21 Feb 2017

The activist chef

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 3:07 pm on 21 February 2017
Sam Kass cooked for the Obamas in the White House and served as the senior adviser for nutrition policy

Sam Kass cooked for the Obamas in the White House and served as the senior adviser for nutrition policy Photo: instagram.com/samkassdc

Sam Kass is no ordinary chef.

He cooked for the Obamas in the White House for six years and served as President Obama's senior adviser for nutrition policy.

He's the kind of chef who gets invited to the World Economic Summit in DAVOS not to cook food, but to talk about global issues and their connection to food.

He's passionate about kids and nutrition, working with Michelle Obama on her campaign for healthy eating, and he's passionate changing the way the world produces food. He's started a company called TROVE, connecting  personal health with the health of the planet.  

He says he served a meal at DAVOS called the Last Supper.

"We Use food to tell a powerful story about what we’re facing, one of the meals I do is called the Last Supper made with foods like chocolate and wine and coffee and shell fish, pistachio and almonds. These are products that experts predict we won’t have access to for future generations our kids and grandkids won’t be able to afford them because they’re going to be do hard to grow because of climate change.

"You tell people chocolate, coffee and wine won’t be around and you have people ready to riot in the streets!"

He also served an 'ugly vegetable soup' using left overs.

Chef, Sam Kass

Chef, Sam Kass Photo: twitter

"We waste globally about a third of what we produce, in the US it’s about 40 percent of food cultivated ends up in the trash and landfill which then produces methane. It’s hard to imagine a oil company wasting a third of what it pulls out of the ground."

He says Michelle Obama had a deep concern for child and the problem in the US is huge..

"One in three kids is on track to have diabetes in their life time," he says.

The number of children going to school with out breakfast in New Zealand will create many more problem down the track he says.

"Look at the data, kids without breakfast dramatically under perform they have trouble concentrating. It’s just unconscionable that anybody in their right mind would think it was acceptable to deny serving those kids a basic breakfast, it’s a no-brainer as a policy to make sure all kids get the basic nourishment in the morning."