The story of The Edible Schoolyard Project starts with the story of Alice Waters which, in my personal telling really starts with the story of what was happening to American food BEFORE Alice Waters.
Long before I founded Gatheredtable, I was a young child in the 1970s and here’s what I remember:
- Tang powdered orange stuff was thought to be a ‘healthy’ beverage (because astronauts drank it)
- TV dinners were pitched as time-saving paths to a ‘healthy’ meal
- There was nary a farmers market in sight, and the vegetables on most dinner tables were previously canned or frozen
- The “high end” restaurants were either steak houses or traditional French food
- No one had heard of sushi, and in my midwestern city a lone Chinese restaurant defined the perimeter of local palettes
- In short, the age-old sensual act of eating had been industrialized and de-pleasurized
Enter Alice Waters. Her Chez Panisse restaurant opened in Berkeley, CA in the 1970s and went on to become the epicenter of the current US Food Revolution. Initially called “California cuisine,” her then-radical vision included fresh, local, organic, seasonal, produce-centric meals, prepared in ways that allowed the flavors of the ingredients to speak for themselves. She’s the godmother of it all — without Alice Waters there would likely be no farmers markets, no Whole Foods, and no Michelle Obama White House kitchen garden.
Last year, when named one of the 100 Most Influential People, TIME called Waters “a revolutionary who wants to change the world through food.” A key weapon in that revolution is her nonprofit The Edible Schoolyard Project. Their mission? To build and share a national edible education curriculum for pre-kindergarten through high school. They envision gardens and kitchens as interactive classrooms for all academic subjects, and a free, nutritious, organic lunch for every student.
We love what they stand for, and have committed 1% of our profits to The Edible Schoolyard Project. Our mission at Gatheredtable is to make homemade meals easier, empowering our customers to make healthy food choices that nourish both body and soul. Click here to get a free 10-day trial of our Meal Planning tools today.