Feed Me Dearly: The Power of Good Food

Feed Me Dearly: The Power Of Good Food

Thu 03 Apr 2014

Story by Jessica Fiorillo

In 2001 I was diagnosed with a stage 3 cancer. I was 25 years old. I felt hopeless, depressed, and completely out of control.

Although I’d be undergoing conventional treatments, I’d heard stories of people curing themselves of cancer by eating a macrobiotic diet and using other alternative therapies. I was skeptical, but it seemed as though food had the power to heal. It piqued my interest; I wanted to learn more.

My diet at that point in time consisted of processed foods and restaurant meals. I was disconnected from my food and rarely shopped for my own groceries. When I did, I bought them at the drugstore.

I knew that learning to cook would take time, but I was committed. I started to watch the Food Network on TV, and later took classes at a local cooking school. I bought dozens of cookbooks, piling my shelves with everything from brand new titles to vintage classics. I learned to shop straight from the source – buying meats from the local butcher, dairy from the cheese store, herbs and vegetables from the farmers’ markets. What started on a whim quickly became my greatest passion.

Now, cancer-free for nearly 15 years, I’m grateful for the changes that good food and home cooking have afforded me. I’m happy, healthy, and have more energy than ever. And it’s with this greater clarity that I can see in black and white how sick our country’s collective eating habits have become. Convenience foods are the norm, people are ambivalent about cooking, parents feed processed foods to their kids, oblivious and seduced by clever marketing tactics.

But despite this general trend, I’m encouraged by grassroots victories. The farm-to-table movement is igniting widespread interest in wholesome, local ingredients. Michael Pollan has become a household name. Talented chefs like Jamie Oliver, and food-conscious bloggers are taking to the airwaves to air their missions, tell their stories, and share their food. I wanted to be a part of this movement.

I created my blog Feed Me Dearly so that my voice could be heard. I strive to create real and authentic content that doesn’t hide the imperfections. Like many families, we struggle with challenges such as food allergies and picky eating. Cooking disasters happen. Often. Processed foods occasionally slip through the cracks. They’re not everyday items, but in some ways they help illustrate the difference between good foods and bad foods.

My adventure with food has lasted nearly 15 years. For my kids, it’s just beginning. I hope that by making food part of our family dialog, I can teach them to respect food, and make conscious, smart, informed food choices. They are the future; the more we can teach them, the better off we’ll be as a nation and global community.

Check out some favorite posts on Feed Me Dearly: Tarte Tatin, Beansprouts, The one and only guide to cooking Thanksgiving dinner
and Living with food allergies

About the author: Jessica Fiorillo is the founder of branding and design firm Hub & Spoke branding. She developed a love of cooking in her early 20s, and has never looked back. She created the blog Feed Me Dearly in March 2013 as a means to connect with others about food and family. She lives in New York City with her husband, three kids, and 7-year old vizsla puppy Jack.


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