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[ Music ]
>> When I first decided to follow my passion for food
and begin working for Neil Perry
at his flagship Rockpool restaurant,
I had no formal qualifications in hospitality and catering.
One day I asked Neil, "Do you think I should go back to school
to get my commercial cookery certificate."
He promptly replied, "Kwong, you don't need
to go to cooking school.
Just learn on the job, stick with me
and read all the Alice Waters books.
[ Audience Laughing ]
Well, I did as I was told.
And the wisdom and inspiration I found between those covers,
including Alice's mantra of local, naturally-grown produce,
community, relationship, connexion, education,
and respect struck a very deep chord with me.
Throughout my childhood,
my mother embodied these same values and her love of cooking
and gathering around the table.
So, Alice's words really rang true for me and they continue
to inform all I do as a cook and a restaurateur.
At her own restaurant in California, Chez Panisse,
Alice pioneered the farm-to-table ethos,
championing locally-produced food
and small-scale sustainable agriculture.
And blazing a trail that changed the way we think about food.
I have been fortunate enough
to experience Chez Panisse several times
and I feel a deep connexion to the place
and what it represents.
I constantly dream of my next visit.
Tireless in her efforts to create a sustainable
and celebratory food culture,
Alice Waters' influence has been profound and far-reaching.
Her Edible Schoolyards programme has reclaimed all those paved
parking lots and turned them back into paradises.
With more than 2,000 Edible Schoolyards across the states
and beyond, she has taken her cause to the White House
where she worked with Michelle Obama
to plant an organic vegetable garden.
And now it seems, Alice has the Vatican
and the G20 leaders in her sights.
[ Applause ]
Called "The Fountain of Inspiration" by Carlo Petrini,
founder of the global Slow Food movement.
She's on a mission to teach us how to embrace
and instil slow food values in a fast food culture.
At the heart of her message is a human desire for connexion.
She encourages us to be a part of an inclusive, uplifting,
completely delicious, and very accessible life experience.
And that's why I believe her message continues to grow.
It is rooted in reality and humanitarian values.
Many of the leading chefs, cooks and slow food pioneers
in Australia have been inspired by her campaigning and writings,
and our burgeoning farmers markets
and educational kitchen gardens have grown form seeds planted
by her Delicious Revolution.
To have the mother of this revolution here
with us this evening is both an honour and a pleasure.
Please join me in welcoming Alice Waters to the stage.
[ Applause ]
>> Thank you so much, Kylie, for that introduction,
even though it was a little exaggerated.
[laughs] Especially around the Pope.
[inaudible] But it's thrilling to finally be here in Australia
and to be speaking at this amazing Sydney Opera House.
I think it's one of the great buildings of the world and full
of hopefulness and energy of this country.
And I'm honoured to be the first speaker of this amazing series.
Even though it's not part of the Festival of Dangerous Ideas
that I've heard so much about, I feel like I am part of that.
I'm going to be sharing some of my own dangerous ideas.
I've been invited to come to Australia
for probably 25 years and, for one reason or another,
I've never been able to find the right moment.
But earlier this year I realised that now was the moment.
For the past ten years, I've been focussed intently
on what is happening in the United States,
and to a lesser extent, what's happening in Europe.
However, I've come to realise
that we are pieces of the same puzzle.
An action in the United States has a reaction
in Brazil or in Mexico.
And the choices made in supermarkets
in London have a consequence in Kenya.
And decisions made in Beijing or Cabra have a global impact.
We're living in a truly globalised world.
Now, it was the French philosopher, Brillat-Savarin,
who said, "The fate of nations depends
on how they nourish themselves."
But if he lived at this moment,
I'm sure he would alter this idea to say,
"The fate of the planet depends on how we nourish each other."
When I heard that climate change was taken off the agenda
of the G8 in Brisbane, I must admit I was shocked.
Perhaps I was not paying attention.
I've always thought of Australia as a place
where the environment is so precious and the climate
so precarious, that you would be our natural leaders.
As a Californian and someone with relationships to hundreds
of farmers going to the worst drought imaginable,
I was alarmed that something so real and so urgent
as global warming could be put aside.
I know about the extraordinary ingenuity
of Australian permaculture.
I've known about it for many, many years.
And I figured that you might be able to help us figure out how
to feed ourselves in the future.
And it seems to me like the food industry in the United States,
that the mining industry here is doing the same thing.
They're pulling the wool over our eyes.
This means that Australia is playing an outside --
sized roll in destabilising the climate
and making agriculture increasingly impossible,
not only here, but all around the world.
But I know I have many kindred spirits here,
and I meet wonderful Australians around the world who are engaged
with the ideas that I hold so dear.
And there are people in film, like Peter Weir
and Warwick Thornton, and actors
like Cate Blanchett and Hugh Jackman.
And he actually -- Hugh Jackman just recently came
to the Edible Schoolyard in Berkley.
Amazing. And they're our friends, of course.
Like Kylie and Maggie Beer, and Skye in London, and Neil Perry.
And new friends like Sean Morant.
And, fortunately David Prior, my brilliant collaborator
and food writer introduced me to Stephanie Alexander.
And I regard her as a powerful ally in edible education
and whose vital work with the Kitchen Garden Foundation must
continue to be supported by politicians.
Or --
[ Applause ]
Or David said that we'll have to confiscate their copies
of The Cook's Companion.
[ Laugh ]
Well, what I want to talk to you tonight about is something
that I've been talking a lot about lately,
in lots of different places
around the country and around the world.
And, though it's not about food and cooking in the usual way,
it's really about them in a larger sense.
I think we can all agree that we face serious issues.
Obesity, diabetes, addiction, depression, pesticide use,
GMO foods, the economy, land use, water use,
fare wages for workers, violence, terrorism,
poverty, and childhood hunger.
The over-arching fear of climate change and the list goes on.
It's overwhelming.
In my opinion, all these dreadful issues we face --
and they are dreadful -- each and every one of them,
all of these issues are really outgrowths of a bigger,
more encompassing thing.
They're consequences of a much more fundamental
and deeply-rooted condition.
One that provides the soil, if you will,
for all the other issues to grow out of.
And by not addressing this deeper, larger,
pervasive condition -- what we're trying to do with all
of our well-intentioned attempts to solve the problems is merely
to treat the symptoms of a diseases without dealing
with the root causes of the disease itself.
And unless we deal with the deeper, more insidious,
systemic condition, all
of our other problem won't really go away.
They'll just come back like weeds that you pulled
from the garden one year and then they're there the next.
So, what is this deep, systemic condition?
The author Eric Schlosser, one of my personal heroes and one
of the great [inaudible] of our times, has pointed out that
in the United States, we live in fast food nation.
Fast food is, sad to say,
the dominant way people eat in the United States.
I'm sure I don't need to tell any of you this.
But what I'm not sure many of you realise, and it's something
that I've just come to recognise myself over the last decade
or so, is that fast food is not only about food.
It's bigger than that.
It's way bigger than that.
It's about culture.
Fast food not only affects our diets,
it also affects our rituals, our traditions, our behaviours.
Our relationships, our expressions.
Laws. Ways of working.
Systems and ways of doing things.
The affects of fast food doesn't just happen
at chain restaurants along freeways
or in malls, or in airports.
It permeates everything; from the way we look at the world
to how we operate in it, to how we see each other.
How we express ourselves.
To the way we do business, to our architecture,
to our entertainment, our journalism.
To how we treat each other.
How we interact with each other, or, in many cases these days,
don't interact with each other.
The clothes we wear.
And what we buy, what we sale.
To our parks, our schools.
Our politics.
And the list goes on.
Fast food culture has become the dominant culture
in the United States and I worry
that it's becoming the dominant culture of the world.
This is the bigger condition;
the soil that I feel all these other problems grow out of.
Fast food culture.
You see, like all cultures, fast food culture has its own set
of values, what I call "fast food values".
And these values saturate our ways of thinking
and doing things so thoroughly, in my mind,
I don't think we even see them anymore.
They're just part of our makeup, part of the landscape,
part of our biology at this point.
I fear, part of our daily lives.
And they completely degrade our human experience.
For example, a fast food value
of the fast food culture is uniformity;
the idea that you should get everything the same wherever
you go.
You know, the hamburger you get in Brisbane should be exactly
like the one you get in Brooklyn.
The t-shirt that you buy
in Los Angeles should match exactly the one you find
in Hong Kong, or there's something wrong with it.
We take this value for granted.
We actually like it a lot.
It thrills us.
It's modern.
It comforts us.
But like all fast food values,
uniformity masks deeper, darker issues.
In this case, I would say the pressure to conform,
the loss of individuality, or the respect for uniqueness.
Even prejudice and control.
All eggs should look the same.
All houses should look alike.
Everyone should behave in a certain way
or there's something wrong with them.
Speed. Speed.
That's another fast food value.
Things should happen really fast; the faster the better.
I have to confess, this is me.
[ Audience Laughing ]
You order it, you want to get it.
You want it, you should have it right then, no waiting.
The faster something's done the better.
When we live like this,
I fear that not only do our expectations become warped,
but we also become easily distractible.
We lose the sense that things take time.
That the best things take time.
Like growing food, or cooking, or learning,
or growing a business, or getting to know someone.
These days, if there's not instant gratification,
we get frustrated.
There's no maturity, no time for reflection.
No patience.
The faster it's delivered,
the faster it's communicated, the more valuable.
Time is money.
How many cows can you slaughter in the slaughter house in a day?
How many patients can you see in an hour?
How fast can you eat lunch?
Now, there's another fast food value.
The idea that we should be able to get any food we want,
wherever we want, whenever we want it, 24-7.
You should be able to get a tomato in Switzerland
in the middle of winter.
You should be able to get Evian water in Nairobi.
You should be able to get asparagus in July in Australia.
You should have cell phone service wherever you go.
I fall victim to that one too.
This twisted idea of availability, to me,
not only spoils people but causes them to lose track
of where they are in time and space.
Seasons stop mattering.
What's indigenous to certain places becomes unclear,
maybe even irrelevant.
There's always a feeling
that there's something better over there.
Local culture and the specialness
of what's happening here and now becomes less important
than the big, homogenised, fast food,
get-anything-you-want global reality.
Or, in my view, unreality.
Being present to what's going on around you is devalued.
I mean, just look at how many people these days are looking
at their smartphones while they walk down the street.
I'm not even sure they're aware of where they are.
How many of you are checking your phone right now?
[ Audience Laughing ]
I was thinking you're probably getting a post from, you know,
McDonald's or Starbucks.
You know, they've gotten into our Instagram.
Indeed. Cheapness, cheapness.
This one drives me crazy.
In the United States, there's a complete mixing-up of the idea
of affordability with cheapness.
There's a deep feeling that value is equated with bargains.
No one understands the real cost of things anymore because one;
nobody tells them, and two;
everything is artificially priced, supported by subsidies
and corporate slight-of-hand and credit.
I'm sure a lot of famers out there can really relate to this.
Because I believe in paying people for the true cost
of their work and their products, I'm --
you know, people say that I'm artificially driving
up the prices of food in markets.
And I say that it's the discounted prices
that are artificial.
I feel it's my responsibility
to pay the true cost of food if I can.
I saw on the way to the airport -- ride here to Sidney,
that slogan from the biggest supermarket in town.
I heard from my friend, David.
It was, "Down, down, prices are down."
[ Audience Laughing ]
"Down, down."
[ Audience Laughing ]
Well, I think that does not mean that their profits are down.
What they are paying the famers is down.
That's what's down.
But there was a great op-ed in the New York Times not long ago
and I don't know whether any of you saw it.
A small organic farmer described quite eloquently how he and many
of the other farmers he knows needs to work one
or two extra jobs just to get the farms going.
And he said it was a myth that small farms
like his were making it.
Well, I don't think this would be a myth
if these farmers were paid appropriately
for the beautiful food they provide to all of us.
We need to support the real food people, not the supermarkets
that co-opt their values.
[ Applause ]
The truth is that it's something we all need to learn.
Things can be affordable, but they can never be cheap.
When I hear someone say I got it cheaper over here,
I just feel intuitively
that somewhere someone is being sold out.
You cannot not pay for something here without someone
over there not getting what they deserve.
You cannot not pay for something here and not expect
to have other problems in your life over there.
Like with the environment or with your health,
or international relations.
In the end, all of these deals cost us much, much more.
All of us.
And I think we know this deep down.
There are many other fast food values;
I'm sure you can identify some for yourself.
Like I say, they are invisible at first but once you start
to notice them, they're everywhere.
It's quite shocking.
Work is drudgery.
That's one.
Many of us accept this as natural but I assure you,
work doesn't have to be drudgery unless you're
in a system created or supported by a fast food culture.
Work in my mind, though difficult at times,
should actually provide a sense of value and accomplishment;
a sense of purpose and satisfaction;
a certain kind of pleasure.
Fast food culture, by its very nature, for its very survival,
strips work of these possibilities.
It makes us all believe
that work should be something degrading and meaningless.
Hollow. A job just something to get though to get money.
Fast food culture bleeds us
of our humanity as we work within it.
And, sadly, as we work inside fast food culture,
we inadvertently strengthen it.
And really what gets to me is that after convincing us
that work is drudgery, fast food culture provides us
with the pleasures to fill the emptiness this dissatisfied
work-life has left in us.
Pleasures like, well, fast food for one.
And video games, and TV, and hours on Facebook,
and alcohol and drugs.
And the things I like to call consumption vacations,
where people just go and gorge themselves to feel better.
Basically, the way I see it, fast food culture separate work
and pleasure for us, and then it profits from the separation.
"More is better."
"More is better."
That's another fast food value.
The more you pile on your plate, the happier you'll be.
The more massive the store, the better.
The more apps you have, the more connected and fulfilled.
Basically, it's the more you have,
the more choices you're offered, the better.
I find this fast food value so strange because, to me,
when I get too much stuff and have too many choices,
I just become overburdened and feel overwhelmed.
There's no room for discernment, there's just volume and weight.
At Chez Panisse we used to be criticised so much
for having only one menu.
But it was the only way that I could simplify things
and guide people towards what I wanted them to feel
and to know and to taste.
Now, people look forward to one menu so that they can focus
on tasting something that they may have never chosen
for themselves.
Something that might surprise them or delight them.
I heard something interesting last year.
There's a chain of restaurants, in both the United States
and in England, and in England they charge the same price
for half of the portion of what they serve in the United States.
[ Audience Laughing ]
I don't know what the moral is exactly,
but I don't think it's "more is better."
As you know, we have an obesity epidemic in the United States
and I think it's intimately connected
with this idea of "more is better".
It's a physical manifestation of it.
Some fast food values can be more abstract and illusive,
like terminology and how it's used or misused,
and the confusion around it.
I mean, what does "organic" mean these days?
For that matter, what does "local" mean?
Or "fair trade"?
It seems these definitions of terms have been hijacked
and they seem to fluctuate and have more to do with marketing
and presentation than with an attempt to clarify and inform.
And what's scarier is how fast these terms get hijacked.
In the food world when we find a new term that works for us,
like "sustainable", it gets grabbed immediately
by fast food culture and it's used
everywhere indiscriminately.
And in no time the term becomes cloudy
and misleading, if not meaningless.
And there are many other slippery terms
that I'm aware of.
And what does "Australian-made" mean?
[ Audience Laughing and Applause ]
Well, behind the issue
of terminology is the issue of standards.
What standards are we really using
and where did they come from?
They seem to be standards but they don't mean anything,
or worse, they reduce standards.
Or at food companies who lobby
to get chemicals considered natural ingredients
in their products.
This is what's happening.
In other cases it seems to me we're too willing to compromise
or change our standards, or abandon them altogether.
We serve filtered water at Chez Panisse,
mainly because we've found
that what the government considers safe,
we're not at all sure about.
And take the term "grass-fed".
You can use that term
in the U.S. even though the animals you're talking
about have only been grass-fed for a couple
of weeks of their lives.
So, in many cases it's kind of a lie.
Another fast food value; dishonesty.
Perhaps that's the most --
that's the biggest one of them all.
I saw a bumper sticker once, and it said, "If we are what we eat,
then I'm fast, cheap and easy."
[ Audience Laughing ]
I don't think I can say it any better than that.
Now, the reason these values are so important to me is
that values shape behaviour.
So, if the culture around us is glamorising and promoting values
that dehumanise us, then all of us, naturally, are going to act
in ways that dehumanise us.
And if we act in ways that dehumanise us,
all the problems I was talking
about at the beginning can't help but occur.
I recently saw a movie about the life
of a revolutionary farm worker, Cesar Chavez.
I don't know whether you know him.
I was so struck by -- well, by many things.
But the thing that struck me the most was how brave Cesar Chavez
and his fellow activist farmers were.
They saw something wrong, they saw the injustice of it
and they started to articulate it and protest.
And they were met
with such massive resistance;
threats to their livelihood and lives.
But they stayed strong, committed to what they felt.
And they marched across those fields and they fought
for what was morally right.
And look what happened;
the birth of the modern farm worker movement
in the United States.
But there's still so much more work
to be done on workers' rights.
But Cesar Chavez and his colleagues really were holding
the line at an important time.
It's a lesson to us all.
It shows us what's possible in the face of overwhelming odds.
So, yes, there is a fast food culture and yes,
it permeates every aspect of our lives.
Fortunately, there's a counterforce
to all of this, an antidote.
And I call it, no surprise, "slow food culture".
Slow food culture is not as flashy or as aggressive
as fast food culture, but it's just as enticing.
It's richer, deeper, truly life-affirming and fulfilling.
One with customs and practices cultivated over centuries
since the beginning of civilisation.
It's a culture connected to nature;
one that organises itself instinctively
around nature's cycles and patterns and lessons.
It's a universal culture, so to speak.
We've just left it behind.
And slow food culture, like fast food culture,
has its own set of values.
And again, no surprise, Cesar's slow food values.
Slow food values are basically affirmative human values.
And you know them all; ripeness, aliveness, beauty, awareness,
inner-connectedness, patience, integrity, community,
friendship, honesty, respect.
These are civilised, earthbound values and they grow
out of intimate, centrally engaging activities.
And through them, we connect to and aspire
to create a life -- Oops.
Mythroat. I have to apologise.
[ Coughing ]
I came on the plane with a slight illness and 24 hours
on the plane here left me with a desire to drink a lot of water.
[ Audience Laughing ]
But I'm determined.
I'm determined.
Slow food values are the things that actually guide us to behave
in ways that makes our lives pleasurable and meaningful.
Fast food values are alien to our very being.
They're foisted upon is from the outside, starting in preschool
with the help of advertisement.
An indoctrination.
They're everywhere.
They're on our televisions, along freeways,
in our airports, in our homes.
But, thankfully, slow food values are intrinsic to us.
We're born with them.
They're part of our biological makeup,
at the core of our very existence.
They've just been covered up, deadened by the assault
of fast food culture around us.
And they're just waiting to be awakened.
It just takes a spark; a taste of a ripe mango here
in December, or gazing at a night sky full of stars.
Even a smile on someone's face that you've helped,
or the feeling of a child sitting
on your lap as you read to them.
But once you've awakened them, slow food values grow in you
and they become alive, and your perspective naturally shifts.
You're behaviour unconsciously changes and because of that,
you're existence brightens.
I always say it's like falling in love.
That used to be easy, remember?
[ Audience Laughing ]
Now, my journey at Chez Panisse is a good example
of how awakening slow food values can change things.
I'm sorry to use Chez Panisse
but it's the only example I know really well.
And when we started the restaurant in 1971,
we weren't really talking about a revolution.
Well, maybe we were.
[ Audience Laughing ]
What we were really trying to do was recreate a way of life
that I'd experienced as a student in France.
And that's how we lucked out.
Because France at that time --
and this was in the early 60's --
France was a slow food culture.
French people lived in a different way,
moving in different rhythms, focussed on different values.
So, by trying to recreate this European life,
we at Chez Panisse, without really thinking about it,
naturally expressed slow food values
in every decision we made.
And I'm not talking about monumental decisions.
I'm talking about what kind
of chairs should we get for the dining room?
Ones that reflect craftsmanship and beauty, or plastic chairs
that reek of uniformity and mass production?
Let's get mismatched silverware from the flea market.
It's cheaper and it's beautiful,
instead of that industrial flatware.
Let's put freshly picked flowers on the tables everyday
to remind us what season we're in.
And let's really consider the music we're playing
in the background so that it brings people together
and alive, and doesn't drown out their conversations.
And these small, personal decisions were magic because,
like I said, they had slow food values already imbedded in them.
The same thing happened in the kitchen.
We started cooking over fire and foraging for food
in the nearby hills and connecting
with local organic farmers.
They were pulling oysters out of the water the day
that we served them because that's the way the French had
done it.
And these values changed us and our world as we practised them.
The cumulative effect was almost predestined
to be the broad culture of Chez Panisse.
And there are things in my mind
that our customers really responded to.
They thought it was the food and the decor and the service
and the politics, but really it was the slow food values
in embedded in everything.
That was what I think everyone subconsciously felt was
so unique.
Now, this is why I believe so profoundly in what I'm calling
"edible education"; a slow food curriculum, if you will,
that begins when children first go to school and continues
with them though their whole academic life.
I really feel that if we turn students on to these kinds
of things I'm talking about, introduce them
to slow food values when they're young, a miracle will happen.
A new kind of living and learning will become,
as Michael Pollan might say, second nature to all
of them and, through them, all of us.
I don't know how many of you know
that I was a Montessori teacher before I started Chez Panisse.
I had seen firsthand how well Maria Montessori's methods
of teachings worked.
She likes food.
She liked food.
And she was Italian, of course.
Montessori's philosophy is based on an experiential education
of the senses; see, hear, touch, taste, smell.
The senses are our pathways into our minds.
And I believe, and I've seen
that when children's senses are stimulated and opened,
not only does their learning improve,
but they also get a clear perspective on the world
and their place in it.
They become inspired and empowered to create lives
that are richer, more grounded, pleasurable and beautiful.
It is a tried and true way of educating
that first worked dramatically in the streets of Rome and then
in India, with children who's senses had been closed down due
to the poverty and the harshness of their lives.
Today, kids' senses are closed down in similar ways.
Many by poverty and violence.
Excuse me.
This is a very important point.
But all of that by their unwitting indoctrination
into fast food culture.
Think about it.
Every single moment of their lives they're confronted
with it; on the computer,
in their text books, in their music.
On their clothes,
in the advertisements inside school hallways,
with the corporate branding
of their favourite sports teams and events.
And with all the fast food
and soft drink concessions on every corner.
And in popular television shows that are supposed to be
about cooking and real food.
It's inescapable.
In an edible education, we shift the kids' focus
by placing something better in front of them.
Sense-oriented experience.
We do this by placing food and food concerns in the middle
of the curriculum of the whole school.
I know this sounds unusual, but eating is a central part
of all of our daily lives.
And it touches every one of those slow food values.
I know that in Australia you have a very unusual scenario
of children bringing their own lunch from home,
so it is different from most of the rest of the world.
But bear with me for a moment while I describe the scenario
as it might exist within the current school system
in the U.S. Okay.
By integrating food in a more comprehensive way
into a student's life, expose her to these values,
occurs naturally and democratically
in the course of each day.
All classes are affected and energised
because they are embedded in the real, living,
evolving environments.
Project-based learning gets grounded.
Not only do kids start eating well, but math --
math suddenly becomes a practical, hands-on class taught
in the lab, if you will, of a farm or a garden
or a kitchen classroom.
A foreign language lesson is enhanced by the translation
of recipes or the performance of music from other cultures.
A biology class is illuminated by activity in the compost heap
or by studying and observing chickens and insects
in their natural habitats.
Things like biodiversity, interconnectedness,
empathy are experienced almost subconsciously,
as if by osmosis, just by walking
around a revitalised campus.
The nature of this whole school begins to change.
But the best news of all on top of all these things is
that schools can create sustainable support networks
beyond themselves.
Like we did at Chez Panisse,
they can start buying organic food and supplies
from local farmers and retailers, and sending compost
to city parks or back to farms.
They can transform their communities
and eliminate the middle man immediately.
Think about it; 20 percent of the population goes to school.
Imagine what would happen if we adopted sustainable criteria
for everything we buy in the public school system.
Not just food but everything.
Not only would we be educating the next generation into a new,
delicious way of eating and learning,
but the schools themselves,
the universities would become alternative economic engines
for their communities.
Wouldn't it be fantastic
if schools supported our communities rather
than the other way around?
It would be more than great.
It would be revolutionary.
It would be.
And this isn't just gardens in school
or our home economic classes.
It's not that or a special environmental class.
We're not talking about, you know,
upgrading food service on campus.
We're talking about a larger, more radical approach
to changing the face of schools by integrating food
into every aspect of academic life.
And I'm talking about --
I'm really talking about changing the pedagogy;
the philosophy behind what we teach,
how we teach it and where teach it.
I'm talking about reimagining schools from the ground up.
A paradigm shift.
Now, I've seen this transformation that I'm talking
about happen in many different places.
It's been happening, of course, at the Edible Schoolyard
in Berkeley for over 20 years.
This is a middle school that serves a thousand kids.
And they come from families that speak 22 different languages.
And I've watched this transformation spread
to thousands of primary and secondary schools
around the country and around the world.
I've seen it happen in colleges and universities.
Several years ago I was asked to change the food at Yale
in New Haven, and because we did it with slow food values
in mind, the whole campus began to change.
They have an amazing garden there, a huge garden
with hundreds of different varieties
of fruits and vegetables.
And I've seen the transformation occur with the inmates
at the San Francisco County Gaol.
In fact, the Prison Project, started 30 years ago,
was the original inspiration for the Edible Schoolyard.
I thought, if it can happen in a gaol,
why can't it happen in a school?
Well, let's help the kids, take care of them
in school before they drop out and go to gaol.
[ Audience Laughing ]
That there's an idea.
You know it cost $85,000 for each child who drops
out of school because it's 95 percent go directly to gaol.
This is in high school.
So, there's money there.
I want to point out, though, that in each and every instance,
from the little school to the big institution,
it was the taste of authentic food that set
in motion these shifts in awareness and behaviour.
The tastes and aromas and activities of growing
and cooking real food is what seduced people to sit down.
And once they got there, they stayed at the table
and they started talking and passing the peas and connecting
with each other in different ways.
And now I want to introduce my own dangerous idea here
at the Sydney Opera House [laughs].
Okay. I believe that centrepiece of edible education
at every school has to be a sustainable
and delicious school lunch for every child, kindergarten
through twelfth, and it had to be free.
[ Applause ]
I believe the Australian government,
like all governments, need to make a commitment
to introducing a universal school lunch programme.
Although it might seem like an impossibility to you now;
you're thinking what would that cost?
How would I build the infrastructure?
How would we do that?
It's a crazy, wild dream.
But I want you to think for a moment about the cost
of not investing in a programme like this.
We're faced with dramatic challenges
and we need a dramatic solution.
Feeding every child in school is not
only the right thing to do, but it is the only thing to do.
There is always money for what is morally right
and where there is a strong national conviction,
there is always a way.
As Australians with a small population
and a wonderful agrarian tradition,
and an egalitarian spirit, you have the opportunity
to implement an edible education that could be a model
for the rest of the world.
Truly. I'm a big believer
in what Gloria Steinem said several years ago,
that public education is our last truly
democratic institution.
I know she's right.
Everyone goes to school, or should.
It's the common place in our culture
where we can reach every child while they're still open
and they're still learning.
And it's the place of equality, or it should be.
And I feel deep in my heart that our schools are the place
where we're going to create deep, lasting change.
Now, before I go, I want to tell you something very important
to demonstrate how possible this is.
An amazing thing happened at Chez Panisse
at the beginning of the year.
On January 6th, we had a beautiful diner
with all the chancellors from the University of California
and the new president of the university, Janet Napolitano.
Now, I wanted this diner to be very, very special
and I always feel better when I'm feeding people ideas rather
than talking about them, and this was my chance.
I invited Michael Pollan just for insurance.
[ Audience Laughing ]
We started with a crab salad and then we had chickens roasting
on the spit in the fireplace.
And for dessert there was warm apple pie
and we had some special honey ice cream
that we had gathered the honey from our rooftop hive.
And two long tables were set up so
that we could talk easily to one another.
And the evening was magical;
it was going just the way I had hoped.
But I never imagined that Janet Napolitano would do what she did
at the end of the meal.
She stood up and made a little speech
about how important it was to plant these ideas
into the university system right now.
And then she sat down and did an amazing thing;
she wrote out in long hand on the back of the menu.
She wrote out what she called "a compact for sustainability"
and then she asked all the chancellors to sign it.
And they committed themselves
to assembling a university-wide global food initiative to focus
on the scientific, cultural, environmental, sustainable,
and health aspects of food.
It was a historic moment.
And it showed me that it's possible
to imagine dramatic change.
We have to imagine it so that we can create it.
These ideas that I'm talking about, when they're done
with justice and beauty, they inspire people.
And then everyone feels compelled to make them happen.
Isn't this what Gough Whitlam did?
Isn't it? Isn't it?
[ Audience Laughter then Applause ]
And now aren't pieces
of his courageous agendas cornerstones of Australian life?
It's time.
[ Audience Laughing ]
It's time for a delicious revolution.
Thank you!
[ Applause ]


在快餐世界的慢食品價值,在房子的想法 (Alice Waters: Slow Food Values in a Fast Food World, Ideas at the House)

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Hhart Budha 發佈於 2018 年 1 月 7 日