while living here in portland i’ve stumbled into the career as a school cook. the school has always had an organic, all natural menu. last summer i convinced my bosses that we needed to do better, we started getting as local as possible. i started doing weekly menus based what’s available, local farmers deliver right to center. the produce distributor i use delivers by bicycle. i spend a lot of time thinking about food choices.
about a week ago on the local news there was as story about thrifty shopping. the reporter followed “expert shopper” julie parrish as she took a student through the grocery store and shows her the methods for the cheapest meat, some highly processed food, and poor quality vegetables. you can watch it here. it made me sad. they may be saving money now, but they’ll pay for it later.
the TED conference was last week. TED is a foundation that organizes events where people they chose talk for eighteen minutes about “ideas worth spreading”. this year a couple of foodies i admire were there, they made me feel better about the future of food.
jamie oliver‘s talked about children and the modern american diet. i’ve alway been a fan of jamie oliver’s approach to food. he understands that people need to learn what to do with ingredients, think less of dishes, more of food. he also is a huge backer of the local/sustainable movement. this talk is centers on a television show that jamie currently filming, so it comes off a little like a commercial, the message still very relevant.
mark bittman was also there. to be honest i’m not a big fan of his cookbooks, i find them a little off. i still have huge respect for bittman, as an author and food writer for the new york times he uses his perspective on the state of food today to help guide people to sensible and sustainable choices.
this next one was suggested to me because i watched the other two. ann cooper (the renegade lunch lady) is the head of nutrition for the berkeley school systems. She has proven that using organic, locally sourced food in schools can work.
i do believe that the future of food is in making smart choices. think about where your food is coming from, how it got there, and what was affected by its production or processing.