Reader’s of this blog should not be surprised at the fact that when I was asked to participate in a virtual book tour that was all about celebrating being yourself and strong, kick-ass women, I jumped at the chance!
OK, they didn’t quite use the term kick-ass, but you know me. Let’s just say I came out of the womb marching to the beat of my own drummer.
I am thrilled to share with you an interview with a kick-ass woman, Chef Ann Cooper, as we celebrate the launch of the new children’s book, One of Us.
See ya outside! ~ The Grass Stain Guru
Known as the Renegade Lunch Lady, Chef Ann Cooper is a celebrated chef, educator, and vocal advocate for better food for all children. Her passion to bring healthy, sustainable food to America’s schools led her to found The Lunch Box, an organization dedicated to helping all schools learn to provide healthy food and educate children and families about nutrition and sustainable eating.
1. When did your interest in food begin – and when did you know you really wanted to make it your career?
I got kicked out of high school, and headed to Telluride, CO to be a ski bum. I talked my way into a breakfast cook position to help pay the bills. And that’s how it all started — I fell in love with food. I fell into what I was meant to do.
2. You manage to bring your personal and professional passions together to do work you love. To me, that’s the brass ring in life. What lessons did you learn growing up to help you create a meaningful life?
I don’t know — I found my passion and I know how special that is. It has allowed me to work all over the world and do cool things. I guess I was lucky, and did not lose sight of that.
3. What’s at stake if America doesn’t change the way our children eat?
- The planet melting down. I know it sounds dramatic, but if we don’t change kids relationships to food and they don’t understand where it comes from and its impact upon the earth, it amounts to us killing the planet.
- Kids dying younger than their parents. There is nothing bigger than having a generation get sick….and then becoming the next generation of parents.
4. What advice would you give parents to help turn things around?
- Turn off the TV!
- Engage kids around food. Sit down and have dinners, shop with your kids, cook with your kids. Make sure you teach them to know that food doesn’t come plastic wrapped.
“When family meal time is important to us, it will become important to kids.”
5. What advice do you have for young girls or even we big girls who may still be finding our paths?
Don’t compromise. Really make sure you find that thing you love. It’s not about money or stuff, but about doing what you love. And never be afraid of taking risks. Ever.
6. Give me five (5) traits that describe a person you really admire: Gracious, super smart, life-long learner, someone that understands the importance of giving back, passionate.
To hear more from Chef Ann, watch the TED video below.
As part of this virtual book tour, you can enter to win one of these great prizes!
- A copy of One of Us, signed by author Peggy Moss and illustrator Penny Weber (5 available)
- A signed print of artwork by illustrator Penny Weber
- A shirt from the empowering t-shirt company Pigtail Pals
Two ways to enter:
- Leave a comment on a participating blog post during the tour (May 17-June 1) — virtual tour list below
- Posts a note about the tour on Twitter using the hashtag #bravelybeyou