Healthy soil. Healthy food. Healthy Tahoe people. |

Healthy soil. Healthy food. Healthy Tahoe people.

Story and photos by Christine Dale
Special to the Sun
Douglas Dale shows a student how to prepare and present heirloom tomatoes on a large scallop shell with fresh spring rolls, saiphun noodles and nouc cham Vietnamese dipping sauce.

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; It is no secret that our country is in big trouble. America has been hit hard by an epidemic of obesity and diseases that are caused by artificially cheap food. No wonder this outbreak has effected a vast majority of America’s population with a greedy food industry marketing processed junk-food effectively and conditioning Americans to be stingy when shopping for food.

As many food-movements have been created to reverse this horrifying trend of the food industry the local-food movement seems to be the most promising to teach our children for the much-needed change in America’s nutritional future. The local-food movement advocates to buy in-season produce from local farmers. The movement really began on the West Coast, where the origin of food people consume is much higher than the rest of the country. Communities need weekly farmers markets for the movement to stay current in the mind’s of Americans and widespread throughout the country.

Joanne Neft and Douglas Dale are both very involved in Tahoe City’s farmers markets and avid shoppers. Neft and Dale saw a demand for guidance on how to get the best out of local farmers markets. Joanne Neft created a very simple cookbook, and#8220;Placer County: Real Food from Farmers Markets,and#8221; to follow seasonal produce. Douglas Dale has organized and taught Farmers Market Cooking Classes at Wolfdale’s, his local Tahoe City restaurant, for three summers. Last Thursday the two joined together and taught more than 20 locals the importance of eating fresh, local and seasonal foods.

The morning started with several enthusiastic women accompanying Chef Douglas Dale to the Tahoe City farmers market. They returned to Wolfdale’s restaurant with fresh produce and split up into four groups to prepare a four-course luncheon. As a result, the women enjoyed an amazing luncheon, and learned some of Dale’s favorite seasonal recipes, specific techniques and facts about produce from the farmers at the market. Joanne Neft shared her lifetime passion and journey for eating only real foods from local farmers markets. North Tahoe High School students from Laura Hartung’s cooking class also attended to help with the luncheon and benefited from Neft’s inspiring talk.

Neft discussed author Michael Pollan, who has become a nominal figure for the local food movement, and his little rule, and#8220;Pay more, eat less,and#8221; to follow in order to eat better foods. Pollan’s rule put America’s epidemic into perspectives. It is the complete opposite of the food industry’s pay less, eat more.

Joanne Neft highly recommended Pollan’s, and#8220;In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifestoand#8221; as an amazing book to read.

and#8212; Submitted to

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