I grew up in a family that strongly believes in healthy eating, organic farming, and good cooking. To begin, my father is a cardiologist who works relentlessly against America’s obesity epidemic; my mother is a talented cook who inspires all her children to be fearless in the kitchen; my uncle worked on legislation that would require companies to include any genetically modified organisms on labels; my aunt, Francis Moore Lappé, wrote a very influential book in the nineteen seventies, Diet for a Small Planet, that highlighted the global environmental impact of the meat industry; and my cousin, Anna Lappé, is a noted food activist and author who currently runs a nonprofit organization, Small Planet Institute, that fights against poverty and hunger. My family traditions have influenced my passion for food.
Recently, I had the great opportunity to help my brother, Ethan, manage his local restaurant, Caffe Niche. My brother was both the Chef and the owner, and his mission was to serve fresh, local, and healthful ingredients that were prepared simply to highlight the natural flavors. To accomplish this mission, Ethan built successful relationships with local farmers, vendors, and cooks. We regularly received ingredients from our farms that were harvested that day. Working at Niche provided me with the unique understanding of commercial food production and consumption. It was motivating to meet the farmers, to help prepare dishes, and to serve the final products to our guests because I was a part of our local food cycle. This experience has influenced my reasons for starting FtTU. I want to highlight the people, organizations, and restaurants that nourish our local food cycle. Our awareness of our food cycle can help us live can help us to live more thoughtfully and sustainably.