Sunday, July 21, 2013

Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change

When I first heard about the legislation from Sen Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to curb the use of antibiotics in healthy farm animals, I started looking around for more information. On Tuesday July 16th's program, I interviewed Laura Rogers from the PEW Charitable Trust regarding that legislation as well as the issues involved in this important project.

I had originally wanted to do just one program on antibiotic abuse in animals, but after talking with Laura and seeing all that was involved in their Saving Antibiotics Campaign, I decided to split the focus over a couple of programs.

Because I am a Food Geek, I zoned into the Super Chefs against Super Bugs campaign through the PEW Trust program. It was fun to watch the videos of Chefs going to Capitol Hill to lobby and testify on behalf of making our food supply safe for future generations. I then learned about an incredible program from the James Beard Foundation.

The PEW had collaborated with the James Beard Foundations newly created initiative called the Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change to help the Save Antibiotics campaign.

This unique James Beard Foundation program is a workshop format that focuses on one food policy related issue. Chefs apply and are selected to be part of the camp. During their time together, the chefs receive learning sessions on an issue, such as antibiotic over use in farm animals. After this overview, the boot camp participants are given other sessions designed to give skills on how to lobby and organize for policy change. They have had two camps so far and plan to have two per year, there is such a high demand.

The First Boot Camp Graduates

The program is so successful, they actually have to turn people away months in advance.

JBF Director of Charitable Giving and Strategic Partnerships Kris Moon joined Real Food Empire for an in depth interview on how the Chef's Boot Camp was organized. He  also talked about the many programs at the Beard Foundation open to the public for education on all aspects of food. You can hear the podcast at this link:

You can become a supporting member as well as sign up for their newsletter.

The James Beard House in New York City 

It is truly inspiring to see how the Beard Foundation is working to make our world more delicious, artful and healthy with it's many training programs, public talks and initiatives for what they call "enlightened eating." I can not wait to go to New York City to visit this creative and important site for shaping the future of food!

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