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Hosted By
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Published September 4th, 2014

Running time: 4 Minutes

By Erin Fairbanks

Erin Fairbanks talks with the Executive Director of St. John's Bread & Life, Anthony Butler, about the USDA's annual report on U.S. household food security that reports no decrease in U.S. food insecurity and hunger in 2013, despite today’s record Wall Street stock market levels. 49 million Americans – and 16 million kids – still lack sufficient food.


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Hosted By
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Sponsored by
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This week on Eating Matters, host Kim Kessler is joined by assistant producer Talia Ralph for a show focusing on feeding the Navajo Nation. The Navajo, like many other American Indians and Alaska Natives, struggle with some of the worst health outcomes in the United States. Sonlatsa Jim-Martin of the Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment (COPE) Project and Ona Balkus of the REACH Food Coalition via Harvard University join the program talking about their combined efforts to mobilize community and change the current lacking regional food systems and healthcare delivery. Sonlatsa and Ona explain that their goal is to improve the overall health of high-risk patients with poorly controlled chronic diseases and those at risk of developing chronic diseases living within Navajo Nation. Also discussing how these helpful efforts began as well as the highlights and challenges of this important food advocacy, Kim gets the scoop on what's next for COPE and REACH Projects efforts. This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.


Photo via Partners In Health website

"A lot of the problems with the food system in Navajo Nation are ones that go back many generations."

--Ona Balkus on Eating Matters

"This connection that we have with food is a part of our fundamental laws as Navajo people. It's a part of our spiritual wellness and it is a customary law that goes into our teachings about the Earth and our relationship with food and water."

--Sonlatsa Jim-Martin on Eating Matters


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This week's guests: Martha Hoover & Chef Nira Kehar.

Having never waited tables, never cooked professionally or in any way worked in a restaurant, Martha Hoover has created a successful group of dining establishments—Cafes Patachou, Petite Chou by Patachou, Napolese Artisanal Pizzeria and Wine Bar, GELO Dolce Bar, Public Greens Urban Kitchen Garden and Grill and Patatruck Mobile Patachou Kitchen. The restaurants reflect her lifelong passion for food and ingredients of excellent quality, as well as a joie de vie. All the concepts are cherished neighborhood destinations, serving dishes made with the highest quality ingredients in the freshest preparation methods possible. Their walls are filled with art, music floats above the buzz of the diners and an urban energy reverberates that is the direct result of her vision. When Hoover opened Café Patachou, her goal was to prepare the best “simple” food using high quality ingredients. This was quite a novel approach in 1989. Vendors said that it was a mistake to roast our own meat and make homemade bread because cheaper, yet inferior, alternatives were available. The standard in the local industry deemed that strict quality standards were not necessary for success in this market. Immediately, customers noted the difference between Café Patachou and other breakfast/ lunch restaurants and that has been the key to the success of the entire company. Patachou, Inc. has purposefully grown slowly over the past twenty years. Hoover is a hands-on owner who is truly active in the business assuring the adherence to exacting standards and attention to every detail.

"I grew up with this family mantra that all the great food in the world starts and ends in New York." [04:00]

"I don't think I told our story enough early enough. It just didn't strike a chord with enough people." [09:00]

--Martha Hoover on Radio Cherry Bombe

Born and raised in Montreal, Nira Kehar's culinary adventures began with imbibing her mother’s skills in the kitchen. She traded a career in engineering to train at the prestigious ITHQ (Institut de Tourisme et d’Hôtellerie du Québec), Canada’s premier culinary institute. Chapter three was moving to India six years ago, where she began to give life to her creative vision (preceded by a grueling few months in the Maurya Kitchens). Driven by her desire to please and excite the palate, Chef Nira’s approach combines fresh, seasonal produce with a range of global cooking techniques, loved by the food community and critics alike. This year, along with the James Beard foundation event, she is busy experimenting and evolving her sister brand, Atelier Nini.

"I'm privileged in that the worst thing that ever happened to me is the best thing that ever happened to me." [27:00]

"Food is like a living organism it has its own moods and freaky things that happen to it." [33:00]

--Nira Kehar on Radio Cherry Bombe


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