If Carole Siple’s career was a dish it would be a goulash, not a curry. Her 30 plus years of experience as a dietitian span an array of positions and experiences; from geriatric patient consulting to planning menus and food costing for preschools, working with drug and alcohol rehab programs, giving presentations for a major food producer and teaching cooking. Variety is certainly the spice of Carole’s work life and life’s work.
Her passion for health, nutrition and food is evident as she strolls past tables laden with a remarkable variety of squash and pumpkins in the LOVE building on 46th Ave. near I-40, headquarters of her and her husband Sean’s enterprise, Good Food for Good People. Together with a handful of staff and volunteers they are responsible for establishing and managing the West Nashville, Woodbine, Sevier Park and VA Farmer’s Markets, developing learning gardens at several local schools, researching costing and menu development for several preschools and running Nashville Farm to Chef, which provides food to local restaurants, among many other projects.
On the perimeter of Good Food for Good People’s on-site learning kitchen-in-development, Carole’s tall thin frame moves gracefully, long fingers brushing delicately over the rough textures of the multi-hued pumpkins as the numerous delicious ways they can be cooked roll off her tongue. Her approach to educating people about nutrition or even just giving cooking suggestions when staffing a vegetable stand at Farmer’s Market is simple; “You introduce something, give some why to it, and then turn it off,” she describes.
When working with patients she never takes a radical approach such as telling them they have to do a 180 with their eating habits, because in her book that is rarely sustainable change. She finds out what their habits are, and makes some suggestions for modifications in incremental steps. As she puts it, “I’m all about balance.”
“The adage of you are what you eat is very true,” Carole continues. “I think younger people are recognizing that they are worth it to buy better food. I think in the mainstream point of view they may appear to be a bit on the fringe, but they’re putting thought into what they are doing and why they’re doing it.”
While Carole’s husband Sean may be at the front lines of the food revolution, humbly helping to lead the charge for real change, Carole is in the ranks, keeping the soldiers marching, shaping manageable, sustainable changes in eating habits, one person at a time. Between the two of them and the growing ranks of people who are committed to not just eating healthy but supporting local farmers and organic food producers, Nashville’s food reform movement is in good hands.