January 6, 2014
The dynamics of sustainability are thread by health under girded by access. The access to education and healthy foods supports the change from proactive to preventative healthcare solutions. The connection of chefs to growers is beginning to be more than a novelty but a philosophy endeavoring to change food delivery. The news considering “What’s on the front burner for chef Art Smith” prominent socially known chef can exploit the concept of health.
Art Smith says, “My general philosophy is that I want to feed people, but I want to feed them in a sustainable way. I want people to have options,” he says. “You can either have a table experience or a more gastropub experience. I want people to think of us as more than a special occasion.”
Smith, 53 is “Leveraging his fame as Oprah Winfrey’s former personal chef, Mr. Smith has written four cookbooks and runs restaurants in Chicago, Atlanta and Washington. But he’s also focused on finding ways for people to eat better without having to spend a lot of money. Art Smith sees dollar signs when he thinks about food.”
Mr. Smith also is one of two executive chefs at Lyfe Kitchen, a new chain of fast-casual restaurants started by two former McDonald’s Corp. executives that tries to encourage healthy eating with an average meal cost of $15. In November, the Chicago-based company opened a restaurant in River North, its first location outside California and one of 10 planned for the Chicago area by 2018.
The challenge is to find a healthy meal at $5.00 per person. For many $15.00 is 2 hours pay for many. Healthy foods when extricated from class and socioeconomics elevates social systems that feed a nation.
The passion behind the chef was delivered through philanthropy. “Mr. Smith has set an ambitious goal for his decade-old nonprofit, Common Threads, to teach 1 million children and their families the principles of healthy cooking by 2017. Mr. Smith and his spouse, Jesus Salgueiro, started Common Threads as an afterschool program for 16 low-income students on the South Side. It’s now in 120 schools, all at the elementary level, in Chicago, Washington, Miami, Los Angeles and East Palo Alto, Calif. The annual budget in 2013 was $2.3 million; for 2014, it’s $2.7 million.”
He also plans to spur economic development in the small north Florida town of Jasper, where he grew up. The Art Smith Co. is spending about $200,000 to open a cafe this year in cooperation with Starbucks Coffee Co. A second building will house programming for Common Threads and the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. There are also tentative plans to build a commercial bakery.
“The sooner a child becomes conscious and involved with food and (food) decision- making, the better off they will be when they are older,” says Ms. Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine and a research nutritionist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine.
The hard reality about food is it a necessary and vital source that one cannot live without. The determining factor is the quality of that food. It was my delivery that when youth and families are exposed to healthy foods in a non threatening manner they can receive the education and are willing to taste the unknown. The complexity of food and health is access, affordability and education that supports healthy society. Further, the process of healthy food when planned sustainably will have a greater impact on scoiety.