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    Program ID - bo021506

    Comfort Food: Traditions & Alternatives

    For many people, the phrase “comfort food” conjures up images of hearty portions of meat and potatoes or the smells of rich cakes  and cookies just coming out of the oven.

    However, according to author and dietician Elaine Magee, “You can have your comfort foods and eat light too.”

    Vegetarian chef Eric Tucker is no stranger to this philosophy, creating healthy veggie cuisine that leaves patrons of San Francisco's award-winning Millennium restaurant well satisfied.

    Join host Jerry Kay, as we discuss the emotional, nutritional  and even biological connections  that we have with comfort cuisine,  learn about healthy alternatives and  see how Slow Food USA is mapping America’s traditional regional foods.

    This Week's Guests:

    Elaine Magee — Author, Comfort Food Makeovers

    Magee is a registered dietician, nutrition writer and expert for  She’s also regularly contributor to All You magazine and Woman’s Day and has authored over 25 books on nutrition and healthy cooking.  She holds a masters degree in public health nutrition from UC Berkeley and was the nutrition marketing specialist for the national “5 a Day” health program developed by the California Department of Health.  Several of the brochures she developed for the program have won health education awards.

    Eric Tucker — Executive Chef, Millennium restaurant

    Tucker has been creating in the kitchen since he was five years old and grew up with food lovers for parents. By the time he began cooking, he’d already been exposed to a wide diversity of cuisine. The culmination of his training in healthful cuisine was his graduation from the National Gourmet Institute for Food and Health in New York City, which allowed him to become a professional chef focusing on healthy, natural foods. While attending the school, Tucker worked with quality organic produce from the local Farmer's Market. In 1994, Tucker was able to bring all his experience to Millennium as Executive Chef of the opening team.  He resides in Oakland, Calif. and when not in the kitchen enjoys mountain biking and foraging for wild foods.

    Makale Faber — Program Officer, Slow Food USA

    Faber oversees and develops three cultural and biodiversity programs at Slow Food USA: RAFT, Ark of Taste and Presidia.  Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has spent 10 years in non-profit organizations managing and producing public and education programs that use ethnography, foodways, and visual and performing art as points of entry into cultural understanding. She was recently asked to co-curate an exhibit on the NYC Baker’s Union with the NY Food Museum and collaborate with children’s book author Paul Rodriguez to create Pass the Pasteles, a children’s book celebrating cultural diversity through food and costume. Faber received her MA from the University of Virginia where she was a Commonwealth Fellow.

    More information:

  • Comfort Food Makeovers: Healthy Alternatives to Your Favorite Homestyle Dishes

  • Comfort-food Cravings May Be Body's Attempt To Put Brake On Chronic Stress – Science Daily
  • Comfort foods help women when they're blue, but increase male highs, food study finds – Cornell News Service

    Web Resources:
  • Recipe Doctor – Elaine Magee’s homepage
  • Millennium restaurant
  • Slow Food USA – RAFT project

  • Resources for Journalists:

    Journalists who are interested in researching stories related to any Beyond Organic show topic are encouraged to contact Straus Communication for additional resources, including trend data, background materials, experts, statistics, images and more. The service is free.

    Please contact Michael Straus at 415-777-1170 x 302 or email for more information.



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