Six Questions with Jane Black, Food Writer for the Washington Post

From by Katie Opalinska
Six Questions with Jane Black, Food Writer for the Washington Post

Food Tank, in partnership with American University, is hosting the 2nd Annual Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. on April 20-21, 2016. 

This two-day event will feature more than 75 different speakers from the food and agriculture field. Researchers, farmers, chefs, policy makers, government officials, and students will come together for panels on topics including food waste, urban agriculture, family farmers, farm workers, and more. 

Food Tank recently had the opportunity to speak with Jane Black, Food Writer at the Washington Post, who will be speaking at the summit.

Food Tank (FT): What inspired you to get involved in food and agriculture?

Jane Black (JB): I've always loved food and cooking. I had a subscription to Gourmet Magazine when I was 10. If you want to eat well, you have to care about farmers and agricultural practices.

FT: What do you see as the biggest opportunity to fix the food system?

JB: There is no one silver bullet. My pet issue is cutting antibiotics out of the food system. It will help solve a whole host of animal welfare issues and it is essential that we protect this valuable medicine.

FT: What innovations in agriculture and the food system are you most excited about?

JB: At last, I think that companies and advocates are beginning to work together to make important incremental change. That is the only way we are going to fix food.

FT: What’s the biggest problem within the food system our parents and grand parents didn't have to deal with?

JB: Trust. When my parents and grandparents went to the grocery store, they never worried that something in the food would make them sick. Nor did they have to agonize over reading labels. Perhaps they should have; food manufacturers used plenty of ugly shortcuts back then. But now you go to the store and you constantly worry about making the right choice. The goal is to overhaul food so that we can make it worry free for everyone.

FT: What’s the first, most pressing issue you’d like to see solved within the food system?

JB: I think the government needs to rethink incentives--no easy task. We need to reward farmers for being stewards of the land, not based on how much they produce. 

FT: What agricultural issue would you like for the next president of the United States to immediately address?

JB: Antibiotics in livestock. We should ban therapeutic use (not just ask for voluntary adoption) and we should require companies to report what and how they use them.

To find out more about the event, see the full list of speakers, and purchase tickets, please click HEREInterested participants who cannot join can also sign up for the live-stream HERE.

To join us at Food Tank's São Paulo, Brazil Summit in September 2016, please click HERETo join us at Food Tank's Sacramento, CA Summit September 22-23, 2016, please click HERETo join us at Food Tank's Chicago, IL Summit November 16-17, 2016, please click HERE

Want to become a sponsor of the Food Tank Summit? Please click HERE

Want to suggest a speaker for one of the Summits? Please click HERE

Want to watch videos from last year's Food Tank Summit? Please click HERE

Sponsors for this year's Food Tank Summit in Washington, D.C. include: Barilla Center for Food and Nutrition, Chipotle, Clif Bar, D.C. Government, Driscoll's, Edible DC, Elevation Burger, Fair Trade USA, Food and Environment Reporting Network, Global Environmental Politics Program of the School of International Service, Greener Media, Inter Press Service, Leafware, Niman Ranch, Organic Valley, Panera Bread, and VegFund. 

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