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Friday, December 17, 2010

Alice Waters: A magnificent impact on the world

Can you imagine how magnificent it would be to have the kind of impact on even just your own neighborhood, let alone your city--and then your state--and then your region--and then the nation you live in and finally, out to the world as Alice Waters, founder of the Chez Panisse restaurant in San Francisco had?

Here is a woman who recognized that our food was too processed and pumped full of chemicals and cancer-causing agents that she began doing purely natural food, straight from the earth to the meal table and in it, made a food revolution.  

From Wikipedia:

Alice Louise Waters (born April 28, 1944) is an American chef, restaurateur, activist, and humanitarian. She is the owner of Chez Panisse, the world-renowned restaurant in Berkeley, California famous for its organic, locally-grown ingredients and for pioneering California cuisine.[1]

Waters opened the restaurant in 1971 at age 27. Since then, it has become one of the most awarded and renowned restaurants in the world, and has consistently ranked among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Waters has been cited as the most influential person in food in the past 50 years, and has been called the mother of American food.[2] She is currently one of the most visible supporters of the organic food movement, and has been a proponent of organics for over 40 years.[3] She believes that eating organic foods, free from herbicides and pesticides, is essential for both taste and the health of the environment and local communities.
In addition to her restaurant, Waters is involved in a variety of other projects. She has authored several books on food and cooking, including Chez Panisse Cooking (with Paul Bertolli) and The Art of Simple Food, and is one of the most well-known food activists in the United States and around the world. Waters’ work and philosophy is based on the principle that access to sustainable, fresh, and seasonal food is a right, not a privilege,[4] and believes that the food system needs to be “good, clean, and fair” [5]
With this vision, she founded the Chez Panisse Foundation in 1996, and created the Edible Schoolyard program at the Martin Luther King Middle School (Berkeley) in Berkeley, CA. Waters also serves as a public policy advocate on the national level for school lunch reform and universal access to healthy, organic foods, and the impact of her organic and healthy food revolution is typified by Michelle Obama’s White House organic vegetable garden.[6]
To do well is one thing.  To be successful, sure, that's terrific.  But to realize something so fundamental but important that it not only gives you a success but also helps start a revolution of sorts, and then to go on from that success and successful idea and create other avenues to get the word out and help others do more with the ideas and enjoy those avenues and benefits, it's pretty incredible.
It's a terrific example of what only one person can do.

It's enough to give a person terrific hope.

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