The Alice Waters Phenomenon

12 Oct

If you are interested in healthful eating, then you are probably familiar with the Slow Food Movement and have an idea of who Alice Waters is.

For those of you that need clarification, Alice Waters is a California-based food activist and restaurateur that is dedicated to spreading awareness about the importance of eating locally grown and organic food. She is one of the most outstanding promoters of Slow Food USA, a movement that seeks to provide more attractive alternatives to fast food by advocating for farmers and encouraging the consumption of local, seasonal, and sustainable food. Waters also founded the very respected and high-end restaurant in the Bay Area, Chez Panisse, that is known for its incorporation of local and organic ingredients in the creation of exquisite yet surprisingly simple dishes.

Regardless of your familiarity with Alice Waters, chances are you’ll recognize the name Anthony Bourdain. Another well-known member of America’s food industry, Bourdain is well-known for being the host on the Travel Channel’s food program, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He has often butted heads with Alice Waters as a result of their different perspectives and ideals.

Here is a clip of an Alice Waters and Anthony Bourdain face-off in which Bourdain provides an important point that Waters fails to address appropriately.

Although some viewers may have initially disliked Bourdain due to his condescending tone, he acknowledges a hugely significant obstacle that lower-income Americans face regarding healthful eating. All over the country there exist ‘food deserts’ in which the only places to buy food in the neighborhood are convenience stores that sell cheap, mass-produced food. These people don’t have the means to access the kind of food that Waters advocates for. Although she has a very admirable goal in that every American should know the source of their food and be comfortable with the way it was grown or raised, it is a goal far less realistic than idealistic.

-Angela Magyari

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