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!