The more I dive deeper into learning about our food system, unfortunately, the more that I feel this problem is too big for any one person to solve. When I read about the intertwined issues with industrial farms, our food systems and the subsequent health crises going on in America, I want to give up. The problem seems just too complicated to make the massive change it needs.
But, we know that's never the case - and we all have the power to make tiny, but impactful changes. Sometimes, those tiny changes could spark colossal shifts in the way that systems operate. For example, I was really moved by the story of Vani Hari, the woman behind the media platform FoodBabe, who has single-handedly been able to shift the practices of major corporations like Chick-Fil-A, Chipotle, Kraft, General Mills and more for the better. (Thank you to Dr. Mark Hyman for bringing her to my attention in Food Fix). I'll share a little of Vani's story in hopes that it inspires you to begin to think differently about the impact you could have on our food systems, and in subsequent newsletters, we'll dive into specific topics & areas of research.
Vani's story is really interesting (and relatable), since she is an outsider to the food industry. According to her own story, she grew up eating junk food without thinking twice about it - until it landed her in the hospital. After that life-changing experience, Vani began to do investigate claims made by large food corporations, and then mobilize people like you and me to put pressure on them. For example, in 2013 Vani got 380,00+ people to sign a petition for Kraft to remove harmful chemicals linked to hyperactivity in children found in their Mac and Cheese - and guess what? They removed them. This is one example of many where Vani conducted her own research, shared that research with her community, and put pressure on companies to remove harmful ingredients from their foods. Her book, Feeding You Lies, is next on our list.
Vani's story is is just one step, and one insight into how we can make change in the food industry writ large. I would love to hear your own experiences and topics you would like us to cover here at Kosterina.
Peace, love & EVOO, Katerina
Olive Oil Sommelier Katerina Mountanos, is the Founder & CEO of Kosterina Olive Oil, which produces 100% organic, extra virgin olive oil from Greece sold directly to consumers online. Katerina is an ecommerce expert and has built beauty, home and wellness businesses for Amazon, Jet, and Walmart. She founded beauty services company, Manicube, which was sold to The Red Door by Elizabeth Arden in 2015. Katerina is very passionate about olive oil, the Mediterranean diet and eating for health and longevity.
If you haven't heard, we have some really exciting news here atKosterina: you can now find us in over 350 Whole Foods Market stores across the country. This is huge for us because this partnership is so aligned with our mission. We want everyone to get a taste of the benefits of authentic extra virgin olive oil.
The poet, W.H. Auden coined the term ‘Topophilia’ (which is Greek for “love of place”) to describe the way people experience a strong sense of place and how it drives their sense of identity and an underlying sense of belonging. It turns out we do form deep connections with places.
It's no surprise that many of us are feeling more stressed than ever. We're living through a global pandemic that has completely shifted our version of "normal" - and we're not sure when (or if) things will be going back. But, even though there are many aspects of our lives that feel out of control - there's one part of our well-being we can influence: our gut health.