The Politics of Eating

Like I mention last week, most American’s couldn’t tell you their food comes from. It’s sad, but its our own systems fault. We subsidize corn and soy to keep prices low (not to mention use bioengineering to extract items from said products that we use in 70% of the food we eat) and we do the same for meats like beef and pork (which along with chicken are the most subsidized foods in this country.)

What am I getting at?

Food should be plentiful, and found everywhere. Here in America, it is plentiful but why? Our government keeps it that way. They do it for many reasons, most of which are in such detail that it would take quite a while to talk about. However, did you know that only FOUR companies control most of this market? Four. Bet that blew most of your minds. Yes, its true.Farmers no longer raise cattle for personal slaughter. Instead we send bovines and pigs and chickens to slaughter houses en mass. Hundreds of thousands of them. Oh no! What else is appalling is the size of our food. We seem to have increase the size of the meat (in the case of chicken breasts) yet decreased the price.

As a chef for sustainable agriculture, I believe it’s important to respect the quality of food. I ask myself:

Does our current system work? Yes, but what are the costs? E-coli poisoning, poor quality of meat, wasted product. I’ve said this time in and time out, the most important habit a young chef can do, especially if they would like to attend a culinary school or institute, is learn all that you can about food. Food makes up the lifeblood of our beautiful, diverse world, where cultures and history are defined simply by what we place inside our mouths.

PSA: Don’t allow inferior product to come out of your kitchens.

What about cooking at home?

Cooking at home is obviously a much different hand of cards than cooking for a restaurant. It still is a place where you can educate yourself. When you shop at a grocery store pay attention to the quality of the items you purchase. Is it organic? Is it fed antibiotics or sprayed with pesticides? Does it come from an area with poor health standards? Just ask yourself these questions, and it will allow for a healthier and much more educated decision next time your reaching for that handful of strawberries that came from Mexico.

Later these week I’ll dive a little deeper into our subjects. Til then.

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            5 Program(s) Found
            • Received the 2015 and 2013 “Cooking School of the Year” Award of Excellence from the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP).
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
            • Externship opportunities are available at numerous famous New York City restaurants.
            • Campus is located near downtown Manhattan, within walking distance of many popular attractions such as the Radio City Music Hall.
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            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            • Hands-on culinary education with focused attention on each student
            • An ACCSC School of Excellence with multiple “Best Vocational Cooking School” awards*
            • 15,000 graduates, including celebrities like Bobby Flay, David Chang, and Christina Tosi*
            • Programs in Culinary Entrepreneurship, Professional Culinary Arts, Professional Pastry Arts, and much more
            • Campuses in New York and Silicon Valley with nearby housing available
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            • Students get real-world experience through the required externship at the end of the program.
            • Curriculum includes laboratory sessions, academic preparation and hands-on experience.
            • Program objectives are to provide students with skills needed for cooking wholesome, attractive, food preparations and to assist graduates in obtaining positions in the food service industry.
            • Accredited by the American Culinary Federation (ACF).
            • Has campuses in Melbourne, Sarasota, and Tallahassee, Florida
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            L'Ecole Culinaire , Saint Louis
            • Offers educational opportunities for the aspiring, career-minded chef.
            • Students are trained by professional chefs and spend the majority of their final term working in the campus restaurant to learn all phases of the culinary industry.
            • St. Louis campus offers new Food Truck Entrepreneurship courses.
            • Has a student-run food truck that tours around St. Louis.
            • All campuses have a public restaurant where food is prepared and served by students.
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            • Gives students the opportunity to earn their associate’s degree in the culinary arts field in less than 15 months or bachelor’s degree in the food service management field in 2.5 years through their year-round schedule.
            • Located in Norfolk and Newport News, Virginia.
            • Offers externship experiences to students for experience in the field.
            • Hosts regular career fairs for employer recruitment.
            • Has student housing available.
            • Accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC).
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            • Has been training students in the culinary arts since 1946.
            • Teaches hands-on culinary training in French, Asian, Mediterranean, Latin and American cooking, along with professional baking and pastry techniques.
            • Helps students gain professional skills in culinary management.
            • Offers an Italian Culinary Arts program where students get to externship in Italy.
            • Its instructors are respected chefs who put their dedication and life experiences into their instruction.
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