A Food Revolution Adventure From The US To EuropeThu 27 Feb 2014
Story by Sarah Curl
A Food Revolution Adventure from the US to Italy to the Netherlands
Introducing our March Ambassador of the Month!
Ambassador of the Month is a feature that we’ve launched in order to highlight the amazing volunteers we have around the world. Ambassadors who have been chosen show an unwavering desire for change in their communities. They are fighting for real food and food education skills and donate their time every month to make this happen.
The Ambassador of the Month for March is Terri Salminen from Harleem, Netherlands.
Terri is an American by birth and had the great fortune to grow up in the northern Italian countryside with her family. She explains, “Cooking from scratch was not a question at our house; that was what my Mom and her friends did everyday for their families. At the time, I did not understand the significance of the many late-afternoon, after-school moments with my Mom in the kitchen. I now realize they are some of the most important memories I shared with her. We exchanged not only cooking skills, but also family tradition”.
Terri is a cook by profession and a philosopher by education. She currently lives in the Netherlands where she is a culinary instructor, private chef, caterer, food stylist and writer. She also runs a blog titled “Recipe Writings and Food Memories” where she documents life experiences in the kitchen. Please meet Terri!
Tell us a little about why you wanted to get involved in the Food Revolution?
I have admired Jamie Oliver for his dedication and energy to the community since his project Fifteen. When the Food Ministry was created in England, I was inspired. I then followed the developments of the Food Revolution and like so many, found Jamie’s 2010 TED talk to be powerfully brilliant.
I believe that leading a good and healthy life starts with good food. I am also an idealist. I imagine that good food should be available to all. It is to my mind a basic human right.
Healthy eating is about utilizing good ingredients in a balanced manner. Knowing how to cook enables everyone to create variety at home with seasonal dishes made from scratch. I wanted to get involved in the Food Revolution in order to contribute meaningfully to my community.
How has the Ambassador Program helped you accomplish your goals?
The Ambassador Program has provided me with a channel to communicate shared ideals. Cooking used to be intuitive, something passed on from mother to daughter. Many years after leaving the beautiful Italian countryside I have seen that knowing how to cook is no longer common knowledge. I want to share my family tradition by passing on my cooking skills through the international network of the Food Revolution Community. My goal is to inspire by giving. My dream is to teach cooking in Europe as well as in the United States.
What have you been able to achieve since being an Ambassador?
Becoming Ambassador was in itself a great honor! Since that time I have promised myself to doubt no longer. As Lindsey [Shifley] from Chicago recently wrote in her blog “The Mullies”, “Small changes do mean something”. I am now gathering a collective voice locally and internationally. On a personal level, I am very pleased to notice that my photography has been a source of inspiration to others! Through the Food Revolution I have met other ambassadors from the Netherlands and we will soon be meeting each other to exchange plans and ideas. The possibilities are endless.
What real food initiative are you currently working on in your community? How's it going?
I have recently obtained a location for the May 16th Food Revolution Day at the Haarlem location of “Keizer Culinair” cooking school. I will focus my Food Revolution Day activities around the theme “Family traditions traced through family recipes “ in which cooking demonstrations will be given by more than one generation within a family.
Just a month ago I started a local Food Revolution Haarlem Facebook page as a means to communicate and share through social media. Thus far I have introduced the weekly photo series entitled “ From the Farmers Market “ to illustrate visually the great diversity of foods available locally. My plan with the photo series is to demonstrate the beauty of simple things, hopefully inspiring others to cook and create.
Cooking is a creative and inspiring activity. I am now looking for a location in my area to establish a community kitchen. I love seeing people discover how easy it is to prepare even the most common of foods, like fresh bread, home-baked tortillas, handmade pasta, broths, salad dressings and sauces made from a few real and simple ingredients.
Tell us a little more about the real food movement in the Netherlands.
In the last two years a great number of positive initiatives have been popping up throughout the country. Ethnic street foods are being brought together by people organizing food markets in cities and parks. A number of young companies are receiving support from the government to introduce fresh and healthy foods into corporate, governmental and university restaurants. The subject of sustainability and the environmental impact of industrial food production on the country is a very current topic.
In the Netherlands there are no school lunches at elementary and high school level. Students bring their brown bag lunches from home. The challenge in this country is not to overwhelm families and individuals with bad news, but to inspire awareness and creativity. The bag lunches will slowly but surely be filled with healthier food, I am sure!
Learn more about Terri’s journey check out her blog as well as her Food Revolution Haarlem Facebook page.
Find out more about our Food Revolution Ambassador program and apply to become one here!
About the Author: Sarah Curl is the Food Revolution Community Manager for the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA).
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