We are so excited to bring you today’s post. For the past year, our dear friend J.D. has been working on a documentary to combine his incredible film-making skills with his passion for whole foods and clean, sustainable eating. The film is based here in Indianapolis, but the questions are universal: how can we ensure access to healthy, nutritious foods for ourselves and our children?
After viewing the film were were inspired, feeling some of that initial fire and passion that made us start this blog in the first place. It made us want to do more: for our city and for our country, to advocate for the value of nutritious eating and healthy lifestyles. And, we wanted to share the film with you and hear your thoughts!
So for the first time, J.D. is making his film available to the public, and we couldn’t be happier to share it here on A Couple Cooks! It’s the first ever video to be part of our Healthy & Whole series. Please check out the video above and let us know what you think! What about the film inspires you, or makes you think?
We also caught up with J.D. below to share a bit about how he became interested in food, and why he created FarmCity. A huge congratulations to J.D. on the success of this project! You can learn more about J.D. at craftedspoon.com.
You just created and directed a documentary called FarmCity. Can you describe a bit about it, and what inspired you to create it?
Of course! FarmCity looks at some of the fundamental issues we have here in Indianapolis regarding our health, what we grow, and the lack of access to healthy food in the city. The documentary talks to a variety of people including a single mother, grocery store owner, health expert, and community gardener.
In creating FarmCity, I was motivated by the fact that Indianapolis has many health issues, like most of our country, and I thought a documentary focused on these local issues would help unite everyone around the city’s potential to be healthier.
Why are you passionate about eating whole foods and knowing where our food came from? Can you remember your first inspirations?
My grandmother is Italian and I grew up eating amazing meals on the holidays. This gave me a deeper appreciation for food, but I think I truly became passionate when I read Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser back in 2003. It left me thinking, “What have we done to food?” That realization inspired me to work to have a positive influence on the way we see, eat and grow food. Food is such an inspiring and integral part of our lives, and I’ve always thought we should care more about it.
I’ve adapted a “baby-step” mentality that simply eating more whole, non-processed foods is a starting point for many people to improve their health.
What do you do to try to influence the food system here in America?
I try my best to buy local produce and I’m a member our local food co-op here in Indianapolis. The more I read, however, I’ve begun to understand that a majority of our food system is structured by policy and the Farm Bill. It’s more complex than just consumers voting with their dollar. I think it will take a continual effort of education to see things begin to swing towards a healthier, more sustainable food system.
What types of foods do you cook and eat at home?
I actually have a few A Couple Cooks’ recipes that I serve as my go-to meals, like Kale Salad, Lentil Tacos, and Roasted Veggies. Basically, I’m always trying to use beans, vegetables and a little humanely raised meat. Often I feel overwhelmed with cooking, but lately spending more time in the kitchen has given me more confidence in cooking something new and tasty.
Anything else to share with our readers?
I think at the most basic level, we all need to focus on whole foods. For the longest time, I was focused on organic and local and how they play an important part in improving our food system. Now after FarmCity and learning about how poor Indianapolis’s health is, I’ve adapted a “baby-step” mentality that simply eating more whole, non-processed foods is a starting point for many people to improve their health.
About the Authors
Cookbook Author and writer
Sonja Overhiser is an acclaimed vegetarian cookbook author and cook based in Indianapolis. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Cookbook Author and photographer
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the “best vegetarian cookbooks” by Epicurious.