Cheap Organic Herbs, Rise of Food-tainment, and Getting Kids to Eat Healthy

Staff Writer
What we learned at the inaugural James Beard Foundation Awards last night
Ungaro, Bayless, and Ellis at the Inaugural James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards
Jessica Chou

Ungaro, Bayless, and Ellis at the Inaugural James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards

As part of the JBF’s “Sustainability on the Table” conference, the chatter was all about getting America to eat better, buy better, and think more about food and where it comes from. We caught up with a couple of big-name pros to see what we could learn.

On Playing with Food: “The easy way to get kids to eat food is get them to play with their food, like making a smiley face out of vegetables on the plate, putting ants on a log, it’s how you showcase it. I had never seen ants on a log [before today]. How smart is that? I’m going to do that. I’m a hardy believer in playing with your food, as long as you also eat it.” - Rosemary Ellis, Editor in Chief of Good Housekeeping

On Food-tainment: “I have to give a lot of credit to the media. Food TV has really opened the consciousness to people ages 30 and under that there is a world and a prestige to making things from scratch. But we have food-tainment, entertaining food, and it’s not really about teaching.” - Susan Ungaro, President of the James Beard Foundation

On the American Family’s Menu: “Most American families, they typically only know five main dishes: chicken, chicken, and chicken, and throw in a pork and a pasta.” - Ungaro

On Cheap Organic Produce: “Grow your own. I always encourage the people to go to the grocery store, buy a bunch of basil, stick in some water on a south-facing window, and then it will be able to grow, and then you can put it in a pot, and as long as you water it appropriately it’ll give you a couple of months of stuff and you can keep picking. Herbs are the joy of cooking, right?” - Rick Bayless

The Daily Byte is a regular column dedicated to covering interesting food news and trends across the country. Click here for previous columns.