Lunch with the CE-Yo

If there is one thing you get out of my recap of yesterday’s lunch with Stonyfield Farms’ CE-Yo, Gary Hirshberg, it’s that even buying one more organic product makes a difference. You don’t have to do a complete overhaul of your cabinets and spend your entire salary on organic food to make a difference in both your health and in the world.

Lunch with the CE-Yo was held at the new location of EVOO in Kendall Square, Cambridge. I had a wonderful food and wine pairing at EVOO’s former location, so I was excited to visit their new, much more convenient  location.

EVOO Cambridge

Stonyfield Farms luncheon EVOO menu

The inside of EVOO is beautiful with an open kitchen and a great private room.

EVOO dining room

EVOO Kitchen

After I arrived and took a few photos, I chatted with a few other bloggers:

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Elina and Jennifer, Tina and Ali

And we met the CE-Yo, Gary Hirshberg.

Gary Hirschberg, CE-Yo of Stonyfield Farms   

Gary was incredibly interesting, informative, and passionate. His devotion to organic food and family farms are enormous parts of Stonyfield’s success, and Gary works on an “Everybody wins” philosophy.

Stonyfield was founded 27 years ago as a 7 cow organic farming school. Gary and his business partner, Samuel Kaymen, began making yogurt as a way to fund the school.

Gary gave us a brief background on his own local eating history. When we was growing up, all of the family food came from within a few miles of home. There were , at one point, 300 family dairy farmers in Concord, NH. When Stonyfield started there were 400 dairy farmers in the entire state of NH, and now there are only 87 remaining. I find this to be incredibly sad. The food that is grown/produced by small farmers is done with such care and attention, as opposed to food that comes from giant factory farms, and the last thing we need in the US is LESS care placed toward our food.

Gary reminded us that for our great grandparents and many of our grandparents, everything was organic. Pre WWI and WWII, food was not treated with chemicals. Post war, chemical manufacturers discovered new uses for their chemicals, and alas, we started on the path that we are on today, where we suffer from an endemic penetration of chemicals both from food and from our environment.

Gary shared a lot of information, and here are a few of the points I found the most interesting (or disturbing!):

  • By the time babies are born, they already have 285-300 toxins in their blood. One third of these are tied to food.
  • Organics make up 3.7% of the US food supply.
  • Stonyfield’s support of 1750 family farms keeps 180,000 acres chemical free.
  • Stonyfield donates 10% of its profits to environmental causes.
  • The farmers that Stonyfield buys milk from never experience a price decrease. They are paid well above the rates of non organic farmers.
  • Cows on non-organic farms live 4-6 years. Cows on organic farms tend to live for 12-20 years, thus increasing their milk producing years and the profit for the farmer. Cows on organic farms must also have access to pasture which makes them happy :)
  • Through their commitment to organic milk, Stonyfield helps to prevent 425,000 drug treatments for animals and 185,000 lbs of insecticides and herbicides.
  • The President’s Council on Cancer recently found that 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and 21% will die from it. One of the most significant things that we can do to prevent cancer is to eat an organic diet.
  • The #1 way to bring down the price of organic food and to make it more accessible to all is to increase the volume in which it is produced. To this end, large corporations such as Wal Mart selling organic is a very good thing.
  • Per capita, Austrians eat the most organic food. Another reason for me to love Austria!

I could go on and on with the information I learned today, but I really came away with wanting to pay more attention to the food that I eat and to make even more of an effort to buy organic. Gary truly made me FEEL like I can make a difference with my dollars and that blogging is a powerful tool for spreading this message. He also said his prayer for all of us would be that we could blog as our “real jobs”. Yes, please! :)

Of course, no food blogger lunch is complete without delicious food, and EVOO took good care of us!

I started with the Asparagus Soup with Parmigiano Reggiano, Red Chili Flakes, and EVOO. It was velvety with chunks of fresh asparagus; it totally tasted like spring.

asparagus soup

My lunch entree was a Seared Atlantic Golden Tilefish with Organic Potatoes, Fiddlehead Ferns, Wild Ramps, Cilantro, Curried Potato Broth, and Minted Carrot Salad.  I don’t think I have tried tilefish before, but I loved  how meaty and flavorful this fish was.

tilefish with fiddleheads 

 

Seared Tilefish Fillet with Organic Potatoes, Fiddlhead Ferns, Wild Ramps. Cilantro, Curried Potato Broth and Minted Carrot Salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For dessert we had Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Tart with Balsamic- Basil Glazed Strawberries. The tart was incredible. It had a creamy, tangy flavor, and you could tell it was made with only the best ingredients.

Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Tart with Balsamic- Basil Glazed Strawberries

Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Tart with Balsamic- Basil Glazed Strawberries

And received a sample of Caramel Oikos yogurt. . . it was the first time I tried this flavor, it was sweet, creamy, yum! It did not last long once I got it home!

Caramel Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

Before we left, EVOO’s chef, Peter McCarthy, came out to meet us. Chef McCarthy talked briefly about EVOO’s efforts to use organic and local ingredients whenever possible. Their menu, as a result, incorporates delicious, seasonal dishes.

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I am looking forward to returning to EVOO for a dinner with wine pairings very soon. Their menu is too tempting!

Thank you Stonyfield and 360 for inviting me to such an incredible lunch, and thank you Chef McCarthy and EVOO for hosting us!

Speaking of organic, there are only TWO DAYS to enter  my Olivia’s Organics giveaway!

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Tags: EVOO, farming, Food, Gary Hirshberg, milk, organic food, Stonyfield Farm, sustainable food, yogurt

  1. Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)’s avatar

    That asparagus soup looks incredible!

    Jenn

    Reply

  2. brandi’s avatar

    What a fun event! That’s awesome that you got to have lunch with him – I love Stonyfield and everything they stand for.

    Reply

  3. Michelle’s avatar

    I am SO bummed I missed this event but I couldn’t get out of work. I finally watched Food, Inc. this weekend and totally agree with that one small step could make a huge difference.

    Reply

  4. Jen @ Tiny Urban Kitchen’s avatar

    Excellent write up! And I agree – it really made me think about organics a lot more in general. It was great meeting you! Hope to see you again at future events.

    Reply

    1. traveleatlove’s avatar

      It was so nice to meet you! I love your blog and definitely hope to see you soon!

      Reply

    2. Anne @ Food Loving Polar Bear’s avatar

      What a fun day you’ve had! and YAY for Austrians ;)

      Reply

      1. traveleatlove’s avatar

        I would move to Austria if I could!

        Reply

      2. Elina’s avatar

        Great recap, Meghan! See you Thursday :)

        Reply

      3. Corinne’s avatar

        Thank you for sharing all this information. The first fact: By the time babies are born, they already have 285-300 toxins in their blood. One third of these are tied to food: is so disturbing!! Also, I loved being reminded that our grandparents and great grandparents ate organic. There’s a connection if I ever saw one!

        Reply

        1. traveleatlove’s avatar

          A lot of the information almost made me cry! So scary, but it was reassuring to know that it’s not entirely irreversible.

          Reply

        2. Erin’s avatar

          This sounds like such an incredible event, from the food to the conversation. Thanks for sharing!

          Reply

        3. Simply Life’s avatar

          Wow, what a wonderful experience!

          Reply

        4. Kelly’s avatar

          Looks like SUCH an awesome lunch. I love Stonyfield yogurt and I definitely try to buy organic whenever I can :)

          Reply

        5. Raija’s avatar

          What a great experience. Sort of overwhelming to hear all of the scary things in food and the toxins that we are born with, but I’m glad to know that small changes can make a difference.

          Reply

        6. Nicole’s avatar

          Wow this is an amazing post! that seems like it was an amazing lunch filled with important information. I have always known that Stonyfield was an amazing company and I will continue to support it by buying their milk and yogurt. Thank you for all the great facts.

          Reply

        7. ashleigh’s avatar

          That looks like such a fun lunch! I have never been to EVOO. That asparagus soup sounds delicious, especially the chunks of asparagus, yum! I have been dying to try caramel oikos, it sounds delicious!

          Reply

        8. Holly’s avatar

          You have a ton of great stuff in this post. I am most taken with, however, your bulleted facts on Stonyfield! What a difference they make! Thanks for spreading a little awareness.

          Reply

        9. Belinda @zomppa’s avatar

          How informative – he sounds like an amazing guy. I’m a HUGE Stonyfield fan…only eat their YoBaby!

          Reply

        10. Magic of Spice’s avatar

          Food looks delicious! And I agree about the organics, every small steps heads in the right direction.

          Reply

        11. Lindsay Meyer’s avatar

          Major jealous! Thanks for the interesting recap.

          Reply

        12. Brie’s avatar

          great post! that’s so wonderful you got to meet with Gary. i love hearing what he has to say about organic foods and its history, as he’s always been very informative in the interviews i’ve seen.

          Reply

        13. Emily’s avatar

          It was so nice to meet you! I love your blog and definitely hope to see you soon!

          Reply

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