What does the former White House Chef and Senior Policy Advisor for Nutrition Sam Kass have to say about current American food and cooking trends? On the go at the recent International Association of Culinary Professionals conference, I catch Sam for a quick chat about the shifts in American food culture, and the role that business plays in the healthy, personalized food equation on the most recent podcast of The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano.
During his White House tenure, Kass took on several additional roles around food policy including Executive Director of First Lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move!" campaign. Kass is also the first person in the history of the White House to have had a position in the Executive Office of the President and the Residence. In addition, he was instrumental in aiding Michelle Obama in creating the first major vegetable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden.
Kass is uniquely qualified to talk about the political verses cultural discussion centered around the dinner table, as well as the relationship between corporations and our food. While at the White House, Kass was responsible for a five-year partnership pledge from grocery giant Walmart. The company pledged a commitment to build up to 300 stores in areas defined as "food deserts," to lower the price of its fruits and vegetables, and to reduce the sugar, salt, and fat in its private-label products on its shelves.
Kass is currently the Chief Consumer Experience Officer for Innit and is deeply passionate about taking the discussion away from industry and lobbyists, and bringing it to the mainstream by making people care about what they eat, making food more affordable through less waste and by re-evaluating what it means to eat together in the home. Innit focuses on smart technology and kitchen appliances that unlock the information in our food and refrigerators so that we know exactly how long to cook each chicken, or when vegetables are fresh enough for salads or should be cooked before they go bad. Making food a political discussion, bringing people closer to their food and understanding how to cook and receive food nutrients are a big part of our conversation together in the podcast below.
Grab your own snack, listen in and enjoy to the most recent podcast of The Dinner Party with Elysabeth Alfano on iTunes with Sam Kass.