Mary Vincent & Tezozomoc
NRDC announced the winners of the 2013 Growing Green Awards, NRDC’s annual celebration of the nation’s most dynamic food leaders, and I was very lucky to meet them all. Winners include the following, and an NRDC video is below telling their stories.
· Young Food Leader Brianna Almaguer Sandoval (PA): addressing food access by infusing urban areas with fresh produce in corner stores.
· Food Producer Russ Kremer (MO): tackling antibiotic resistance.
· Food Justice Leader Tezozomoc (CA): empowering marginalized communities with sustainable food equity and access projects.
· Business Leader Larry Jacobs (CA): championing business innovation in toxic-free organic agriculture.
I asked Larry about some of his latest work, and he's working on Semiochemistry which is finding ways to increase good insects. Additionally, a special NRDC Forces for Nature award was presented by Nell Newman, co-founder and president of Newman’s Own Organics, to Susan Clark, Executive Director of the Columbia Foundation, to honor her career-long efforts to advance the cause of sustainable food and agriculture in California and across the country. Susan has roused a robust and growing philanthropic community around the connections between food, health and the environment for more than two decades.
On May 9, 2009, NRDC honored sustainable food leaders at the Growing Green Awards presented at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park.
A panel chaired by Michael Pollan, best-selling author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, selected Fedele Bauccio, Founder and CEO of Bon Appétit Management Company as the Winner of the NRDC 1st Annual Growing Green Awards. Fedele has been recognizing and addressing the connection between food and climate change through his Low Carbon Diet initiative, targeted at reducing its associated carbon emissions by 25 percent by reducing meat and cheese in its operations. (Read the Gratitude Gourmet interview with Fedele Bauccio from Fortune Brainstorm Green)
I asked Fedele Bauccio if other food companies are looking at his Company's innovative work and improving their food practices as a result. He mentioned that a few restaurants understand the concepts and use practices such as identifying the Farm Name on the menu. "As more restaurants do it, customers are going to demand it...Consumers will also go to the store and ask the right questions about the origin of food" "At the 150 colleges, we educate students about what we feed them." One of his Chefs will appear at the Cooking for Solutions Monterey event this weekend. I asked Fedele if he will be receiving additional awards in the near future in addition to the EDF Innovator and NRDC Growing Green Awards. He will be one of the first individuals inducted into the University of Portland School of Business Hall of Fame.
I briefly spoke with Michael Pollan and asked him if the U.S. was now ready for a Sustainable Food Advisor to the Obama Administration and if he has spoken with the Obama Administration about this. He mentioned Michelle Obama and what she's done with organic gardening at the White House, and the fact she "said it was 'organic'...these are fighting words to the industry".
During the NRDC cocktail reception, I took 2 pictures of food and drink to share with Gratitude Gourmet readers. A video from The Compound interviewing the NRDC winners is also below.
Expect more great work and opportunity for sustainable food providers!
Mary Vincent & Eric Schmidt
Carrot and Pea Appetizer (Photo: Mary Vincent)
Spirit One Vodka Bramble: Organic Lemonade, Spirit One Vodka, June Taylor Organic Blackberry Syrup & Organic Blackberry (Photo Mary Vincent)