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Written by Fedele Bauccio on May 25, 2012in Chefs, Featured, Fedele Bauccio, Low Carbon Diet, News - 0 Comments
I was surprised and disheartened to read comments by Thomas Keller in the New York Times that chefs’ only responsibility is to taste. “Is global food policy truly our responsibility, or in our control?” Keller asks. “I don’t think so.”
I disagree, as do many others, and I am hoping that Keller’s statements were taken out of context. Chefs have an enormous power to make a difference, and they can do so without sacrificing flavor. A good artist does not ignore the factors that affect his prized materials. If Michelangelo had learned Carrara marble was disappearing, he would not have shrugged and said another white stone would do for the David. If chefs ignore climate change, those oysters Keller and I both love will disappear from our warming oceans.
The food system is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse gas emissions. By making different culinary choices, the hundreds of chefs that work for us (many of whom idolize Thomas Keller) have reduced our carbon footprint by 25%, the equivalent of 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide monthly. They did it by cutting their beef usage — cattle are a major contributor to climate change — with dishes that use meat as a key flavor, not as the main course, and with naturally raised beef patties that were smaller but shrank less when cooked. They stopped buying air-freighted seafood, opting instead for fish and shellfish that have been flash-frozen at sea.
Yes, governments should address climate change. While they bicker over the best approach, we in the food world can and should make a difference. Continue…