Lindsey Becker, founder of Farm Cut Meals

Lindsey Becker was once part of the “Corporate America” pool who worked as a Strategic Consultant at Deloitte after being an Investment banker. But as it happens to many, one gets tired from sitting in front of the computer all day, not knowing if the work done is making any difference in the world. And sleep and a healthy lifestyle? What is that!? Becker actually found herself spending more of her time thinking about the catering orders for her team than her actual work. Everyone got excited when the company catered – except her. Simple, cold sandwiches and tasteless salads did not seem very appealing. And so realizing how naturally gravitated she was towards providing nutritious, wholesome foods to her colleagues, friends and family, Becker was ready to take the next step.

After working for a luxurious magazine where she planned events and dined with the most prestige clients, Becker decided to go after her dream of becoming a chef. She started to take evening cooking classes at ICE (Institute of Culinary Educations) while working at her day job in the restaurant Gramercy Tavern. But after a while, Becker knew she could do more in the restaurant than simply peeling tomatoes and cutting bread. She went from working in one of the best consulting firms to the “kitchen bitch” in no time. The simple tasks she was given did not provide much motivation to improve her skills and techniques. What it did provide, although, was an eye-opening experience of seeing how hard people in the restaurant industry work. “No one works harder than those in here. Long shifts, no air, always standing, minimal breaks, and working either super late at night or very early in the morning. It is definitely not easy”.

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By working at Gramercy Tavern, Becker had the advantage of being exposed to the most elite society in NYC and foster a relationship with them. Because of that, she found herself cooking as a personal chef to many of them – some for the tastiness of the meals and others for their health problems such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, and infertility problems. Because she struggled herself with an eating disorder during college, Becker knew that food is in fact medicine. After all, helping society to become healthier through the power of organic, whole foods had always been her passion. But after many years, Becker realized she “wasn’t making any impact in the world by cooking for one rich family”. And so Farm Cut was born.

Farm Cut is a corporate catering service that features customized and à la carte menus available for delivery across New York City. Its menu bases itself on “comfort foods made from superfoods”. The mission is to enable masses of people to eat healthier foods and not have to worry about what ingredients are put since they are all listed in their labels. Farm Cut also tries to educate its community when catering their meals by listing the superfoods in their dishes and explaining why they are good for you as well as what the benefits are for your body.  “I want to show Americans just how “gourmet” healthy food can be and encourage them to get in the kitchen and cook with organic, local, nutrient-dense ingredients”. And so after catering her meals to Tone House in 2017, Becker realized her business could be scalable without needing millions of dollars of investments. Farm Cut even catered to the NY Knicks for their post-game meals! A lot of feedback was given during this time – understanding that people do not want the super healthy meals like a simple salad. They want something that fulfills them just like a bowl of pasta would. Basically comfort foods in a much healthier way. Which is what Farm Cut is all about. For example, some of their delicious items include Quinoa Mac & “Cheese” (GF quinoa pasta blended with turmeric, cauliflower, and butternut squash “cheese” sauce) or Not Your Mom’s Meatloaf  (beef with onions, carrots, celery, fennel, oregano, coconut flour, and homemade refined sugar-free tomato sauce).

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Everything on the menu is gluten-free, diary-free, soy free, and refined sugar-free. It is all created in order to boost the nutritional content in your meal without you noticing the swap of ingredients. Eating healthy should not be so hard nor so confusing. But that is a big problem in today’s society due to companies playing with our minds through their marketing scams. It is of no surprise why this country is having major issues with cancer, type-2 diabetes and obesity in five-year old children. According to a research study in 2018, the percentage of adults aged 20 and over with overweight, including obesity is 71.6%. The medical costs associated with obesity are enormous – and growing. One study estimated the annual medical care costs of obesity in the United States in 2008 dollars at $209.7 billion. It has escalated ever since. And because American society is structured around productivity and convenience, what is more convenient than going to McDonald’s and ordering a large Coke, some french fries and a double cheeseburger under five minutes? The temptation of unhealthy food greets us on every street corner, in our breakrooms and at our favorite supermarkets…

For many families struggling between paychecks, the foods that make the most financial sense are the processed, packaged, fatty choices serving up the most calories. Unfortunately it is because of poor governmental choices. It is absurd that it costs you more a pound of broccoli than eating at a fast-food chain. Everyone cringes at their grocery bills and it is saddening to see how politicians support corn and soy produce instead of local vegetable farmers, for example. But the government is not the sole cause. Education also plays a big role. If we start teaching our children’s palate to smarter food choices, the problem will definitely stop augmenting. Getting more nutrient dense meals at schools and kindergartens is necessary. But tricks can be applied to eating healthier on a budget. For example, get your poultry in different cuts like thighs or legs for a third of the price. Or frozen produce like vegetables and fruits that won’t go to waste after a week (also one of the reasons why there is so much food waste). Or eating seasonally is also a cheaper option.

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Education is also needed for young women who do not know what a proper meal looks like. They focus on counting calories and carbohydrates instead of the nutrients that need to be put in the body. Society doesn’t talk about it, but over 10 million American women suffer from eating disorders in the U.S. Many think that eating less will make you skinnier and beautiful. But in order to be healthy, bare children and have kids, like Becker, one needs the proper nutrients, vitamins and minerals. It is not about how many calories but about how many nutrient dense foods one puts on its plate. One does not need to pay attention to calorie counting as long as one does not eat more processed than unprocessed foods. Stick to the 80/20 rule -an approach to healthy eating teaching balance, moderation and indulging without a guilty feeling. In order to be healthy and balanced, you don’t always have to make 100% healthy food choices. 80% is enough. The remaining 20% you can choose less healthy food and indulge yourself!

As what the future holds for Becker, “I would like to focus my efforts more towards children’s nutrition and cooking classes in schools, where I believe I can make a tremendous impact on healthy eating habits.  I also hope to launch a nutritional consulting and menu development firm in a few years, with the goal of partnering with schools throughout the region. And I would love to have a fast-casual concept or a potentially ghost kitchen to be available for orders from delivery platforms to all individuals”.

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