Not only is Dominique a model, actress, chef and world traveler but she wants to share her vast knowledge about living an authentic healthy lifestyle and teach the world about healthy eating.
Her grandfather, beloved actor and philanthropist, Mickey Rooney, owned restaurants and Dominique grew up learning so much about the industry. She came up with the perfect idea, Urban Urth, Everything Stylish, Sustainable and Delicious. Urban Urth is not only a source of excellent information, but it is a lifestyle, an experience. Dominique is determined to help individuals, families, everyone, around the world how to live in a urban culture but still go back to the basics.
When did you become passionate about cooking and world cuisine?
As a young girl I would walk home from school where I would go straight next door the Palerimos Italian Restaurant in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, where I would make Pizza with Nino and shop for restaurant supplies with Tony, the owner and family friend til this very day. My grandma was a waitress there and I learned the restaurant business front to back by age 10. Between growing up with my maternal grandfather, a French trained chef and Greek/Italian/Spanish Grandmother, I learned a very diverse and multicultural style as a young child. As an International model, I traveled around the world from the age of 17. I had already developed somewhat of a refined pallet and love for the business. I believe fine dining and appreciation for fine delicious foods came with the territory in the fashion world, compiled will with family businesses, my grandpa Mickeys BBQ restaurant in the 80’s, my travels, experiences and multicultural family, cooking always came naturally. My passions for cooking came with so many experiences with world cuisine at such a young age but I truly believe a passion for food can only be developed from your heart and your soul, just like any artist.
What are you passionate about?
I would have to say that I am most passionate about my children. Being a single mom, bringing them up and teaching them love, kindness, compassion, awareness and equiping them with the knowledge they will need to prepare them for a healthy future, so they can teach others and hopefully instilling a few of my old fashion values in them. I think I am passionate about whatever I set my mind to, healthy living, my kids, teaching about food, yoga, cooking, saving homeless veterans, writing and as a result of my passions my blog Urban Urth came to me. So, you could say Urban Urth is all of my passions rolled into one.
Tell us about your blog, Urban Urth.
In 2007 I created and published an advertorial page in Harper’s Bazaar and Genlux magazines and created a blog called Food Meets Fashion, reviewing Everything Stylish, Sustainable & Delicious! Green living was just starting to come to the forefront and I knew then this world was headed for some big changes. From Food Meets Fashion, I wrote a television show idea about my lifes experiences as a model, traveling and learning about food in other countries. I was so ill during my pregnancy that I could not continue so the page was put on hold and the show never came into fruition.
After taking a few years off to care for my children and recover from my health issues, I had insomnia for months, tossing and turning and didn’t know why I couldn’t sleep. Urban Urth actually came to me in a dream. While I lay awake every night, I thought, how could I teach people and at the same time create awareness about what is really happening to our food chain, our precious creatures and our environment. As gloomy as it may seem, how can I still promote a fun lifestyle! How can I bring my life’s experiences as a model, actress, chef, mother and all of my travels full circle? URBAN URTH, Everything Stylish Sustainable & Delicious, that’s how. I finally went to sleep! My new blog coming 2016, which you can get a little taste of what’s to come from my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/URBAN-URTH-456592457836830/ , I will guide my readers who live in a modern, urban culture to go back to basics, to read labels, know what’s in your food and fabrics, support local businesses, fashion, humane sustainable organic farming, wine and restaurants. With healthy cooking demos, local interviews and farm tours I will show my readers how easy and affordable it really is to live an organic healthy lifestyle on Urban Urth and although you think you cant afford it, why you can’t afford not to.
Tell us about how you thrived as a single Mom…
On my personal journey as a single mom it is not only the hardest job considering the personal daily challenges I am up against everyday but also at meal times. We can all relate to wanting the best for our children and as a single organic mom, we not only “want” what’s best, we “know” what’s best. I thrive as a single mom by taking the time out each day to stay informed, teach, question everything and make changes every day so I can be the best version of me possible for my children and our futures.
Why is it important for parents to make sure that organic foods are incorporated into a child’s diet.
This is such an important question and not a short answer.
I know that the big concern is over affordability which is why it’s so important to learn how to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Especially for a single parent on a budget. That is why becoming informed about pesticide levels and which foods contain the most are so important. For example, we all love our French fries! According to the USDA’s Pesticide Data Program, 35 different pesticides have been found on conventional potatoes.
And out of these 35:
– 6 are known or probably carcinogens
– 12 are suspected hormone disruptors
– 7 are neurotoxins
– 6 are developmental or reproductive toxins
The chemical that is found on 76% of all conventional potatoes is chlorpropham, an herbicide that is used to stop the growth of weeds (RoundUP) and to inhibit potato sprouting.
Not only is this chemical toxic to honey bees, but according to the Extension Toxicology Network, chronic exposure of laboratory animals to chlorpropham has caused “retarded growth, increased liver, kidney and spleen weights, congestion of the spleen, and death.” Which is why it’s also important to eat organic, locally raised meats, knowing that standard factory farmed cattle can be infected and sick and later end up on our dinner table. Yuck!
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that there are traces of 29 different pesticides in the average American’s body. It’s so important to read your consumer reports to stay on top of current findings.
Studies have linked long-term pesticide exposure in certain pesticide groups to increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease; prostate, ovarian, and other cancers; depression; respiratory problems and chronic health problems.
Who is most at risk? Farm workers and our children. A child’s metabolism is different from an adult’s, so toxins can remain longer in a child’s body, where they can do more damage. Pesticide exposure can affect children’s development at many stages, starting in the womb. And children’s risk is concentrated because they eat more food relative to their body weight than adults. Even small amounts can alter an unborn child’s brain development and chemistry.
As a mother this makes me so unbelievably outraged. As moms we try to make the healthiest choices while we are pregnant and not having the knowledge we need can put you and your child at risk without you even knowing. These are things your doctor wont tell you. Pesticides not only live on our food but our animals eat grass sprayed with pesticides, products we use contain food products grown with pesticides, not to mention the unhealthy perservatives also contained in our products we use on our body. Although eating a single potato may not kill us, using infected product on top of product, eating food with pesticide after food with pesticides the combonation over time builds and causes so many health issues, including cancer, disease, gluten intolerance, organ issues and chronic diseases.
Then, there’s genetically modified foods to deal with. Consumers have no way of knowing what foods are genetically engineered because the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of these products. What’s worse, the FDA also does not require any pre-market safety testing of GE foods. The FDA’s failure to require testing or labeling of GE foods has made millions of consumers into their guinea pigs, unknowingly testing the safety of dozens of gene-altered food products on us.
This link is a great way to learn more and stay on top of current news.
Why is it important for our global community to choose better foods, care about their local farmers and buy local?
Choosing better foods and changing a modern lifestyle used to fast food, no labels, no knowledge is not an easy transition but a mandatory one. If we all make changes every day, re-train, re-learn and teach each other what we already know, change will come. If we do not each do our part to stop supporting non organic and genetically modified foods, our food chain can not survive. Our local organic farmers are working so hard to make those changes and without buying from them they can’t survive. There are so many blogs related to this subject that you can learn from. Creating awareness and community support is critical for our future and the future of our children. In order to do that communities globally must unite and fight against the cooperations destroying it. Baby steps, one person at a time.
Stay tuned for UrbanUrth.net, which will be launching in 2016! To keep up to date with everything Dominique and Urban Urth, like her Facebook page here!