Author’s Corner – Interview with Tracey Madeiros
Tracey Medeiros is the author of the The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook, a beautifully written and photographed book that simplifies the complexity of the non-GMO movement into recipes that include ingredients that do not contain genetically modified organisms. Reading her book is a pleasure and you’ll find great ideas for serving healthy, delicious meals using recipes that offer alternatives to the foods that we usually eat. Along with these recipes, Tracey profiles the hardworking farmers and food producers who share their thoughts, dreams and passion for what they do.
Tracey is passionate about food and writing and we were fortunate enough to interview her and learn more about her work.
You’ve written several cookbooks. What was your path to becoming a cookbook author?
I have always loved everything that is food related, even as a child I liked to cook. My dream was to one day study the art of food and its preparation. To this end, I enrolled at Johnson and Wales University where, after graduation, I quickly became interested in the sustainability movement. My love of farmers’ markets and roadside food stands led to the birth of my first cookbook, Dishing Up Vermont. I am also the author of The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook and co-author of The Connecticut Farm Table Cookbook. The fall of 2017 saw the release of my fourth book, The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook. Each of my books seem to pave the way for my next literary adventure.
What was the impetus for writing, The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook?
While writing my newspaper column and my second cookbook, The Vermont Farm Table Cookbook, I became more and more aware of, and interested in, the workings of the non-GMO movement. I kept hearing the term and speaking with folks who leaned in that direction. As time went on and this movement became stronger, I found that more and more farmers, chefs and food producers were following this philosophy. As a result, I started using more organic and non-GMO ingredients and this soon became my way of life.
How do consumers know whether the food they are buying is GMO or Non-GMO?
When shopping for Non-GMO food, look for the USDA organic label – organic does not allow GMOs in food or animal feed. Buy Non-GMO certified foods. The Non-GMO Project focuses specifically on GMOs. Its verification mark indicates that a product has achieved compliance with the Non-GMO Project’s Standards, which are North America’s most rigorous standards for GMO avoidance. These standards include ongoing testing for major GMO risk ingredients, along with the use of rigorous segregation and traceability measures.
There are many great farms and food producers in Vermont, how did you decide which ones to include in your book?
I was drawn to the folks that are profiled in The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook because of their universal devotion to their communities and the state of Vermont. They are concerned about the health of our planet and its inhabitants and are doing all that they can to connect consumers to healthy food, by caring for the soil in which it is grown. They each believe that it is everyone’s right to know where their food comes from and what is in their food. All of my subjects are either certified organic, non-GMO, or both. The featured chefs and restaurants support these movements by offering organic and non-GMO ingredients on their menus.
Are there any particular recipes from the book that are your favorites?
Brussels Sprouts with a Creamy Sriracha Dipping Sauce. This easy recipe is a great way to get your day’s allotment of veggies. The dipping sauce is creamy, spicy and versatile. It perfectly complements any burger, golden fries or fried calamari!
Northern Lake Fish Chowder. The sweet, crisp flavors of the hard apple cider provide the perfect counterpoint to the smoky flavor of the lake fish and smooth, velvety texture from the cream and fish stock.
Apple-Raspberry pie is a beautiful rustic dessert. (Note: Fresh New England will be publishing the recipe on September 6)
What was the most challenging aspect of writing the cookbook?
Trying to fit all of these wonderful recipes and contributors into the book was of course no easy task. I had so much to share with my readers and wanted to have a book that explained what the non-GMO movement was all about in a manner that was clear, concise, and easy to understand yet, I wanted the book to be beautiful in appearance – something that readers would refer to again and again.
What was the most enjoyable aspect of writing the cookbook?
One of the best parts of being a food writer is that it offers me an opportunity to spread the word about the amazing work that folks are doing to help promote community wellness through food. Having the ability to showcase all the great things that are happening in the agricultural and food communities gives me a great sense of satisfaction and is the driving force behind my writing.
Meeting so many of the wonderful folks in our food community was such a joy. Going behind the scenes to see how everything works, so to speak, is truly an eye opener. I wanted the reader to learn about how the book’s participants work to effect positive change not only for today, but for generations to come.
Thanks, Tracey. It was a pleasure to interview you about your beautiful cookbook!
Good news, everyone – you can buy The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook here.
We’re pleased to announce that The Vermont Non-GMO Cookbook has been selected as a finalist for a Readable Feast Award in the Socially Conscious category. Additionally, it’s also been selected as a finalist the book is also a candidate for the People’s Choice Award. Congratulations Tracey!