Flavor First: Alice Waters

Teaching the world what's good: fresh, organic and locally grown

| April/May 2008

  • Chef, author and food activist Alice Waters is a longtime supporter of fresh, local food.
    Thomas Heinser
  • Change the flavor of baked salmon simply by varying the fresh herbs in the butter.
    Linda Shockley

Visionary restaurateur and author Alice Waters is a food activist who’s taking fresh, organic foods—grown locally and sustainably—to the masses. To accomplish this, she created a national public school curriculum that uses food to educate, nourish and empower our children. What’s next: children who love vegetables? The very idea …  

The Herb Companion: You founded a groundbreaking restaurant, Chez Panisse, and spent decades advocating the use of fresh food produced through humane and environmentally sound methods. It must be gratifying to see growing support for local farmers and green markets. But many people still don’t have access. What will it take to spur a comprehensive, national effort?

Alice Waters:  It’s going to take a program in the public schools. The idea is to feed all children at school: not only to feed them locally-grown food, but also to teach them about food—how to cook it and how to care about the land that produces it.

We also must teach children how to eat together. The family table now exists only with rare families that make an effort. Most kids today eat on the run, learning the values of a "fast food nation." We need to encourage them to develop a better relationship with food, so they’ll make better choices … so they’ll value a fresh peach more than a pair of Nikes.

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