Welcome everybody to the Illusion of Consensus podcast.
This is professor Jay Bhattacharya hosting this episode. I'm here with Natalya Murakhver. She is the co-founder of Restore Childhood, an organization founded originally in New York City, but now expanded all over the United States. Natalya has been among the most effective advocates for open schools in the US throughout the pandemic. I'm absolutely delighted to have her here. She is a longtime resident of New York City and also an advocate for children long before the pandemic.
I hope you enjoy this conversation as much as I did.
— Dr. Jay Bhattacharya
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Podcast Transcript Highlights
Full transcript available above next to “episode details” and “comments” tab
Natalya on her background:
So around the time that my daughter was born, I started a company called Apple to Zucchini, which is still my Twitter handle. I just can't seem to let go of it, which was working with family. I worked with a nutritionist. So I'm not a nutritionist. I have a master's in food studies from NYU, which is more of like a liberal arts degree. We did have to take nutrition classes and I enjoyed them very much, but I'm not an RD or a medical professional. But my partner in Apple to Zucchini is and was, and so together we worked with families to help them decipher food labels and understand what are better and worse options, how to prepare food in bulk at home so that it's cheaper, there's less packaging, and your family eats healthier. The importance of sharing food together, because that's something that I think is often glossed over in this country. Like the importance of the dinner table and the conversation and the meals eaten there are priceless and really set children and adults off for good healthy futures.
Natalya speaks on how she was maligned in a New York Times article:
I had spoken to a reporter named Shira Frankel at the New York Times in the summer of 2022 and told her I was against COVID vaccine mandates for kids. And she put me in an article calling me an anti-vaxxer. And in the online version of the article, she tried to link me to a stop the steal Facebook group when in fact I had voted for Biden and remain a registered New York City Democrat.
Natalya on the lesson she’s learned:
No, actually the lesson I've learned from all of that is like come together as quickly as possible, be as open about what you want to say, stop self-censoring, and urge other people to speak out because staying quiet for too long, not raising money fast enough, all of these things ultimately hurt you and destroy your momentum. That was a huge learning experience for me.
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