I know that this blog sometimes feels like it’s just one recipe after the next, but my hope is that you will sense that these posts are grounded in a rich and inclusive way of thinking about food and energy and life. If you’re curious to know more about all this, you may want to take a look at Macrobiotics Today, a 51-year-old bi-monthly magazine that goes into depth on topics which I only allude to in my brief posts. Editors and publishers Carl and Julia Ferré do a remarkable job, on a no-frills budget. Among the articles in the current issue (May/June) are an explanation of the properties of various natural sweeteners, a discussion of radiation, and how to minimize its consequences, a celebration of the special energy we experience in summer, and a story about our 24-year-old weekly vegetarian dinners in Palo Alto. But the reason I mention this now is that a couple of months ago I sat down with Julia and Carl for an in-depth interview, which is published in the current issue. It turned out well, and I’ve included excerpts after the jump. To read the entire interview, go to their website (you will need to subscribe). While there, you can also download back issues and find out more about the French Meadows Summer Camp, which they sponsor. Their foundation is well worth supporting, even if you’re not deeply connected to macrobiotics.
Above photo: The May/June Macrobiotics Today cover features a photo by Gerard Lum of Alex and Beatrice Zorzella about to enjoy one of our Monday night dinners in Palo Alto.
Excerpts from the interview Julia and Carl Ferré did with me on March 6, 2011:
What advice would you give people who are at home and cooking for themselves?
Don’t make it too complicated. Keep it simple. If you are cooking for a family, you can buy a lot, but if you are cooking for yourself, don’t buy too much at once because it’s going to rot in the back of the refrigerator. Make a little bit more and warm it up the next day because you may not feel like cooking the next day. Soups are good for warming up. Go to the farmer’s market—it reminds you of what actually is in season. Even if it’s not a big market, it can have something good. All you really need is just one produce stand with good organic produce….
I like your blog and all the photos. I loved seeing you on the tractor as a teenager.
Wasn’t that hilarious? I try to have fun with the blog. When I was in college, I loved researching things and it is so easy now compared to what it used to be. After cooking all these years, there are a lot of things that I have never really researched, like salt. I have a friend who lives in France where salt is a big deal and there are a lot of artisanal salt producers.
I try to add value to the blog. There are some blogs that link to other blogs and are just comments on other blogs. I try to have original stuff. I may research from other websites, but I try to have something that you can only get while reading this blog, or get best by reading this blog….
I have one last question and one that people may not ever ask you. What do you think is the meaning of life?
Well that’s what it is all about. Macrobiotic stuff is just details really—whether you eat this or whether you eat that—it’s irrelevant if you are not having the life you want to have.
I am not a terribly philosophical person, but we all think about why we are here. What am I doing and am I contributing anything? Am I eating as well as I should? Am I loving people as much as I should? Am I giving enough? Sometimes we get caught in the details and judging each other or judging ourselves. I guess I think that we all need to be more forgiving of each other and I think I have mellowed as I have become older and hopefully I have become more compassionate. Hmmm, I don’t know, what is it all about?
Well, I think macrobiotics isn’t an end, it’s a pathway. It’s not a religion that asks you to believe all these things and you’ll go to heaven afterwards. It’s just to help you get through life in a kind and decent way.