Hello, Farmie. I'm so glad you're here. You might have read about the origins of this blog, the Farmie, in the About Me section. And if you haven't, I'd encourage you hop there if you have a moment. There are a million amazing food blogs out there, so I'm sure you're wondering what's different about the Farmie. So, I wanted to share more about why I’m doing this.
Millenials don’t cook, apparently. In 2018, a survey by Takeout found only 50% of us could roast a chicken! I've been vegetarian all my life, but even I could roast a chicken for my boyfriend. In fact, when I was at Stanford, I surveyed ~200 people about their food values.
What I found was this: for many people, cooking their own food was aspirational, not something they did on a day-to-day basis.
With entire industries built to convince us that cooking is difficult, it's not hard to see why many think so. My friends have told me that they find it hard to match the convenience of ordering in diverse meals, or cook seasonally, even if knew about the environmental impact. Hence, this blog.
So, what's Urban Farmie?
Urban Farmie is a labor of love. I love food - growing it, cooking it and figuring out how to get more of it to the most vulnerable people while taking care of the environment. I am not a full-time food blogger; I love my current job too much. But what I do know is that I love food, and I love inspiring other people to love food. And to me, the best way to do that is show you ways to get "into the cooking game" and to help you connect with food. So, here are a few "principles" on what this blog is, what to expect from me and this blog, and my values.
This blog is not just about recipes
There are recipes, yes. Okay maybe lots of recipes (more on that below). But my goal is to show you that cooking at home doesn't have to be a chore (even for time-constrained millennials like myself). And, I want to get you excited about cooking, but in a way that's global, seasonal, and sustainable. The core of this blog is structured around four sections that will help you learn how to cook - ingredients, techniques, flavors and origin stories.
I often compare cooking to Mario Kart. You become a master by learning a series of tricks. Similarly, I hope to help you learn a few tips and tricks that you can immediately incorporate into your daily cooking routine so you can start cooking with more confidence. I also hope to share simple tips so you can buy more sustainable products, when it works for you or at least, know the trade-offs you're making otherwise.
The goal of this blog is not to make money - but that doesn't mean it's not professional
I’m grateful I can make do without ads on my blog, and I hope to keep it that way. When I work with brands or other personalities, I will be ultra transparent so you know you can always trust that what I share is based on my personal experience.
As I mentioned before, this blog is a labor of my love. I bring years of food systems experience and research thoroughly before I post any content. I test recipes several times before I post them. Usually, I have my non-foodie friends test them as well. And any tips or narratives I share draw from my professional experience and knowledge (which you can read about if you hop over to my professional biography or LinkedIn Profile).
The recipes I share are healthy-ish and vegetarian (mostly vegan) and can be enjoyed by everyone
As I mentioned, my partner is a raging carnivore, so often, my decision to cook something is half-driven by whether he'll eat it. This, in turn, has given me a good sense of recipes that people can enjoy regardless of dietary differences. So, my recipes are not just for vegan or vegetarian readers.
My recipes also don't conform to any specific diet (e.g. Paleo, Keto, etc.) They're meant to be nourishing, well-balanced, and most importantly, not boring. I will also try my best to include variations and substitutions whenever possible (e.g. gluten-free options, lactose-free options and such). But, I know as well as anyone that it's hard to stick to healthy eating when the options are not fun. That's where the global side kicks in.
My recipes draw upon my experiences travelling to, living and working in over 50 countries
I grew up in India, moved to the US when I was sixteen. I've since lived in the North East, the South, and now live in the Pacific North West US. I've also lived in Italy, and several parts of Africa including Kenya, Morocco, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe (working for the UN). I've traveled extensively in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. My partner is Nigerian. My best friend is Asian (and has patiently seen me eat cereal for dinner while writing a blog post about seasonal ingredients more times than I care to admit). These rich experiences have helped me identify and accumulate a palette that draws on various cultures to make sure the food I make is never boring. And I hope to pass that along to all of you.
My recipes will focus on two main themes - easy weeknight dinners and fun, social meals
Over the years, I've found that these are the types of meals that I've found myself searching for, and enjoy cooking. This also means that there will be few dessert recipes or cocktails and such on this blog. My weeknight recipes are also often meant to serve two people as written. But you can scale it within the recipe card or leave me a comment anytime.
Finally: this blog is a work-in-progress!
I write what I know, and what I think you'll want to know about. I have a degree in food systems, and I'd like to think I’m a good home chef, but I'm also human. So I will probably make mistakes. But when there are mistakes, I promise to correct them publicly, soon, and often. I don't have perfect content on all the things I mentioned, but I'm working on getting there. Be patient with me, or better yet, tell me what you want to hear, what you like, and what you don't like. I'll make sure to listen.
So that said, I hope you'll join me for the ride! And if there are ever topics you want to see more of, don't hesitate to email: email@example.com