The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in California's Napa Valley rises like a medieval castle from the western hills. It is the site of the 2010 Healthy Kitchens, Healthy Lives conference, a joint venture of Harvard Medical School Osher Research Institute and the CIA. The goal of the conference is to bridge nutrition science, health care, and the culinary arts.
I find myself surrounded by physicians, registered dieticians, nutritionists, health care providers, and culinary stars from around the country, all of whom are passionate about health, nutrition, and culinary excellence. This is not a conference dedicated to deprivation and calorie counting. Attendees are sounding the alarm about the obesity epidemic in our country, an epidemic that will result, for the first time, in our children living shorter lives then their parents. But they are also convinced that "food matters," and that nutritious food, beautifully and thoughtfully prepared, is an important part of a healthy, happy lifestyle.
In his keynote address this morning, Dr. David Eisenberg's spoke passionately about how we can work to reverse alarming health trends, while still enjoying delicious, creative cuisine. Here are a few phrases from his talk that caught my attention
"Culinary literacy is at an all time low."
"Cooking matters. Eating mindfully leads to better cooking."
"Teaching kitchens can become catalysts for societal change."
This weekend, I plan to listen, pay attention, and learn from some of the country's leading minds about how to promote healthy eating. I also plan to take advantage of the expertise of the CIA's incredible chefs who are also committed to creating wholesome dishes of unsurpassed taste.