Ideal Meals and Guilty Pleasures
Author and food activist Nina Planck was raised on a family farm in Virginia, where she learned to appreciate "real," traditional foods. She worked as a reporter for TIME Magazine and wrote speeches for the U.S. ambassador to London before opening the first farmers’ markets in London. Today her company, London Farmers’ Markets, runs fourteen markets. She is the author of two books: "Real Food: What to Eat and Why," and "Real Food for Mother and Baby: The Fertility Diet, Eating for Two, and Baby's First Foods."
Planck is a Big Think Delphi Fellow.
Question: What is your ideal \r\nmeal?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Nina Planck: \r\nWell\r\nmy real food luxury would be a raw milk butler. He\r\n would just bring raw dairy products including fresh raw\r\nmilk to our house. Once a day\r\nwould be fine, every other day I could live with. But we go to some \r\ntime,\r\ntrouble and expense to get fresh raw milk in our household. And then a real food meal: I just love\r\nroast chicken and when I came off the vegetarian wagon I really, really \r\nenjoyed\r\nwhat they call in England the parson’s nose. It’s\r\n the chicken tail and it is just this fatty little\r\nthing. It’s delicious. So I\r\n love a fresh green salad with high\r\nquality greens that have been raised in real rich soil and have real\r\nflavor. We love good olive\r\noil. I’m happy to spend money on\r\nit. Gosh, I love good blue cheese. \r\n I love homemade ice cream and I love to\r\nmake pannacotta with raw cream, which I haven’t done for ages. You can actually just use the little\r\nbit of gelatin and it’s a whole raw pannacotta. I\r\n call it pannacrutta. \r\nThat recipe is on my Web site somewhere and I love a glass of \r\nwine and I\r\nlove chocolate. So those are a few things.
Question: What foods are your\r\n guilty\r\npleasures?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Nina Planck: \r\nMy\r\nguilty pleasure is to eat a big salad with nuts and cheese and meat day \r\nafter\r\nday after day, and not to make chicken broth and not to find some good \r\nroast\r\nbeef, so my guilty pleasure is sort of what I call "girl food" or \r\n"single girl\r\nfood." But there is a man at home and there are children at home and so\r\n I can’t\r\njust feed them salads with blue cheese and walnuts day after day. My industrial food guilty pleasure is\r\ndefinitely white sugar. We have\r\nnot eliminated white sugar from our household or our diet, but I always \r\nprefer\r\nwhole, unadulterated sugar, so whole unrefined cane sugar or maple syrup\r\n or\r\nhoney are definitely my sweeteners of choice, but the dark chocolate we \r\neat – and\r\nby dark I mean 70% or higher – always contains a little bit of sugar, \r\npreferably\r\norganic, so I have not eliminated sugar from my diet and there are \r\ndishes that\r\nare just not improved by maple syrup. \r\nYou know if you want a lemon meringue pie it just doesn’t taste \r\nright\r\nsweetened with anything other than sugar and I love a little dessert. I used to indulge in nonfat frozen\r\nyogurt and also in the sort of imitation crab you get at salad bars, but\r\n I now\r\nrealize that those are lowest form of reconstituted fishmeal and the \r\nlowest\r\nform of dairy, if in fact there is any dairy in it, so I just don’t even\r\n bother\r\nnow and I don’t even miss those guilty pleasures\r\n\r\n
Question: Is it hard for you \r\nto find\r\n"real food" in restaurants?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nNina Planck: \r\nI\r\nmake some exceptions for eating out, although I don’t really write them \r\ndown on\r\na note card, but while I would never ever buy farmed salmon and we have\r\nbeautiful wild Alaskan salmon in the freezer, in the cupboard all the \r\ntime I do\r\nsometimes find myself eating farmed salmon at weddings or on airplanes, \r\nthat\r\nsort of thing. One of my pleasures\r\nof the moment after our three young children are in bed is to walk down \r\nthe\r\nstreet and for 20 minutes have a dozen oysters and one glass of \r\nsparkling wine\r\nat the local joint. Oysters, by the\r\nway, are great food for men and women who would like to be mothers and \r\nfathers.
The author admits she bends her own rules to eat out sometimes, and hasn't eliminated white sugar from her household. But for the most part, the foods she craves most are "real."
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