Harvest eating is all about eating food from farm to table. Our lives are so hectic, and more often than not, we settle for fast food which we all know is unhealthy, compared to harvest eating. My guest today, Chef Keith Snow, is a staunch advocate of making local and seasonal cooking a way of life and he will expound on that in this episode.
Growing Up Years
Chef Keith Snow is the youngest of four kids and grew up in a very food-focused household in northern New Jersey. His mom is Italian and loves to make meals that weren’t limited to harvest eating.
At the age of 14 years old, Chef Keith Snow was exposed to food by initially working as a dishwasher in the early 80s. He continued working at the restaurant for a few years and eventually learned to cook under the tutelage of the restaurant owner who happened to be a former US Navy Chef.
Chef Keith Snow gained more work experience in the food industry by working in Florida, North Carolina, Massachusettes, and California. He regards his stint as Executive Chef at a big ski resort in Colorado in 2000 as one of his most significant accomplishments.
However, a twist of fate altered his career path when he got married in 1999 and had his first child, Olivia, in 2002. Because he wanted to make sure his daughter has a healthy diet, Chef Keith Snow and his wife paid close attention to what the family ate at home.
A few months after his first child was born, Chef Keith Snow quit his job in Colorado and moved to a 12-acre farm in North Carolina with his family. This leap of faith triggered Chef Keith Snow’s desire to focus on promoting harvest eating, or farm to table cooking.
Thoughtful Harvest Products
Thoughtful Harvest Products primarily uses ingredients grown in the United States. This dynamic not only helps the US farmers but also enables the consumers to enjoy the benefits of harvest eating. Unlike the food we buy anywhere else, harvest eating allows us to know where the food we are eating came from.
Keith says that Thoughtful Harvest Products are made from ingredients sourced from small to mid-sized family farms, grower co-ops and artisans producers. To further provide transparency, names of the suppliers are made public on the Thoughtful Harvest website.
According to him, the courses under Tasty Education are very relevant and in line with food trends. The recipes are easy to do and taste amazing for sure!
Traditional doctors are known to hastily prescribe medicines when in fact, most diseases can be healed naturally. Keith got a rude awakening when he learned it the hard way.
Apparently, he had inflammatory arthritis back in 2000 when he was working in Colorado. He underwent surgery which he regrets. Consequently, it turns out that it was just a diet-related ailment.
Because of this experience, he and his wife took a different route when their 8-year old son was diagnosed with epilepsy. Defying the doctor’s recommendation to take medication, they instead resorted to healing their son by changing his diet. Devoid of any side effects, his son is currently doing well and eats 300 to 400 grams of healthy carbohydrates daily.
Although harvest eating makes Vegan diets seem easy to do, Keith finds it challenging. Furthermore, he cautions people on blindly following a Vegan recipe because it’s not just about sourcing whole foods.
“There are a lot of ladies out there, advertising Vegan diets and wearing swimsuits. It’s easy to fall into their trap,” said Chef Keith. “But if you look at their recipes, hardly any of it comes out well. It’s not carefully crafted food.”
Chef Keith Snow currently follows a Ketogenic diet. Keeping his carbohydrates intake under 50 grams a day, Chef Keith Snow says it is a challenging diet. Because he wants to make sure the recipes are effective, Chef Keith Snow decided it was best to try it on himself first before promoting it in his Keto Mastery course.
“When you go from burning carbohydrates for fuel to using ketones, this is initially a major stress on your body. It is a major change,” Chef Keith Snow said. “And because everybody is different, you have to research first and make sure your goals are attainable.”
Furthermore, Chef Keith Snow says that Ketogenic diet entails you to consume a lot of good fats. And inherent with that diet is constipation.
He adds,”Your happy, everyday life is contingent upon you digesting food properly and not being constipated. If you change something up too quickly and become constipated, it is tough to get through a normal day and be productive.”
Keith also cautions people about grass-fed beef. Apparently, of all the steaks that are harvested in the United States, only 2% can be classified by the USDA as prime quality.
“It has a lot to do with marbling or the fat content of the meat. That’s what makes it tender, but that doesn’t make it healthy because those animals are raised on grains and corn. That fat content is not normal for a cow,” said Chef Keith Snow.
Slow Food Cooking
Travels to France and Italy gave Chef Keith Snow a broader perspective on what it means to enjoy eating food from a fresh and healthy harvest. Being able to experience how food is cooked and enjoyed particularly in France, enabled Chef Keith Snow to appreciate the dynamics of harvest eating.
After all, Chef Keith Snow says that in real life, people eat comforting foods. And his advocacy is about eating comfort foods that are healthy and meant to be enjoyed with family and friends.
“Slow food cooking teaches a lot of people through different events where your food comes from, who’s growing it and how you’re growing it,” Chef Keith Snow said. “It also celebrates cooking food and eating it. It is about taking the time to source your food from farm to plate, and enjoying the production of the food.”
Harvest Eating Cookbook
Keith Snow is the author of The Harvest Eating Cookbook-Running Press 2009, and host of Harvest Eating Radio, which has surpassed 350 episodes and continues to grow a substantial audience of devoted listeners, true friends, and fans.
He has appeared in hundreds of original culinary videos that are showcased on Youtube and many other video sharing websites. The videos have been viewed millions of times since 2005.
Chef Keith also has been featured in many national magazines such as Prevention, Women’s Health and Western NC Magazine. Chef Snow has been featured in some of the most prominent online destinations such as Fox News, Parade Magazine, and Slashfood. Chef Snow was likewise one of 12 US-based chefs invited to participate in the 4/14 Festival In Dijon France.
Keith has a long history of working within the farm to table community. In 2007, he was a founding board member of the Slow Food chapter in Greenville SC. In fact, the chef has lived on farms since 2003 and has become an avid horseman, gardener and survival homesteader.