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If All the World’s a Stage, Let’s Take Turns in the Lead Role

If we are willing to work together and share the spotlight, we might just have a chance.

Updated 10/2020

There are many opportunities to place ourselves as the lead character in the movie of our lives. Social media and smart phones provide the “winning” combination for this.

Throughout my career, I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with the media and other on-air experts to create actionable stories for our audiences. You.

Today, inspired by some of my latest chef collaborations (#Sponsored videos) in partnership with Illinois Pork Producers Association, it occurred to me that this is a great part of the story. Especially during awards season. I wasn’t asked to write this blog. I was inspired by the work I’m doing to share some additional thoughts.

Don’t we root for our favorite actors in supporting roles just as we do when they are in the lead?

Doesn’t it make stories more interesting when there is more than one character and plot line?

The same is true in agriculture, food/nutrition, and health.

Chef Paul Guerrero – and the pork dishes – are the stars in the videos we’ve done (you can watch the first two below). I am supporting cast, there for chef to chat with and share the story of how to make these recipes. I also offer tips on creating balanced meals with these foods we love to eat when I post them on Facebook/social media.

I’ve done this since grad school. I like to share the podium or camera with other experts. From farmers to cardiologists to scientists (agriculture, nutrition, public health) to chefs and so forth. We all have different expertise. That’s why we all exist.

Unrelated to the videos, but another collaboration moment: When I worked at a hospital years ago, one of my favorite cardiologists and I did a community presentation for Heart Month. He made the point that he works with dietitians like me to handle the nutrition part. Yep. You wouldn’t find me in the operating room or diagnosing people. You wouldn’t find him in our outpatient nutrition office. Together, along with the full healthcare team, we took care of our patient’s complete needs.

Knowledge brings confidence in action.

There are gazillions of details from farm to table – too many for any one person to know. But…if we are willing to work together and share the spotlight, we might just have a chance at helping everyone who is interested in doing better. Feeling confident about  choices. Making a difference for personal and planetary health.

Consider ingredients, balance, and portion control in meal planning.

I would be remiss if I didn’t remind you that MyPlate (below) is the visual representation of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It’s a meal and snack planning tool to help you organize your approach and choices.

Interested in a higher calorie, higher fat choice? What can you pick from the other groups to balance the eating occasion? What size portion will you choose?

Hate certain vegetables? What other vegetable of the same color would you eat?

Don’t be afraid to learn how to enjoy and incorporate “all” your favorite foods. We eat for many reasons. We know we need nutrient-rich foods most often, and we know farmers are growing and raising all the wonderful foods we want to have.

Whatever you choose, it can be grown and supports/involves agriculture.

If you were casting your life as a movie, don’t forget to build your entourage with experts. Real ones. And expect the good ones to be just fine sharing the spotlight with the others. We know we all don’t know it all. Let’s use the movies as a fun way to inspire collaboration.

Lights. Camera. Action.

balanced eating

By Kim Kirchherr

Global food and nutrition professional focused on health from the farm to the store to the table