I love Earth Day—and how proud I am that we are celebrating it for the 40th time! Chef Campbell reminds us that Earth Day is a time to step back and ponder the alarming health trends that result from four decades living with a broken food system. But then, he also reminds us to step up and celebrate! There is so much to be grateful for. We do have options!
This year, have an Earth Dinner. The recipe is simple: Take some friends, sprinkle in foods with a story and a mission, put a big dash of love and fun in and your connection with the earth and each other will be the dessert.
Wishing all a most meaningful Earth Day!—George
By Scott Campbell, Executive Chef of New Leaf Restaurant, Manhattan, New York
On the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, we cannot ignore that much has changed in the American landscape of food production—the quality, the integrity and the point of view of chefs in America.
Writing from a chef’s perspective, but also as consumer and citizen, so much has changed in four decades in our daily food lives—super convenience, international varieties of produce and processed products, genetically modified foods, the blending seasons in our markets, everything everyday available all yearlong. In a short period there has been so much change and so much information continues to bombard us, that we are saturated on the what and how to eat and be healthy!
Insensibly treating ourselves with food and drink as if every day is cause for celebration and special indulgences, we are topping out on the scales to the point of self-inflicted harm with no external governance, and no self-governance. Instead diabetes prescriptions and lipitor excuse our habits.
This cause for alarm is not only from the external inputs but from ourselves as well. This is a time to step back, rise to the occasion, and show appreciation for our local-global ecology, for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day because of and for our own sincerity of personal daily well-being.
The information is out there to eat wholesome foods; that is, no genetically modified foods, trans fats, poisons in pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, no petroleum inherent products as a whole, no hazardous food substances. Permitting plastics to be consumed by the ecology includes us!
In short we need to maintain a non-deleterious daily experience, to exist without manipulated foods. Instead, consuming wholesome, nutritious, organic, locally-grown, delicious foods has the kind of integrity that provides a positive physical effect to feel exceptionally alive. These real foods have the sound ability to ward off the cadres of environmental assaults that chip away at our longevity and soundness of mind. If the popular world cannot, our own self-reliance and cautiously sage decisions will buzz emulation for real health and self-worth, exponentially.
This year on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, step back, take stock, and give the globe and yourself the gift of eating soundly from this day forward. Celebrate yourself and the planet.
Executive Chef Scott Campbell brings his signature style of fresh American cuisine that combines international influences and locally grown, seasonal produce to the New Leaf Restaurant & Bar – not only creating a constantly changing and imaginative menu, but also supporting the New York Restoration Project’s (NYRP) ongoing mission to promote sustainable operating practices. Net proceeds from the restaurant’s operations support NYRP’s efforts to revitalize and maintain New York City’s park, community gardens and open spaces. For more information about NYRP and New Leaf Restaurant & Bar, visit www.nyrp.org.