Monika Woolsey's Perfect Food Day

If you run in circles supporting local businesses, the arts, balanced living or sustainability initiatives in Arizona, chances are you've run into Monika Woolsey. She's the Director of Marketing for Chow Locally, a co-organizer of Get Your PHX/Phoestivus holiday markets, and founder of a hormone health organization (hopefully soon to be non-profit) called inCYST, which focuses on treating hormone disorders with food and complementary medicine.

With both sets of parents descending from farmers, she really believes in "the power of healthy dirt." She thinks that "if you live and eat sustainably, you greatly increase the probability that you're going to be healthier than if you don't. A big part of that is eating what is growing pretty close to home. Fortunately, in Arizona, we have a great mix of Mediterranean diet-friendly agricultural climate and a treasure trove of exotic, delicious, health-beneficial native foods. We have such an opportunity to be a marvelous food culture here--visitors to Phoenix really should be seeking out nopales, mesquite, cactus fruit, and tepary beans the way they ask for salmon in Seattle and gumbo in Orleans."