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Behind The Conference: Tamie Cook

The 19th Annual Georgia Organics Conference is nearly upon us! In anticipation of the featured In Depth Workshops and Educational Sessions, we reached out to presenters for some additional information about their topic.

In this edition of Behind The Conference, we spoke with Tamie Cook, who teaches Mindful Eating, a course which aims to provide conversation space, resources and community support for changing the ways we think about, acquire, prepare and eat our food.

Saturday Educational Session
Track 7: Recipes for Resilience

Tamie Cook – A Taste for Mindful Eating
Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.
Tamie’s session will be like “food church,” where the mind, body, and soul are all well fed. Read the full session description here.

     1. Who or what inspired you to join your field and how?

In 1992 I moved to France and lived in Paris for four years. I fell in love with food, wine, and cooking while experiencing the table like never before.

I began going to the market in my neighborhood, meeting and talking to the farmer’s there, and I realized how much better this food tasted than what I had been eating as an adult at home in the US.

I grew up with a “garden”. I put that in quotes, because what my father called his garden was in actuality a 1 acre farm. Every summer was spent working in the “garden”, while the rest of my friends went to summer camp or swam and played. I swore that I’d never plant another thing and was determined to never go anywhere near a ‘garden’ again.

Then, at 27, when I moved to Paris, there was something so familiar about the food I began buying at the market. It reminded me of my childhood full of fresh vegetables and I remembered just how good it all was. I cooked all the time and people started telling me I was good at it.

Once I returned from France, I decided that the cooking bug wasn’t just a phase, so when I got laid off from my job as an occupational therapist at 35, I decided that if I was going to make a leap it was probably now or never. I went to culinary school, became a chef, and have never looked back. early bird

     2. Why are you excited to present about your topic and what are some key takeaways attendees will get from your session?

I’m excited about presenting Mindful Eating because it is something I’m passionate about. Farmers and others who work in and around food often forget the impact they have or can have on their consumers.

Eating more mindfully is one way that we can all slow down a little bit, take in the goodness that is inherit in our well-produced food and become even more appreciative of what the good food movement has to offer. Not just feeding our physical bodies, but our minds, hearts and souls.

     3. What do you see happening in the food system that makes this conference an important one?

In short, our food system continues to make most people sick. It is important to recognize that we have the power to change that by making better choices, supporting local, organic farmers and by taking the message of others.

I also think the conference is important to bring us together to celebrate the good that we do.

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