As a child of the 1970s and ’80s, I grew up eating a lot of processed foods, and suffered the consequences – daily upset tummies, lack of energy, and a persistent feeling of “brain fog”. Fortunately, I discovered the joy and benefits of cooking and eating real, whole, beautiful food, and changed my health and life in the process. Ever since, I have been promoting the value of cooking and eating real food to anyone who will listen!

I was so excited when I learned about the Food Revolution, and knew I needed to be involved somehow. Not only is the mission of educating our communities about cooking and getting people excited about eating real food a passion of mine, but I’ve been a Jamie Oliver fan for years! I’ve followed him since his early days as The Naked Chef, and his down-to-earth, accessible cooking style has been one of the major influences on my own way of cooking.

I’ve now been an ambassador in my small town of Bend, Oregon for over two years. Before joining the program, I felt like one small voice trying to make a difference. Joining the Ambassador Program has provided education, inspiration, support, a clear vision, and a platform on which to more powerfully reach out to my community. Here in our area, my team and I have successfully hosted multiple community outreach events; partnered with local and national companies to support food education; and raised funds for and helped plant a school garden.

The excitement and support from the community continues to grow for the Food Revolution here in Central, Oregon. This year, for Food Revolution Day, we focused on growing your own food, or getting to know the people who do. Several businesses are came together to host a community outreach event with farmers talking about growing food locally, and the benefits of joining a CSA (community supported agriculture); hands-on, educational stations taught folks about gardening; a local seed exchange and planting station helped to get gardens started; and there were lots of tasty samples featuring local produce.  It’s an honor for me to help bring together all of these amazing food revolutionaries, and share their unique gifts in a fun and approachable way with our community.

As we move into the summer of 2016 and beyond, I am confident that the Food Revolution will continue to grow. In Central Oregon, there is a strong movement toward conscious, real-food eating, with people actively seeking information and resources about living a healthy lifestyle. It’s an exciting time to be at the leading edge of the Revolution!

 

About Julie Cockburn

Julie Cockburn is a food writer and photographer at TasteOfThePlace.com, where she inspires individuals to explore the world through food. As a Food Revolution ambassador, her mission is to equip individuals with the confidence and knowledge to prepare delicious, healthy, and beautiful food for themselves. When she’s not whipping something up in the kitchen or dreaming about her next culinary adventure, you can find her exploring the beautiful outdoors of her native Pacific Northwest US.