Kid Power - Guest Chef at the Old Town Farmers' Market!

Kid Power’s answers to OTFM’s Market to Table Culinary Experience Interview

What is your philosophy on food?
One of the reasons Krista (EatRealAmerica) and I are such great friends is because we have a synchronized belief that eating REAL food is the key to Feeling Great each and every day. What you put at the end of your fork is more powerful than anything you can buy at the pharmacy. And the side effects to real food are always positive.
As Kid Power, a superhero for real food & fitness, I have the great pleasure of making the subject of real food and nutrition fun as I travel across America with a large theatrical production in 3D called, Kid Power’s Operation Lunch Line 3D. (Enjoy a 2-min performance trailer- Additionally, I work with kids and their families to help them first, navigate the treacherous landscape of our modern food & fitness culture, and second, discover new ways to experience food and integrate real ingredients into their daily lives. My personal philosophy is to use the cleanest real food I can possibly find and afford. That means choosing food that is locally-sourced, and organic/non-GMO, and free from chemical preservatives like additives and artificial colors and sweeteners. That said, I recognize every adult and child is in a different place when it comes to understanding real food and being committed to it. Therefore, in my teaching, I always offer each person grace and space to discover for themselves, how to achieve a real food & fitness lifestyle. For example, if you ask someone if they like strawberries and they respond, “Sure, I like strawberry jelly and strawberry Kool-Aid.” Then my next step is to introduce the actual real fruit and offer up some wonderful ways they can include strawberries into smoothies, and salads, and yogurt, and cereal, etc. But that exchange is not the time to teach about GMOs and pesticides. Likewise, a person who loves and uses strawberries regularly, may be ready to know that conventional strawberries top the ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of produce grown with the most pesticide use. So when it comes to strawberries buy organic or at least know your farmer and buy locally. The goal in every conversation and every teaching moment is help students of all ages progress towards a life of Feeling Great.

Where did your culinary passion come from?
This might shock your readers, but I don’t really have a culinary passion. Since I care so much about real food and can personally testify to the truths that real foods taste better than processed foods and real foods offer much greater healing & health benefits compared to the processed ingredients found in ready-to-eat foods and chain restaurants and fast foods, then I make time in my week to plan and prepare meals for my everyday life. The key is to make a real food commitment for your life a priority for you and your family. Once you do, you’ll start to cook at home more. And as with any skill, the more you do it, the more talented you will become until one day you realize the salmon and veggies you topped with olive oil, garlic, salt and lemon pepper, then roasted in the oven for 25 mins, tastes so much better than anything you could order in a restaurant. Plus, it’s cheaper. This is why Krista’s Eat Real America website is such an asset to daily life. She does all the meal planning and her recipes are certain to be clean, real food recipes. So I use her site often to make my meal prep easier and quicker…so I can use my time for other things I enjoy.

What benefits do you see in using local ingredients?
Primarily, it just feels great to have a relationship with your local farmer. For example, I buy my beef from Keith and Linda at Graze The Prairie. I love knowing them and I love knowing that the meat I am feeding my family is 100% grass-fed on the Kansas Flint Hills prairie. Their cows are not eating genetically modified feed. They are not shot with growth hormones or antibiotics. They are simply being raised as cleanly and humanely as possible. This gives me a sense of pride because when one of my meals calls for beef, I am making a smart, healthy choice. Also, when it comes to produce there is no comparison. A vine-ripened tomato from a local grower is superior in every way to a tomato you’ll find on the salad bar of a big box store or major restaurant chain. And finally, it always feels good to economically support your local community and environmentally be a good steward by choosing the food whose journey from field to plate has made the least impact on planet Earth.

What inspires you about the local food and/or Farm to Table movement?
The growth of any local food movement means that more and more people are committing to a real food lifestyle. They are experiencing the joy of real food and its rich flavors. Seeing people make these choices and discover this joy, inspires me because they are making choices that will help them Feel Great.

What is your favorite in-season Market vegetable and how do you like to prepare it?
This question is impossible for me to answer. You do know there are 30,000 different kinds of plants we can eat on this earth, right? So picking just one is not realistic. I am blessed with a palate that truly enjoys all plants. So I buy whatever is in season. I especially like to buy stuff I have never tried before. Then Krista and I can explore fun ways to use it in our meal planning. Also, I buy the stuff that looks the best. If a vendor has a beautiful fennel for sale, I think to myself, “Hey, I haven’t made a fennel, cucumber, tomato salad in a while, so I’ll do that.” I use most of my farmer’s market veggies in roasting, salads, on the grill, or in smoothies.