Sunday, November 17, 2013

Civil Eats: Policy Dinner

Several weeks ago, I gave money to a Kickstarter campaign to support the website Civil Eats. The site provides news and special interest stories around food, farming, and activism and I wanted to help it continue.

Their campaign was successful, so this resource will be around for a while. It seems right to share news from it occasionally. This morning, I read about a meal hosted by the James Beard Foundation.  JBF is an organization perhaps best known for giving awards for excellence to chefs and restaurants, but it is much more than that. Their mission is "to celebrate, nurture, and honor America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire."

Recently, they hosted a dinner prepared both physically and philosophically by Chef Maria Hines, chef-owner of Tilth in Seattle. When asked to cook for this dinner, Hines saw a chance to weave food policy into her menu and named each course for a pending piece of food and farming legislation. The food was inspired by the bill. You can read the full article on Civil Eats.

What struck me in the article was a reference Chef Hines made to a food policy boot camp she attended, put on by the Foundation. These boot camps bring together 15 chefs for three days to gain media and advocacy skills needed to improve our food system. Chefs have direct ties to food and farming issues, so who better to take a lead in fighting for better policies? If you know a chef who cares deeply about food and demonstrates that care on their menu (and I do!), consider forwarding the boot camp link to them. We can't have too many chefs pushing for change -- the more the merrier!

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