What to eat? This question has plagued and blessed us picky humans for millennia. Cooked or uncooked? Salty or sweet? Hard questions in both the Paleolithic Age and the Information Age. But choosing food in the 21st century can often feel a lot more maddening, with all the new demands we place on what we eat.
Just like our ancestors back in the day, we want our food to provide us with sustenance and be TASTY at the same time. But modern life also demands that our food be convenient and cheap and EASY – since most of us are no longer hunters, gatherers, or farmers, we often just “eat to live” and to pursue our other duties and dreams.
Meanwhile, the sciences of medicine and nutrition have also taught us that we want our food to be HEALTHY, so we can avoid suffering from diet-related diseases (diabetes, heart disease, etc.) and continue enjoying our food and our lives well into our old age.
And if those criteria weren’t enough, our ethics are increasingly demanding that we consume foods that are GREEN and socially responsible, foods that have a positive – rather than negative – impact on both the environment and society as a whole.
Wow, that’s a tall order! Fortunately though, it’s becoming increasingly possible to meet at least some of these goals, some of the time. The challenge is meeting most of them, all of the time, which is something the two of us have been trying to do for the past few years; usually failing, but at least trying. You have to start somewhere, and as the saying goes, it’s often the journey that matters most.
So we thought it would be fun to share our journey with you through this site, in the hopes that you will find it to be an interesting story of trial and error, and successes and failures, on many different fronts! We also hope that sharing our stories will help us make our food tastier, easier, healthier, and greener – both through the act of discussing and writing about our cooking together, and by getting comments and ideas from all of you…!
So our first few posts describe in a little more detail what TASTY, EASY, HEALTHY, and GREEN mean to us, and include recipes that we believe do well on each particular attribute. Subsequent posts include ratings of how recipes score on these four themes. We do not expect (and sometimes may not be in the mood for) all of the recipes to get a high score in all four of these areas. Sometimes we may want to cook something really complicated, or eat something a wee bit unhealthy. That’s okay – we believe it’s important to be flexible and let ourselves go every once in a while. We will continue to strive, however, to find those perfect recipes that score well on all four fronts, and we’ll discuss why some recipes don’t do as well on some criteria.
Our goal is that this journey will be a learning process for both of us and for our readers, and that ultimately you will find, try, and love some new favorite Tasty Easy Health Green recipes among our posts.
Sally’s interest in food and cooking began at an early age. In fact, when she was growing up she frequently hosted a pretend television cooking show in her family’s kitchen. When she found a new recipe that she wanted to try she would assemble all of the ingredients in true Julia Child fashion and become a famous television chef. The initial recipes in her cooking series tended to be sweet treats, like tapioca pudding and peanut butter cookies. As the show continued and she got older, however, the focus shifted to heartier foods and healthier recipes.
Her interest in food and health eventually led to earning a Masters of Public Health degree focused on nutrition and pursuing a career dedicated to making healthy food options and physical activity opportunities available to more people. While she did not choose to pursue cooking professionally, she is still occasionally caught smiling and explaining recipes to pretend cameras in her kitchen. In some ways, this blog is an attempt at keeping her early childhood dream alive, while updating it with her career interests in healthy eating and green living. After working for six years on research and evaluation of nutrition and physical activity policies and programs for a public health consulting firm, Sally is now pursuing a PhD in public health nutrition at the University of North Carolina.
Graham’s interest in food and cooking begins with his stomach, and expands from there. Actually, he did learn to make a few tasty dishes in his days as a bachelor (one of which was quite helpful in wooing Sally in the early days of their relationship), but in general he prefers meal eating to meal planning. He does, though, strangely enjoy dishwashing much more than Sally (“it’s meditative,” he says), which is good as she can make quite a mess in the kitchen.
Graham does have a strong interest in the environmental and social impacts of food, as he has worked on biodiversity conservation and sustainable development for most of his life. He spent several years working for The Nature Conservancy in China, and has a Masters of Public Policy and a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Studies at a liberal arts college in North Carolina, and his research focuses on eco-labels, sustainability ratings, environmental policy, and corporate social responsibility. He has both a healthy skepticism and cautious optimism about the many green claims in the marketplace, and when it’s relevant will try to share some of what he is learning in our food and recipe posts.
For any questions, please email us at tastyeasyhealthygreen [at] gmail [dot] com.