Tomorrow, October 16 is World Food Day, and the theme for 2013 is "Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition".
World Food Day (WFD) was established by FAO's Member Countries at the Organization's 20th General Conference in November 1945. The Hungarian Delegation, led by the former Hungarian Minister of Agriculture and Food, Dr. Pál Romány has played an active role at the 20th Session of the FAO Conference and suggested the idea of celebrating the WFD worldwide.
It has since been observed every year in more than 150 countries, raising awareness of the issues behind poverty and hunger.
See the video on Hunger below, and here's an Events Page showing what you can do in your area.
Gratitude Gourmet is excited to be listed in the March 2013 Edition of On Q, the KQED Member Magazine (on page 2)!
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Image Credit: KQED On Q March 2013
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Gratitude Gourmet Moderates Cuisine Noir Culinary Travel Panel at Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show
On Sunday February 17, I moderated Cuisine Noir's Culinary Travel Panel at the Bay Area Travel and Adventure Show where I met some very accomplished and wonderful ladies to discuss 2013 Culinary, Travel and Sustainability Trends.
1. Chef Marcelle Bienvenu
Marcelle Bienvenu is currently a chef/instructor at Nicholls State University in the John Folse Culinary Institute. With Emeril Lagasse, she co-authored four cookbooks. She also is a co-author of “Stir The Pot, The History Of Cajun Cuisine,” published in 2005 by Hippocrene Books. Marcelle provided the recipes for TRUE BLOOD, Eats, Drinks and Bites from Bon Temps (published in 2012), a companion cookbook to HBO’s True Blood series.
2. Maralyn Dennis Hill
Maralyn is past President of the International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association, and from 2002 to 2006 she produced and hosted Dishing with Carolina Chefs for Time Warner Cable TV and web.
3. Wanda Hennig
A native South African, Wanda was editor of the South African Sunday Tribune’s lifestyle magazine and bureau chief for Cosmopolitan in Durban, her home town, before working, in the San Francisco Bay Area, on Appellation (wine country living) and Diablo magazine (as editor), and freelancing extensively for Oakland magazine among other publications. She believes we are what (and how) we eat (and drink). Thus, she says (only a little tongue in cheek), the best way to truly understand a country, a city, a culture — and a people — is though your stomach. www.wandahennig.com
The 2013 Culinary, Travel, and Sustainability Trends were shared with the audience and included Wanda's Tips for enhancing a culinary experience while traveling:
* To be a culinary traveler, you don’t have to eat at expensive places. Markets and where the locals eat work well for anyone on a budget
* Being a culinary traveler also means you can travel the world right where you live, if it’s the San Francisco Bay Area or any other sophisticated city or region. With the wealth of restaurants reflecting a melting pot of cultures, it’s possible to go culinary traveling to a different destination any day of the week.
* If you are partial to city culinary tours (which many cities within the US and internationally have now), look before you leave to see what’s available and ideally, set up something in advance. Or you can do it when you get there, which I did when I spotted a flyer for a culinary tour of Lisbon, all about heritage and traditions.
The Panel agreed that eating 'Local' is a trend because many people enjoy knowing the restaurant owner, how the chef prepares the food, and where the food is sourced etc which of course includes quality and sustainably-grown ingredients. Many of us have seen that restaurant owners are placing the source of their ingredients on their menus and if it's organic, vegetarian etc.
What do you think the Culinary and Sustainability Trends are?
Go to our Facebook Page and let Gratitude Gourmet know.
Dr Jason Clay, WWF
Dr. Jason Clay, Senior Vice President Market Transformation, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is a James Beard Foundation Award Winner for his efforts to study and address the global social, environmental, and economic impact of a variety of commodities, and his cross-sector work to improve the sustainability and supply chain management of these commodities. Our interview is below.
Gratitude Gourmet: Congratulations on your James Beard Award! Please tell me your thoughts on the James Beard Foundation (JBF) honor you received.
Dr. Jason Clay: I've been involved in a lifetime of work on sustainable development and more sustainable supplies of food which started in the 80's with how groups in the rainforest can develop products instead of cutting trees down, such as rainforest products with Ben and Jerry's. Palm oil in Indonesia and soy are recent projects.
Gratitude Gourmet: Please tell me about your cross-sector work to improve the sustainability and supply chain management of these commodities such as palm oil and soy.
Dr. Jason Clay: Agriculture uses 35% of the planet’s land. The production of food and fiber is also the primary driver of deforestation globally and greenhouse gas emissions. Yet by 2050, the world will need to double food production to meet anticipated needs due to increases in population, income and consumption. As agricultural production increases, we must find ways to minimize its impact on biodiversity. In short, we need to freeze the footprint of producing food and fiber.
What should we care about the most? It's not just about being right but about building consensus of what needs to be done. It's important to get all the stakeholders - producers, brands, retailers, NGOs - these are the things that are most significant. Having focus lets you accomplish something. We don't want to encourage farmers to adopt one practice over another. What we're interested in is the result that is achievable on the ground - type of land farmers have/labor etc - working with them to have a measurable improvement in their performance. When farmers become more efficient in the most competititve industries, they will make a 4-6% net improvement in income, including managing how they use pesticides which improves net profit.
We work with companies 1:1 on water availability and climate change - we only have 1 planet - we're going to double food consumption by 2050 per capita. We have worked with a group called the Consumer Goods Forum, and by 2020 they have the goal of not buying products from deforested areas - we're getting more companies to sign up for the same commitment. We need to change how we think about pollution - we need companies to be colluding about sustainability - we do need to manage this.
Global estimates for degraded lands (including abandoned, severely degraded and underproductive) range from 1.5 to 2 billion hectares, larger than the entire current agricultural estate. This land is marginal for biodiversity and for ecosystem services, yet
much of this land could be used to produce commodities such as palm oil, soy, or pulp wood. By shifting agricultural expansion from high-carbon lands to degraded, low-carbon lands, especially those that have been used previously for agriculture. we achieve agricultural targets while maintaining biodiversity as well.
Shifting all agricultural expansion to degraded lands is too big a task to tackle all at once. Reasonable goals would be 50 M ha by 2020, 100 M ha by 2030 and 250 M ha by 2040. Moreover, we are not starting with a clean slate. Brazil, China, Ethiopia, South Africa and the US have each rehabilitated areas of at least a million hectares, often far more. Brazil for example has already rehabilitated 10 M ha and has a 2020 target of additional 25 M ha.
In fact, WWF has documented efforts to rehabilitate degraded land in Brazil and Borneo. In each case, the studies showed that rehabilitating degraded lands is financially viable and in fact provides a higher rate of return than clearing forests. As important, the works suggest that there is sufficient degraded land in both areas to double production of soy and palm oil in the respective countries without any additional deforestation.
Strategy: The proposed work on degraded lands will focus on priority areas and commodities for WWF and our corporate partners and donors. The initial focus includes soy in Brazil, pulp and paper and palm oil in Indonesia, and coffee, cocoa, palm oil, and rubber in Central and West Africa.
My Guardian blog has more information about my work http://www.guardian.co.uk/profile/jason-clay
After our interview, Dr Jason Clay shared more information about World Wildlife Fund's continued expansion with its innovative program seeking to link investments in climate change mitigation with the sustainable production of agricultural commodities via the Carbon and Commodities program because the production of food and fiber is one of the largest sources of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
"In 2009, the Conference to the Parties (COP15) of the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) established a policy framework known as Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) and created a potentially potent mechanism for supporting forest conservation. It is now widely recognized that for REDD+ to succeed, the drivers of deforestation must be reduced and this requires for the planet’s existing agricultural production models to become more efficient, more Carbon and Sustainability productive, and more sustainable.
The objective of the Carbon and Commodities program is to assist retailers and manufacturers who have made voluntary commitments to reduce the carbon footprints of their brands to engage the producers of agricultural commodities that generate the largest component of those emissions. The goal is to create a framework which increases revenues for farmers that reduce greenhouse gas emissions or increase carbon stocks on production landscapes."
Related James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Articles:
Interview with Tensie Whelan, President Rainforest Alliance, James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Winner
Interview with Tensie Whelan, President Rainforest Alliance, James Beard Foundation Leadership Award Winner
The James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards recognize people taking a bold step towards the important and complex realms of sustainability, food access, and public health. Excellence of work, innovation in approach, and scale of impact within a community or the nation were among the criteria used to select this year’s 2012 winners.
Tensie Whelan, President, Rainforest Alliance, and Co-Chair, Sustainable Food Lab Advisory Board, is an Award Winner, and our Interview is below.
Gratitude Gourmet: Please tell me about this honor from the James Beard Foundation (JBF) and how were you able to transform the Rainforest Alliance into a respected international organization that works to transform land-use practices, business practices, and consumer behavior to conserve biodiversity and ensure sustainable livelihoods?
Tensie Whelan: It's thrilling to have our work honored by the Foundation. We're excited to be included and to have the Foundation focus on sustainable food. We have certified millions of small producers in agriculture who then sell to restaurants, retailers, and brands to deliver high quality food. We've designed a comprehensive farm management program, helped improve productivity and quality, and the secret to success has been a sustainable agriculture standard - a win win that helps farmers succeed in the long term and help consumers feel confident about their purchases.
Gratitude Gourmet: Please tell me more about some successful Farmer Partnerships you have.
Tensie Whelan: Farmers from Kenya, Brazil are renaissance people - they have to understand both supply chains and nature that throws surprises at them - I'm humbled when I meet a farmer.
I was recently in Kenya - there are 560,000 small tea producers and each has 3-5 hectares of land. Tea is a cash crop, and what they use to send their kids to school - we have partnered with them and Lipton to established farmer field schools to get Rainforest Alliance Certified. Now, 350,000 have been certified. Farmers saw a benefit - field quality was improving. They started to see their water coming back, yields and productivity were going up - now we're up to the world's 10% of the world's tea-certified. Lipton made the difference -- they said we are going to help you and buy your product.
Gratitude Gourmet: Are there other Companies similar to Lipton partnering with Farmers?
Tensie Whelan: Mars has been an amazing partner in Cocoa - Chiquita in bananas - Kraft in coffee - Staples in paper products.
Gratitude Gourmet: If a large Company or Country wants to get involved in your Projects, how would they proceed?
Tensie Whelan: With a company, we would help them map their supply chain and work with their suppliers to certify the farms they buy from. We are working with governments to help them encourage more climate friendly agriculture. The government of Norway has funded us to help tropical countries get ready to access carbon markets with agriculture and logging practices that protect forests, water and wildlife.
Gratitude Gourmet: Would you like to share any final thoughts with our Gratitude Gourmet Readers?
Tensie Whelan: Sometimes choice becomes overwhelming - how do you choose between certificaton systems? What is a high priority in your business/restaurant? Solutions may not be available now, so you will need to help create that solution. Yet, as I'm traveling around the world, I'm impressed by all the innovation happening.
Buy Rainforest Alliance Certified products.
Whatever choices you're making, you're helping others to innovate that creates solutions for the world that is going to need them.
Fabio Viviani, Mary Vincent, Martin Yan
Master Chef Martin Yan & Bravo's 'Top Chefs' Fabio Viviani and Jennifer Biesty talked about Sustainability, a Chef's Life, and their inner secrets of their successes as award-winning chefs and burgeoning celebrities during the 7th Annual Food and Wine Event at the San Francisco Design Center this week.
See several short videos below describing both Martin's and Fabio's thoughts, including many comedic moments where they both had the whole room laughing, difficulties along the way, and wishes for the future. One thing they both had in common was they did not have much food growing up, therefore, they both appreciate food now... interesting food for thought!
Watch a special surprise interview I had with Martin Yan on his plans for Sustainable Farming in China.
Enjoy from Gratitude Gourmet!