In the third scene of the first act of William Shakespeare’s play “Othello,” Iago proclaims, “Our bodies are our gardens, to the which our wills are gardeners.” Indeed, healthy consciousness should be an essential aspect of everyone’s daily life. If one does not maintain and regulate their bodies, just as a neglected garden is left to rot, greenery wilts and dies. A body will do so as well if not treated right. But to some, health is not as simple as we wish it to be.
Unfortunately, we are constantly assaulted with alarming statistics claiming that Americans are not meeting their healthy eating goals. The United States Department of Agriculture gives a wealth of information relating to healthy food and healthy living through interactive websites such as ChooseMyPlate.gov, but diabetes, cardiovascular and heart disease, as well as stroke, kills tens of millions of people per year. The USDA also reported in 2012, that 47 million Americans had difficulty “putting food on the table.” Whether it be consumption of unhealthy food, or not enough food to consume, Americans are suffering because of poor nutrition.
The Eating Well Cafe, located less than a mile away from Yuba College, makes it its mission to offer people great-tasting, but healthy, food at a reasonable price. Printed right on the cafe’s menu, their mission statement reads, “We are proud to serve you foods we serve to our own families, made from the best possible ingredients.” Such selections include: portobello mushroom paninis, strawberry chicken salads, and organic vanilla yogurts.
Rachel Farrell, CEO of Harmony Health and recipient of “Service to the Under-served Award,” is proprietor of the cafe. When asked about daily business, she mentioned that only a dozen or so people come per day, but even so, lunch hour is crazy for one person to manage. Indeed, in most circumstances, the cafe’s cook Kalen prepares orders alone. In those other circumstances, students from Sacramento’s Le Cordon Bleu have been known to take internships at the cafe as well as community volunteers.
However, Kalen is currently absent on personal business. Janice Daley has temporarily taken over the regular cook’s duties, to which Farrell praised her as an asset and thanked her for “coming to the rescue.” Daley says working at the Eating Well Cafe is a labor of love. The cafe will soon undergo an expansion which will feature new stoves, enabling for an extension of the menu, which Janice may play a role in.
Indeed, for all things considered, it is love and passion which fuels this small business: two ingredients, which I believe to be also fundamental for a strong-knit community. Abstract as the concepts may be, I think we all can find solace in what they imply. So it was with my experience visiting the establishment: I was not in a long queue issued a number on a ticket. I was not relegated to a table where I was to be bored and wait for an eternity for my meal to arrive. I was engaged in talks with Janice, Rachael, and a few other customers, free to walk around and admire the artwork hung upon the walls.
I invite the reader to visit the Eating Well Cafe if only to have a quick latte or a mocha. I could certainly recommend the food, the teas, or the smoothies, but I recommend a visit to clear the haze brought on by your studies. You deserve a break; you deserve a healthy environment in which to take it.
Note: This article was featured in the Prospector Fall 2013 print edition.