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Farm-fresh healthy food doesn’t have to be too pricey or pretty, says this chef

June 22, 2017 at 6:15 PM EDT
Chef and restaurateur Joy Crump explains how we can find greater value and health in farm-to-table food, in a conversation at the Aspen Institute's Spotlight Health conference.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: And now back to Judy in Colorado at the Spotlight Health Conference.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Here at the Aspen conference, there’s conversation about ways to improve health beyond hospitals, doctors’ offices, and health clubs.

Some of you may recognize Joy Crump from her time as a contestant on the TV show “Top Chef.” Joy Crump now runs three farm-to-table restaurants in Virginia. And she spoke to us about how the food we eat affects our health.

JOY CRUMP, Chef and Restaurateur: My name is Joy Crump. I have three restaurants in Virginia, and I was on season 12 of “Top Chef.”

I’m here at Spotlight Health to shine a light on the connectivity between food and community and your personal health. In the past decade or so, maybe a little bit beyond that decade, we really began to drill down into the connection between locality, where our food comes from, and health.

It’s something that we grew up with. We always grew up going towards what was closest to us, what was most readily available, what was in season, and what was cheapest. It was what tasted best. Those things mattered to us.

And now I think, as a nation, we’re insisting that we understand where things come from, that we have a correlation between our food and our communities in which our food is produced.

The idea that that has to be expensive or that that is of a quality level that everyone shouldn’t have access to is sort of ludicrous. It’s actually the opposite. You have to get used to eating the things that don’t pass the test of getting into like a Whole Foods market, but are still ecologically sound, locally produced, organically farmed, picked by hand, traveled a short distance to get you.

They may just have brown spots on them. You may just be subject to something that’s not so pretty. I can buy a beautiful bushel of peaches in the middle of the summer for $40 for a bushel.

What I hope to share with young people that I work with in the restaurants and even the younger kids that I work with is a respect for the journey that food travels in order to get from where it comes from to our forks.

We have to recognize that farmers bent down and picked things out of ground in order to get those vegetables on our plate. Once we do that, I think we will become less cavalier about how much we waste, and more intent on sharing and celebrating the food that we have.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sounds like good advice to me.

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