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Turning the Tables

Cooking to Thrive in the 21st Century

Facing the challenges of climate change is daunting -- it's so huge! But transitioning what we eat and how we eat it can be one great way to cope. Scientists say that on an individual level, the single, most effective way to reduce global warming is through the food on our plates. Beyond that, cooking and eating with family and neighbors create crucial community resilience.

Turning the Tables: Cooking to Thrive in the 21st Century will be a fun, easy-to-use cookbook inviting you to meet the challenges of climate change by cooking simple, delicious, plant-rich meals that are healthier for the planet and for you!

Experience shows that people who build and maintain healthy  relationships with friends and neighbors fare better when environmental stressors strengthen. Supporting local farmers, home cooking, and breaking bread with family at potlucks and block parties foster community bonds. These relationships can be crucial during unexpected weather events.

With colorful, celebratory step-by-step graphicsTurning the Tables Cookbook shows how to create delicious meals that nourish body, soul, and heart. These recipes further enable us to do all we can to help create a better, safer planet -- we're Cooking to Thrive in the 21st century.

Please Note:

  • Turning the Tables Cookbook does not advocate for a strict vegan diet. We promote a flexible, incremental approach to transitioning to a whole-food, plant-rich diet that includes meat and dairy foods.

  • Turning the Tables Cookbook is apolitical and will not advocate for any particular party or position. We're focused on empowering ourselves, our familes, and community through grassroots efforts like cooking at home.

  • Turning the Tables Cookbook includes basic facts to clarify how our kitchen practice and diet affect climate change and how strengthening family and neighborhood ties is one of the best ways to create resilience.

  • Turning the Tables Cookbook is colorful, easy to follow, and employs a light touch to show how cooking can be delightful and satisfying.

Turning the Tables is a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ulster County and Maria ReidelbachStick to Local Studio.

Our Collaborators & Friends

Maria Reidelbach is an author, artist and local food activist who has worked with Hudson Valley, NY, farmers since 2005. Her innovative projects include:

  • Stick to Local Farms Adventure Map, an annual interactive artwork-game that has inspired thousands of first-time farm visits.

  • Stick to Local Farms Cookbook with seasonal recipes featuring local produce.

  • the award-winning Homegrown Mini-Golf, landscaped entirely in edible plants and featuring a Guinness World Record-setting garden gnome.

Past projects include:

  • Miniature Golf, a social history, the only book ever bound in astroturf.

  • Goofy Garden Golf - a mini-golf on a West Side Manhattan pier, made with reused and recycled materials.

  • the best-selling Completely MAD: A History of the Comic Book and Magazine.

A recent Senior Fellow of Sustainable Hudson Valley, and a recent Fellow of the Good Work Institute, Maria served for 10 years as Vice President of the Rondout Valley Growers Association, a grass-roots group of farmers and community members and is a past President of the New York Mycological Society. She received a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from Cornell in 2022. Maria lives and eats in the Hudson Valley.

Jared Buono is an ecohydrologist with experience working in eleven countries on issues of environmental conservation, development, education, sustainable farming and policy. He is most proud of his accomplishments:

  • Spearheading a Ghana farming community project to protect soil resources from the ravages of ecological degradation and the planting of 200,000+ trees

  • Founding a nonprofit to help urban residents with sustainable practices around the home

  • Creating the most effective rainwater harvesting certification courses in the world

  • Developing a springshed management program in the Himalayas protecting drinking water sources for millions of people.

He now oversees Cornell Cooperative Extension - Ulster County where he is passionate about reducing our carbon footprint to limit the growing impacts of climate change. Jared lives with his wife and two daughters in upstate New York.

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