Kathleen Slattery-Moschkau is in my kitchen today, talking about her warm and gooey food love, a massive media collection of great books and good music, and the current event she’s following most closely.
Kathleen is a mom, filmmaker, and radio show host. She left a 10-year career as a drug sales representative to pursue film. Her independently produced film Side Effects documents the marketing tactics of the pharmaceutical industry.
Why is living organic important to you?
The focus of my work in film, radio, and the written word has been surrounding the idea of “Prevention, not Prescriptions,” and living organic allows me to walk that talk. By choosing organic, I avoid toxic chemicals that cause disease in my body, and I get a higher level of nutrients from the food I put in my mouth—both of which help me stay healthy and reduce my reliance on pills and procedures. By choosing organic, I get to model the values that are dearest to me for my kids. By choosing organic I extend a deep respect to where food comes from…including the well-being of the farmers, the animals, and the soil/groundwater.
Living organic allows each choice to be a full-circle reflection of who I’m striving to be, and allows me to have an impact with each purchase.
Goodness, that reads like a soapbox, but I’m sticking with it.
What was your favorite food growing up?
Since money and real food were in short supply when I was growing up (days and days of generic mac and cheese, sometimes with the added touch of sliced hotdogs), a big old pot roast dinner at a friend’s house would send me to the moon.
What’s your go-to comfort food now?
A pot roast dinner still lights me up, but now there is the added joy or “comfort” of knowing that the beef is organic and comes from a grass-fed cow that was treated with care. In fact, everything in the pot is organic, and unlike when I was a child, no dinner I eat feels complete without a beautiful piece of fruit and a salad.
P.S. The secret sauce for my pot roast? Ginger ale and ketchup. Strange but true.
What’s the one thing in your kitchen you just couldn’t live without?
Is it politically correct to say my coffee pot?
What magazine, website, book, album, or product are you most obsessed with right now?
What’s my word-count limit here? I fall hard for books, authors, and musicians and the most difficult question I get in the course of my work is to name my favorites. Here’s an attempt, but I know I’ll be kicking myself later for not mentioning X, Y, or Z.
Books: The Way We’re Working Isn’t Working, because this book has had the most dramatic and practical impact on the quality of work I accomplish each day and my overall creativity. Organic Manifesto (but you knew that), because I feel it beautifully and powerfully lays out a comprehensive argument for living organic. Meditations from the Mat—which I just started reading but can’t put down. Born to Run, Yes Your Teen is Crazy, The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand’s politics aside…way aside), Anger by Thich Nhat Hanh, Fahrenheit 451. Ok, I’ll stop now.
Music: Everything I can download by Alexi Murdoch, Dawn Landes, or the White Stripes. Obsessed.
And I love ordering custom clothing from this seamstress in California because the clothes are beautiful and she is focused on organic fabrics and sustainability: Treehouse 28.
One more; I also am a bit gaga about shoes and boots from Cydwoq because of the focus on the lost art of craftsmanship. They are made in the U.S. in good working conditions for employees. Although they are pricey, I’d rather buy one pair of Cydwoq every three to four years, than five-plus pairs of cheap shoes per year made in a sweatshop in China. Cydwoq.com.
What’s the most important news story today that you think we all need to pay more attention to?
Campaign finance reform. It’s the sexiest and most important issue we can be talking about, and taking action on, because it directly impacts every other issue we say is so important—food policy, health and healthcare policy (the distinction is important), energy policy, environment, education, and so forth. If we don’t change how campaigns are financed, we will not be able to make meaningful change in any of these other areas. But since reform may or may never catch fire, in the meantime, we need to be talking about personal responsibility and voting with our wallets to support those companies making the right choices.
Where do you get your news?
I almost hate to admit it, but I typically refrain from checking the news on a daily basis, in part because rarely do I find it a worthwhile use of my time (either sensationalism or coverage generated by companies that can afford a well-orchestrated PR campaign). It’s precisely what is lacking from the mainstream news that has made me super-sensitive to the importance of producing and distributing consistently meaningful content on my own show.
I do set up feeds from outside sources from individuals or on topics of interest (running, food, sustainability), and close friends and family will sometimes forward me articles they know I’d want to see (often from the NYT). I also check in on The Huffington Post since the berth of writers is so wide, and I myself am a frequent contributor.
But most often? I’d rather curl up with a good book and take in information from an author who has devoted the time to flesh out a thought-provoking thread.
Thanks for asking such super questions. It was a great to reflect on these things.