Local Johns Hopkins-trained Pediatric Neuroscientist Dr. Joan Blom took best-selling author Frances Moore Lappe, Cheryl, and me for a cross country drive to a fabulous Italian restaurant, Vincenzo, for an all organic dinner. Being asked to do a keynote the next day with Frances (Frankie) was a great honor, but getting to spend an evening together was a real thrill.
When I first discovered her Diet for a Small Planet in college, it was an important part of my journey toward caring for small people, for global health, and of the central importance of good food in both.
Today her work is even more relevant than ever, as we face a global food crisis, climate change, an obesity epidemic, and micronutrient malnutrition. Our planet is even smaller, and the power of good food is even bigger.
The food at our dinner was fresh, local, and bursting with vibrant flavor. I lifted a glass of sparkling red Lambrusco (thanks, Martien, for introducing this to me) and toasted things small. I started with yummy pasta stuffed with garden tesh spinach, done with just a hint of garlic, pepper, local olive oil, and Modena Balsamico. No sauce needed for fantastic pasta. Next came Gilthead Bream, a local fish, cooked in parchment with fresh Italian tomatoes, zucchini, onions, sage, and another hint of olive oil.
We quickly recognized a deep connection with each other, and the conversation ranged from light to profound and from very personal to public policy.
Frankie is even more impressive in person than are her incredible books. There’s fire in her eyes.