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.
We've been spending more time at home than ever this year because of the pandemic, and because of that many of us have been engaging in old pastimes like playing board games or even making crafts. But, none of those activities beat how much we've been experimenting with cooking at home over the past 8 months.
It's no surprise that Thanksgiving looked a little bit different this year. Most of us found ourselves navigating Zoom calls with family across the country, or cooking for four instead of forty. My family, who has a (very competitive but fun!) annual Thanksgiving video competition, promised we would reschedule Thanksgiving for some time in 2021 when it's safe to gather dozens of us in a tiny living room, laughing with joy. We're planning for a Springsgiving.
Oftentimes, it can feel like the moment you start to take your health into your own hands it turns into a massive undertaking - so much so, that you end up putting off making any changes. At Kosterina, we are focused on accessible wellness -- and what realistic changes we can make to live a longer, healthier life.