Alice Waters’s Fight for Better Food

March 16th, 2009 - 11:21 pm ICT by GD  

Alice WatersFood legend Alice Waters has brought about a huge difference to the way Americans eat, cook and perceive their food. She opened her French bistro Chez Panisse in Berkeley back in 1971 and today it is known internationally as one of the finest restaurants. She was 27 then and she is 64 now, but her crusade for better food has continued.

She has authored eight cookbooks but what made her famous was her fight to make popular fresh food, grown in an environmentally safe manner. The movement is called “slow food” and is a direct alternative to what America and the world knows as “fast food”. And it is not the upper echelons that are accepting her movement. She is well into mainstream America with her movement.

It began at Chez Panisse where she began serving antibiotic and hormone free meats as well as organic local produces. Correspondent Lesley Stahl asked Waters if she thought of herself as a revolutionary in the food movement, and the legend replied, “I guess I do now, but when I started Chez Panisse I wasn’t thinking of a philosophy about organic and sustainable. I just was looking for flavor.” Alice Waters uses no frozen items when cooking and insists on buying fresh ingredients from local ranchers, fishermen and farmers.

On an appearance on 60 minutes recently, Waters said, “Good food is a right, not a privilege.” Gavin Newsom, the Mayor of San Francisco said, “She has, I think, done more to change our eating habits for the better than anyone in the United States of America.

We consume lousy food. This is killing us. I mean it really is. We have a drinking and eating problem in this country, not just in San Francisco. And this whole movement to me is the antidote for that.”

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