Volunteer Spotlight – Sue Sawtelle
November 1, 2016
Sue Sawtelle is one of those quiet, behind-the-scenes volunteers that helps make organizations like the Inland NW Food Network function like a well-lubed machine. Sue first made our acquaintance two summers ago when she came across our booth at the Hayden Farmers Market. She had, as she describes it, “found her people.” Eager to support our efforts, she instantly offered to connect us to Pamm Larry (the instigator of Prop 37 aka The Genetic Engineered Food Labeling Act of 2012), who eventually flew here from California to be one of our Chew on This presenters.
Since then, Sue has undertaken numerous volunteer tasks including assisting with the “Scullery Crew”, designing/creating our display board, advising on marketing-related needs, and running errands for various events. These acts of service, while not visible to most, are deeply appreciated.
Sue’s childhood was marked by frequent moves. Her parents both enjoyed gardening, but Sue’s passion was horses. Her mother hated cooking, so the food they ate was simple, “clean” food, supplemented with restaurant food. That all began to change when she moved to Sonoma County, CA, a veritable mecca for foodies and healthy lifestyle fans.
After working in fashion merchandising for a spell, she realized that it wasn’t aligned with her goals/interests. She began working in the business world until she had her first child, at which point she opted to be a full time mother. Her son had some serious health challenges, and then she herself developed chemical sensitivities. Those experiences sparked her interest in learning more about what was behind the illnesses that were afflicting her and her family. She came to conclude that food is medicine and it is our poison.
An avid researcher, she devoted countless hours each week to immersing herself in the world of healing and our diets/nutrition. She became an activist in the GMO free movement, as well as other activities related to healthy living. She also developed a passion for gardening that evolved over time. Initially drawn to the “perfect is beautiful” model of gardening, she came to realize that such a model employs practices that are detrimental to both the planet and to people. She owned and operated an organic cut flower business, and created beautiful gardens that were the envy of her neighbors wherever she lived.
In addition to gardening, Sue loves to cook (the kitchen is her lab!), make her own personal care products and medicines, crafting and yoga. Thank you Sue, for your steadfast support and commitment to creating a food system that respects all life.