted to "focusing on the child’s developing health" and fully able to serve "food as medicine"!
It should be noted here that "almost all human health problems can be traced back to" the first seven years of child development indicating the need Steiner indicated - "that education must have a therapeutic orientation".
My idea of heaven on earth:
Every Waldorf school has a CSK serving nutrient-dense foods to the whole school. Each school has Biodynamic gardens producing as much food as possible on the school's campus. Each school is connected to a Biodynamic farm with enough of a dairy operation to meet all the demands of the school's CSK. The CSK also provides products for sale to the school's whole community. These sales provide a positive cash flow for the school that supports the rest of the farm-garden-kitchen-community food program. Therefore - All the children are very well nourished!They know exactly where all their food comes from. The know the farmers, the gardeners and "the kitchen fairies"! The parents of all the children are truly happy to have their children so very well nourished! The parents are most attracted to volunteering in the program so they can learn how to extend this into their homes and nourish the rest of their families as well! The teachers are both supported by the program and most supported of it as they see the difference in the children! The school is blessed with all of these dynamics that are working together in support of the sole purpose for it's existence - that the children may flourish!
"And a child shall lead them."
An "Inserted" Follow-up July 26, 2015 -
The Biodynamic "Bridging" group has a new member from new Zealand "of parents who were both interested in Waldorf Education and Biodynamic Farming" which gives validation to the Cheeta vision of raising children in a Biodynamic/Waldorf environment. The influences will certainly become part of the child. The new member goes on to say: "I am convinced that medicine and agriculture should work hand in hand from a number of points of view."
One can find nourishing treasures when unearthing the nourishing traditional wisdom of the culture from where a cuisine originates. My initial cuisine training was Italian, one of the most popular cuisines in America. It therefore holds potential for revealing a traditional wisdom of "Italian" food to the general public.
Not too long ago I was inspired with imagining a unique restaurant with the cuisine of the Italian Renaissance. I noted and filed that in my research binder with the intention of identifying the nourishing traditional wisdom.
Then about four days later I suddenly became somewhat compelled to sort through a tote-box of books, pulling out about ten books to determine whether or not I wanted to include them in my office library. One of these books "Full Moon Feast – Food and the Hunger for Connection" by Jessica Prentice especially caught my attention. I opened it at the beginning and it was like I had never seen the book before! I was firstly impressed with what she writes about "World-Come-to-an-End-Food”". I did a search for that title online and added a link to my "Raw Milk: The Whole Truth Blog" at Curezone.
Next I read in Jessica’s foreword by Deborah Madison where she mentions Waverly Root’s two volumes on France and Italy "... food cultures that are based on butter or olive oil or lard." That really got my attention! I searched for "Root’s" Italy (my first and most spontaneous search since I had noted my inspiration four days earlier).
I found the book at Amazon and began reading the lowest star readings (my cautious approach to most any new book) and found the lowest were three four-star reviews. I read those and found nothing serious enough to complain about and checked the availability of used books and found several starting at 39 cents! I order one with "one-click"! After ordering it I discovered that I can "Look Inside" the book! I then read the introduction by Samuel Chamberlain. It isn’t until I read the following that I realize this choice is right on the central meridian of my enthusiastic intention that I had set in motion a few days earlier!
"Mr. Root’s regional explorations begin in Tuscany, the heartland of Italy. Here the people speak the national language in its purest form. Appropriately enough, they grow and grill beef better than anyone else. Florence dominated this center of the Italian Renaissance, and her cooking stood unrivaled … Such dedication is truly extraordinary, and it marks the author as the most devoted of epicures, and his book the most authoritative volume on the subject of Italian food and wine yet to appear in English." - Samuel Chamberlain
Days later the book arrives! My magnetic attraction toward identifying the food of the "Italian Renaissance" draws me to the second chapter: Tuscany. where I read: "It is not enough to say that the great period of Florence was that of the Renaissance. Florence was the renaissance. She created it."!
July 28, 2105 -
In reviewing this blog now I was inspired to do some further research on "Renaissance Cuisine" and found a food history lecturer who made a presentation at a college last year. I just sent a message to the library at that college to see whether the lecture was recorded.
How many students get to learn this in the public schools? In "Cheeta schools" all the children will. They will all be feasting their way through their cultural studies! After all - how good can cultural studies be without enjoying the real food of that culture?
I wonder whether San Diego can have a "community supported kitchen"? I think there are people here who would really appreciate having healing foods prepared for them. I am convinced it is needed when I talk with professionals in the nutrition field who essentially rely on the convenience of restaurant food. Especially when these professionals specialize in teaching what foods best support a healthy gut! (Something does not appear to align in that picture!) However, I understand about making a commitment to building a career, a business, etc. Then I think the nutrition career people deserve to have their own CSK for their upgraded "convenience" as well as a place they can endorse and fully recommend to their clients! So now the "question" becomes: Can San Diego professionals in the nutrition field get behind a local CSK of gut-healing foods? I am so looking forward to receiving the answer/s to this one!
hot links to 19 blogs with the Waldorf CSK Vision in mind:
Gene Keys - (The 46th Gene Key) page 358
 "While the Waldorf School Movement is now over ninety years old, I believe its educational philosophy, its pedagogy and its social forms are still young and desperately needed in modern societies that increasingly
educate for standardized tests, social compliance and the work force rather than for human and social creativity.
I wholeheartedly agree with one commentator who, in describing the founding of the first Waldorf
school in 1919, said that this first Waldorf school 'was not begun as the idyllic refuge of wealthy esoterically-minded parents and their children, but as a healing impulse, as a healing initiative not only for the
individual child but for all children, as the essence, hope and reality of a future society of peace.' This then is is our challenge in building Waldorf school communities: to educate children for the future, while creating a community of peace out of diversity, a community which honors the
spirit and the uniqueness of each individual." -
"Parnerships of Hope: Building Waldorf School Communities" - p.10:
Food, Thriving, Communities, well being, farmers, health, nutrition, wellness, biodynamic, agriculture, medicine, anthroposophy, chefs, children, future, healing, cheeta, culture, eco-village, rudolf steiner, Fred Kirschenmann, biochar, Escoffier, cuisine, digestion, Waldorf, endoderm, peace
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