Real Food And Conscious Living In Bend, Oregon

Real Food And Conscious Living In Bend, Oregon

Tue 29 Jul 2014

Story by The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)

Introducing our July Ambassador of the Month!

Ambassador of the Month is a feature we 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.

Our ambassador for July is Julie Cockburn from Bend, Oregon, USA. Julie is a foodie blogger and video producer at where she inspires individuals to explore the flavors of the world, right in their own kitchens. She has been involved in the food industry for many years, from restaurants to natural grocery. Julie’s mission is to get people excited about food and cooking. She believes that when people are excited about what they eat, they will start to care about the quality of their food and where it comes from, prompting a journey toward healthier, more sustainable eating.

Tell us a little about why you wanted to get involved in the Food Revolution:

I am so honored to be a part of the Food Revolution! The mission behind the Revolution is exactly in line with my personal mission of inspiring people to get excited about real food.

Learning to eat real food has been a lifelong journey for me. I was one of those kids who grew up eating A LOT of processed foods, and suffered the consequences of daily upset tummies, lack of energy, and a persistent feeling of "brain fog".

Fortunately, I discovered the joy and health of cooking and eating real, whole, beauti-ful food, and changed my health and life in the process. Ever since, I have been pro-moting the value of cooking and eating real food to anyone who would listen!

I was so excited when I learned about the Food Revolution, and knew I needed to be involved somehow. Not only is the mission of educating our communities about cook-ing, and getting people excited about eating real food a passion of mine; but I've been a Jamie Oliver fan for years! I've followed him since his early days as The Naked Chef, and his down-to-earth, accessible cooking style has been one of the major influ-ences on my own cooking.

How has the Ambassador Program helped you accomplish your goals:

Before joining the program, I felt like one small voice trying to make a difference. Join-ing the Ambassador Program has provided education, inspiration, support, a clear vi-sion, and a platform on which to more powerfully reach out to my community.

What have you been able to achieve since being an Ambassador:

I am really excited about the momentum that has developed for the Food Revolution here in Bend since becoming an ambassador.

I’ve started a local Food Revolution Facebook page to help keep the community aware of foodie events and educational opportunities around our town.

The annual Food Revolution Day in May was a great success, with several events and demonstrations around town geared toward both kids and adults. We had cooking demos and samples, nutritionists and foodies on hand to answer questions, we gave away REAL food recipes, and raffled two fantastic REAL food gift bags. It was wonderful to see the community come together to support this event through volunteers, dona-tions, and sponsorship.

I have also been fortunate enough to attract a group of like-minded individuals in-volved in different areas of food and food education, who are coming together as a team to further the Food Revolution mission.

Together we are generating excitement in our community, and are developing ongo-ing outreach activities to keep the momentum going.

What real food initiative are you currently working on in your community:

We have several fantastic outreach events planned as we move into Autumn -

• We are planning a community event, similar to Food Revolution Day, but on a smaller scale, with fun demonstrations and samples at our local Savory Spice Shop.
• Beginning in September, I will be offering an experiential REAL food supper club. It’s an opportunity for participants to not only taste real food, but to learn how easy it can be to prepare. Guests are invited to arrive early, help with the prepa-ration, and learn some cooking skills along the way, and then relax and enjoy the full meal. It’s a fun and lighthearted way to inspire guests to try cooking real food for themselves.
• We are also lucky to have several wonderful volunteers who will be focusing on improving school lunch programs in nearby Sisters, Oregon.
• In October, we’re hosting a movie showing of a food educational film at a local, independent theater.
• Finally, I will be giving an informational talk about the beautiful power of food to create healing, connection, and joy at a local women’s group.

Anything else about the real food movement in Oregon:

We are pretty lucky here in Oregon! The movement toward conscious, real-food eating has been in the works for several years. I live in Central Oregon, where people are ac-tively seeking information and resources about living a healthy lifestyle.

I am so grateful to all the food pioneers who have paved the way! We are now at the point (at least in my corner of the world) where the tide is beginning to turn, and people are open to REAL food and conscious living.

Very exciting times!

Get a list of all of our global ambassadors at

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (USA)


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