How can our food system empower people to choose clean, nutritious food? On this episode of Add Passion and Stir, Founder and President of the Daily Table Doug Rauch and grassroots organizer and chef Neftalí Durán discuss food justice. After a successful career as president of Trader Joe’s, Rauch launched Daily Table in the Boston area with the idea that food insecurity is a multi-faceted problem. “This is a system. There’s no silver bullet you can shoot and take care of the problem…It intersects with education, poverty, culture, and access,” he says. Durán, who is originally from Oaxaca, Mexico, agrees. “Food is political… food touches every issue… My work starts from the baseline that food is a human right,” he says. “If we start from the premise that food is a human right, we should never be dismissing people that need food,” he believes.
Both social justice champions believe in trusting people and communities. Rauch admits that before founding Daily Table he almost went forward with a “beautiful solution to the wrong problem.” Instead, he listened at dozens of focus groups and community meetings. “I learned that they already had a better understanding of nutrition than I thought. It wasn’t like I had to convince someone that they had to eat fruits and vegetables. They … wanted to be given a chance to make the right choices,” he says. “Daily Table is designed primarily around making certain that food – which is the cheapest form of health care – becomes the basis and foundation for a family’s ability to provide a healthy outcome for life,” he says. Durán believes the solution to ending hunger lies in treating people with dignity – which has become much more difficult in the current political climate. Host Billy Shore asks how we empower people and communities. “One of the best ways to empower people is to listen to them. What do you need? How can we facilitate you eating healthier? What are the issues in the community? If we’re never listening, we’re really not empowering people,” he answers.
Share in this impactful conversation about food justice, empowerment and dignity.