[private]Chef Snow Delivers Key Note Speech At Johnson & Wales University
I recently gave the keynote speech for the 2008 North Carolina Fruits and Veggies Nutrition Coalition in Charlotte, NC. It was held at Johnson & Wales University, a well-known culinary school. There were individuals from all over the country there to learn more about healthy food.
Local Foods Explosion
Their stated mission reads: “The mission of the NC Fruits & Veggies Nutrition (formerly 5 A Day) Coalition is to promote better health for all North Carolinians by increasing their fruit and vegetable consumption. Through programs and promotions in supermarkets, schools, restaurants, cafeterias, work sites, health agencies and community groups, North Carolinians learn that eating fruits and veggies not only tastes great but is good for their health.”
My speech was very well-received by the crowd of 200 in the auditorium. What I came away with was that this local food explosion is not stopping anytime soon, and it’s gaining momentum at a feverish pace. People from all walks of life are beginning to take part.
I’ve been an advocate for local & seasonal food for many years. It’s gratifying to see it becoming mainstream. Four years ago, people looked the other way when I preached about buying local and cooking with the seasons. They wanted what they wanted, when they wanted it. This means asparagus in December– flown in from Chile or some other place, all without a thought to the amount of fossil fuels burned to get poor-quality produce to them.
Now, people are shunning “flown-in foods” or imported foods, and that means anything from over a couple of hundred miles away. Sure, I still eat tropical fruits and drink lots of coffee from South & Central America, but my everyday diet is made up with as many local foods as I can get my hands on.
I try to personally maintain relationships with at least 4-5 farmers who provide my food. I eat “as close to the field” as possible. This only makes sense, and deep down we all know this.
The most positive thing I got from the conference is how the State of NC and other states are completely involved with people on the ground, ensuring their locally-grown foods are winding up on dinner tables in their states.
They have people who visit restaurants to act as liaisons between local farmers and chefs, people visiting school districts, and people encouraging state employees to consume local fruits and veggies.
Another positive trend is that corporations are getting involved as well. Wal-Mart is sourcing local foods in all 50 states and promoting them in their stores. This is awesome! Also, companies like Organic Valley (my personal choice for organic dairy) are collecting, packaging and selling milk in certain regions of the country, so people are now able to buy locally-produced milk. Just think of the amount of fuel and pollution this reduces!
So with all this local buying and advocacy going on, the Harvest Eating message of cooking and eating local, seasonal and organic foods is more popular than ever.
I truly believe our Harvest Eating TV show will be very well received next year on public television. This excites me as our message will be heard by millions of addition people!