Monday, February 27, 2006

Alice Waters' Vision of Food and Agriculture

In my opinion, Alice Waters is the most eloquent and visionary voice in America for the kinds of changes we need to make to how we produce, procure and consume food.

Below is a statement published in the current issue of Fast Company magazine that says it all much better than I ever could!

"We have to teach eco-gastronomy: a hands-on understanding of where our food comes from, how it's produced, and the traditions and rituals of eating it. When people know what the chickens are being fed, all of a sudden the chickens taste better. Food doesn't have to be fancy - we're talking about a bowl of soup. It's where you get all those ingredients for that soup and how it's made that's important. Once kids are educated, they eat in different ways. They think about farming as an important occupation. They make choices about food based on biodiversity. They become more sophisticated tasters. I think we can have a generation of kids that grow up with a different set of values.

We're all hungry for this kind of experience - I don't mean just physically hungry but psychologically hungry for it. We need to feel as though we are a part of the natural world again, and this is a beautiful, delicious way of doing it.

There are businesses that can spring from this idea, but not big businesses. Plenty of things in this world can be scaled up, but food isn't one of them. We need to buy food that was grown or raised close by rather than support national or global conglomerates. To do so, we need to build local communities of farmers. If we can make the right choices about food, we can change the world."


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