Posted April 17, 2015
There’s no such thing as “too many cooks in the kitchen” when it comes to sharing first-hand information about the safe and wholesome food raised sustainably by Iowa farmers.
It’s a story the Iowa Food & Family Project (Iowa FFP) takes pride in telling. And new this year, the Iowa FFP is adding a few ingredients to its unique offering of consumer-focused activities with the goal of building greater confidence in today’s farm and food system.
Cristen Clark, a farmer and competitive baker, will join Iowa Girl Eats blogger Kristin Porter in an effort to spark conversations among Iowans about today’s farm and food system.
“Some of my most-treasured childhood memories stem from time in the kitchen,” said Clark, also a blogger and mother of two who raises hogs with her husband, Mike, near Runnells, just south of Des Moines. “Learning about food is so engrained in how I was raised that I often take for granted my ability to be trusting—not fearful—in the food choices I make.”
The sixth-generation farmer joins Porter, who, despite being raised in Iowa, had never stepped foot on a farm until she partnered with the Iowa FFP on her inaugural journey into agriculture in 2013.
“I’m an Iowa girl through and through, but until I teamed up with Iowa FFP, my ‘farm visits’ were limited to seasonal trips to the farmers’ market, an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch,” said Porter. “While I’ve learned a lot about agriculture along the way, I think perhaps the biggest takeaway I had from each visit was the assurance that the farmer I just met does everything he or she can to raise quality food for their families, neighbors, communities and state.”
Starting this month, Clark and Porter will team up in a quest to connect food-minded Iowans with the people who provide, prepare and serve food, including retailers. The duo will partner with farmers and a dedicated team of Hy-Vee, Inc., chefs and dietitians throughout the state to share background on production methods, health information, food preparation and more.
“People are having these conversations and it’s important for Hy-Vee to be involved in the dialogue,” said Randy Edeker, chairman, CEO and president of Hy-Vee. “We’re dedicated to making our customers’ lives easier, healthier and happier and are pleased to join the Iowa Food & Family Project to provide consumers a greater understanding of their food so they can be informed and empowered.”
Together, Porter, Clark and Hy-Vee will be involved in a variety of events and activities including:
• Iowa Food and Family Cookbook: a compilation of nearly 60 recipes from Porter, Clark, Hy-Vee dietitians, farmers and Iowa FFP partners. Iowans can receive their complimentary copies at events where the Iowa FFP will have a presence, including in-store events at Hy-Vee, the Des Moines and Beaverdale Farmers’ Markets and Iowa State Fair.
• Recipe Refresh: the opportunity to win a makeover and shopping experience—with food! Winners of Recipe Refresh events will be chosen from throughout the state and will join Hy-Vee dietitians, area farmers and bloggers as they shop for ingredients to prepare their favorite recipes in-store while also stocking their carts with groceries, courtesy of the Iowa FFP.
• Make it & Take it: An Iowa FFP-version of Hy-Vee’s popular “DISH” (Dinner is Solved at Hy-Vee) program, this dinner club event welcomes food-minded Iowans to participate in an informational, hands-on cooking demonstration alongside farm group leaders and a Hy-Vee chef and dietitian.
Porter looks forward to all that this partnership will bring.
“It’s been an awesome journey and I can’t wait to share the next chapter with Cristen, our friends at Hy-Vee and, most importantly, the food-minded Iowans who want to learn more about food and farming.”
Visit www.iowafoodandfamily.com for more information including events dates, locations and registration details.