In this interview, Earthbound Farm's co-founder Myra Goodman shares the inspiration behind her new cookbook, The Earthbound Cook, explains the importance of using organic ingredients, and offers advice on how to cook with these ingredients while respecting your budget.
A: There are several reasons. First, writing cookbooks is addicting. After I wrote my first cookbook, I felt a connection with the people who were cooking the recipes I’d grown up on. I love that feeling! Second, when I find a great recipe, I want to share it with others. It makes it that much more fun to cook. And third, I realized that there was a need to educate people about how their food choices impact the environment. A cookbook seemed to me to be a great place to do that.
Q: In both your new cookbook, and your first cookbook, Food To Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook, you advocate the use of organic ingredients. Why?
A: I enjoy food more when I know it is produced in a sustainable way with healthy ingredients. When I prepare foods made with organic ingredients, I know I they are the healthiest for me and the planet.
Q: What organic ingredients are always on your shelves?
A: I always have black beans, an assortment of rice and pasta, stock, whole wheat pastry flour, and different types of bread. I also tend to have lots of Earthbound Farm salad, an assortment of cheese, fruits, different types of nut butter, and homemade jam on hand.
Q: What advice do you offer people who want to buy organic but are worried about cost?
A: I encourage people to eat lower on the food chain, and to balance what is on their plates. When you eat a truly balanced diet, it really isn’t that much more expensive to go organic. Plus, it’s a matter of value. You can may pay a bit more for organic, but you get a higher quality product, too.
Q: What is your favorite recipe in your new cookbook?
A: That’s a tough question, because my answer varies with the season and my mood. If I had to choose one recipe though, it would have to be the crepe recipe in my book. It’s incredibly versatile: you can use it make a delicious brunch, lunch, dinner or dessert.
In this video, Myra shares her thoughts on why she chooses to farm organically, and why she sees organic food as 'food to live by.'
About Myra Goodman Myra Goodman is the co-founder, with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm, the country’s leading grower of organic produce. She is also the author of Food to Live By: The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook and is currently working on her second cookbook, The Earthbound Cook, which will publish in the summer of 2010.
Myra’s organic journey kicked off in 1984 when she and Drew, two New York City Kids, were fresh out of college and yearning to spend some time with their hands in the soil. So the pair of unlikely farmers landed in California’s verdant Carmel Valley on a little 2½-acre farm of sweet and fragrant heirloom raspberries, which was also home to dozens of fruit and nut trees. In this enchanting setting, they taught themselves to farm with only natural inputs and began their lifelong commitment to organic farming. It was also during this time that Myra became a creative and prolific cook, getting regular inspiration from the bounty of their little farm.
In 1986, as a way to share the gourmet heirloom lettuces and greens they were growing, the Goodmans invented Earthbound Farm Salad Bags — a brand new idea. Earthbound Farm was the very first company to successfully launch packaged salads in retail grocery stores and is credited with popularizing spring mix salad – now the biggest packaged salad category.
As Earthbound Farm has grown, the company has remained fiercely dedicated to organic food and farming. Drew and Myra still live and work on their original farm, but today they are joined by 150 other organic growers, both small and large, who are dedicated to bringing delicious organic salads, fruits and vegetables to people across the country. Every year, by farming organically, Earthbound Farm’s farmers avoid the use of more than 10 million pounds of synthetic chemicals.
The Earthbound Cook: 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet, (Workman Publishing; September 14, 2010; Paperback; $20.95) For more information about the book, visit www.ebfarm.com. Copyright 2010 by Myra Goodman Used by permission of Workman Publishing Co., Inc. New York All Rights Reserved