Does it feel like we are under a constant barrage of negative media and opinions? Over the past few years it has been difficult to get away from the firestorm, which has led to many turning off their televisions, putting down their newspapers, and just living in the moment.
This is a decent way to live, but it ends up ignoring the root cause of our problems, and lets the negativity proliferate. Banks, fraud, health care, you name it, it has been an extremely polarizing year.
Well, after seeing an interview conducted by Bill Maher this weekend, I have found somebody we can all be proud of.
Her name is Alice Waters, and she really is an American hero.
If you are a foodie, there is a good chance that you are familiar with her award winning restaurant that was founded in the early 1970’s, Chez Panisse.
Using her skill as a chef, and vision for a healthier America, she has been instrumental in pushing the “Slow Food” agenda, and is vice-president of Slow Food International.
The word good can mean a lot of things to a lot of people. For Slow Food, the idea of good means enjoying delicious food created with care from healthy plants and animals. The pleasures of good food can also help to build community and celebrate culture and regional diversity.
When we talk about clean food, we are talking about nutritious food that is as good for the planet as it is for our bodies. It is grown and harvested with methods that have a positive impact on our local ecosystems and promotes biodiversity.
We believe that food is a universal right. Food that is fair should be accessible to all, regardless of income, and produced by people who are treated with dignity and justly compensated for their labor.
It has been a while since I have seen an expert interviewed who has shown the perfect combination of intelligence, grace, and modesty.
She not only speaks about making conscious food choices, but has also taken action with the Edible Schoolyard Program
King Middle School teachers and the garden staff work together to link garden experiences with students’ science lessons for truly integrated experiential learning. The garden is carefully planned to grow a wide variety of seasonal produce that favors the Bay Area climate; it shifts and changes from season to season, as we seed, grow, harvest, and rotate crops with new groups of students each year.
Students harvest and prepare produce as part of their garden and kitchen classes. However, produce grown in the garden is not used for school lunch. Learn more about the impact of this program and its connection to school lunch reform at the Chez Panisse Foundation website.
On top of this she is leading Time for Lunch: A National Campaign to Give Kids the School Food They Deserve.
# A full investment of at least $1 billion per year in order to help schools serve healthier food. President Obama has proposed investing $1 million per year, but school meal providers say a truly healthy school lunch program requires $4 billion per year. That’s the goal we need to work towards, because that’s what schools need. Investing in healthy food now will save hundreds of billions in health care costs down the line.
# Stronger nutrition standards for all the food sold at school, including the food sold in school vending machines.
# Mandatory funding of $50 million over five years for Farm to School programs, which create local jobs and help schools teach healthy eating.
That is something I am proud to support. This year I plan to help this charity, and pay for the real cost for real food, real wages, and support a sustainable system.