Turmeric Memories


Turmeric. For many Americans, it’s known as that ingredient that turns the dullish grey, brown mustard seed into the bright yellow condiment so many people love. But for me, I remember it as “that yellow powder” I used to sprinkle on popcorn… making it look like the fake cheesy kernels grandma used to send me as a child in those decorative tins for Christmas – except I knew this one was actually good for me! But looking back, I must not of had very good turmeric because if I did, I would’ve ruined plenty of upholsteries and shirts with the yellow fallout that occurs from the finger frenzy of munching popcorn while watching movies!

The first time I remember having high-quality turmeric was when I was pregnant with my third child in 2009. This extract in powdered form, with its unforgiving hue, would leave memories of its consumption on my counters, clothing, and fingers… But still I could not get enough! My daily “pregnant woman craving” involved a huge salad topped with raw tahini heavily doused in turmeric, cracked pepper and a side of kimchi.

I remember reading a fascinating article citing the data in a published study called: Prenatal and Postnatal Flavor Learning by Human Infants. Basically, they were able to show that children receive preferences from the flavors they taste in the amniotic fluid and/or breast milk created by the eating habits of the mother.

This study is short and sweet, and basically was a comparison involving carrot juice. But, I can attest to the truth in this study by experiencing 15 years of watching the eating habits of my three children.

IMG_0984Take Jade for instance, my oldest son and you guessed it, 15 years old! During his pregnancy, I remember drooling for spicy Indian food, eating daily miso soup with seaweed and craving an occasional must have afternoon snack involving Swiss cheese. Anyway, walk into my house today, and you will probably see Jade consume a bowl of miso soup with tons of seaweed in it. It is pretty much a daily ritual for him and he loves it.

For an early birthday dinner celebration last week, what restaurant did he choose? His favorite: Indian cuisine! Even during the dinner he couldn’t stop talking about he misses eating Indian food and that he wants to do it more often. And the Swiss cheese? Well, I don’t keep it in my refrigerator any more, so he doesn’t eat it often, but I know that he prefers it when given the chance.

Now take Miah, my 12-year-old daughter. Her grandfather was in the habit of making a fresh marinara sauce. I craved this marinara sauce like no other! When she was still a baby, only crawling, I remember seeing her take off to the garden where I had over 200 heirloom tomato plants growing. I watched her devour tomatoes until her face (and inevitable her tushie!) was red from all the acids. Thankfully some things change, like she is no longer wearing diapers, but her love of tomatoes has held true against the test of time!

Fast-forward and rewind, both statements are relevant here, about a decade later I am pregnant with my third child, Violetta Grace. At this point in my life I have already delved deep into the world of “superfoods” and “superherbs” and all vegetation, ferments, and fruits powerful for my expression of a healthy human body! So, naturally these are all items she craves and eats daily. Smoothies. Elixirs. Durian! And Salads. Yes, she loves salads. Which brings us back to the story of my first memories of turmeric.Erin-Sojourner

I can successfully say that every day during Violetta’s pregnancy I ate a huge salad topped with what I craved most: Raw organic tahini + turmeric extract + a ferment of some sort. This famous salad now makes a nightly debut in the form of a bedtime story for Violetta. You may be scratching your head and thinking, “A salad in a bedtime story”? But, I can explain!

Every night I read a book or two to Violetta in bed. After she “blows” out the light, she asks me to tell her another story. She usually picks the subject. For years this ritual involved me making up stories about her beloved Belgian Draft horses, Burt and Chester, but for the last eight months or so she has been requesting the story of her birth. She knows this story so well now that she fills in the details as I talk. I will italicize & bold her words in the story below.

“It was a beautiful spring morning on April 6th, 2010. The wild violets were blooming in the garden! With me in your belly! The Cabbage Whites were flitting about like glowing flecks of spring sunshine. Today is your due date, and I want to go for a walk after lunch. What is a due date? The day we think you’ll be ready to be born on. I hope a walk in the field behind our house will help you want to be born. At lunchtime, Daddy and I decide to sit in the backyard while we eat. Our bare feet like touching the new green grass. I am eating my favorite salad with raw tahini and turmeric and kimchi…” We are both foodies, so she never misses that line!

And the story goes on, with Violetta in repetitive delight, as we go over the remaining details of washing our wooden bowls and going into Labor at that very moment! She was born five hours later, in a birthing tub at our home, and it was an enjoyable experience!

Not only am I grateful for Violetta’s refined palate, but also I can see how these herbs and foods affected her body. She is so limber that I could help her hold a full scorpion pose at 1 year old. Her core is so strong! You can see her here, at 2 years young, able to lift her feet up over her head without using her hands!


I was in my late 20s when I first discovered turmeric, but my youngest daughter’s first experiences happened in utero! And she enjoyed “golden” milk as she nursed! I can only imagine the stories that will come through as people learn more about the power of what they feed themselves and their children. I feel so lucky to have this knowledge! I also love knowing that some of the highest quality turmeric is available in stores nationwide! Thank you TumericAlive for bringing such high vibration beverages to the mouths of the masses! We can all benefit, at any age, by consuming this amazing tuber from the tropics! An ode to turmeric!


Erin Sojourner Agostinelli
Once an organic farmer, still a mother, focused on what’s best for our bodies, tastebuds, and the earth!
Over the last 2 years, she’s joined forces with Demeter USA in their vision to “Heal the Planet through Agriculture”, but she’s been blessed my many opportunities to share her passions of health with the world since 2007. Photographer, foodie, writer, green juice lover living in the mountains of Asheville, NC.

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