The injustice of inequality has found its way into the culinary community. It’s probably been obvious to you for a while, but one thing that Add Passion and Stir enabled me to see more clearly is the dramatic evolution of the chef, restaurant and culinary community from helping to fight hunger to innovating in the fight for social justice. Many are going beyond charitable work to use their businesses to leverage systemic change on equity, justice, and sustainability matters. The range of issues they are involved in represents a dramatic shift with profound consequence both for the impact they can have, and for our need to keep up with their interests.
Just look at the diverse examples:
- Sarah Polon, Soupergirl, changing the world one bowl of soup at a time, through a locally sourced, plant-based business
- Mary Sue Milliken addressing “the broken food system”.
- Bill Telepan and Marc Murphy, advocating for healthier school means via Wellness in Schools,
- Sam Polk, making healthy prepared foods affordable for all thru EveryTable
- Jose Andres working with the UN Foundation to promote clean cookstoves to end the epidemic of disease killing women and children in Haiti
Today’s new generation of chefs are about more than charity fundraising events. They are about advocacy, sustainability, policy and systemic change.. They are helping to feed America’s hungry kids, but are also going beyond that. They see food policy as a social justice issue. They are creating options for their customers to impact agriculture, supply chain, energy and the environment, and children’s health.
For many, Share Our Strength and our No Kid Hungry campaign helped plant the seed. Shoots and leaves have sprouted in many different directions but all have blossomed toward the sun – and are still growing.
You can listen to Add Passion and Stir episodes here.