Fighting to Feed America
with Craig Baker, Indianapolis Representative for Culinary Fight Club
Posted Jul 20, 2017
Expires Mar 31, 2019
Fighting hunger in the United States is an uphill battle. However, hope lives on in organziations like Culinary Fight Club and Fight 2 Feed which aim to provide food insecure communities with the fresh food they may not have access to on their own. From local, Indy eateries like The Local Eatery and Pub, Taco Shop and Bent Rail Brewery, Chef/Partner Craig Baker highlights the national food competition, Culinary Fight Club and how it works with Fight to Food to deliver food and cut down on America's food waste problem. In fact, it is an 86 billion pound problem and that is how much is wasted, annually, in America, by households and the food service alike. Baker further details how the resources of chefs and mobility of food trucks helps the efforts to feed America, one city at a time.
You can visit culinaryfightclub.com to see when the food competition is coming to your city. Culinary Fight Club: The Steak comes to Indianapolis on July 24, 2017 at Bent Rail Brewery.
Interview recorded on July 12, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1.
Read a partial transcript of the interview here:
Bennett: Let's begin with how Culinary Fight Club and Bent Rail Brewery found each other.
Baker: So, about 5 years ago I attended World Food Championships in Las Vegas and forged some relationships with guys I met that were wearing Fight to Feed t-shirts. As Culinary Fight Club grew, Indianapolis was put on the map.
Bennett: How did Indianapolis end up being a host city for Culinary Fight Club
Baker: Being so close to Chicago, Indianpolis was one of the first cities. We are now in 32 cities in total.
Bennett: You team up with Fight to Feed which brings food trucks together with a mission. Tell me about that.
Baker: It is a very natural way of getting food out through community centers and what not; primarily in Chicago and Indianapolis is one of the first five cities to forge expansion from there.
Bennett: You think about poverty and hunger and wonder if it ever can get better. What's your thoughts on that
Baker: So much food goes to waste in America, it's crazy. Almost half of all the produce in America goes to waste, so through organizations like Fight 2 Feed, we can transfer that food. Chefs being active in this, we can process and cook food much faster for people that can't.
What Indianapolis Needs to Better Fight Food Insecurity
Indianapolis has been ranked the worst city in the nation for access to fresh food. The Patachou Foundation is aware of that fact and is "working hard to change this by providing real food and hands-on education to kids living in these areas." Offering a hands-on approach to fight food insecurity. The foundation send out educated representatives into the community; into school cafeterias and into classrooms. The kids are exposed to nutritional demonstrations and given a wholesome meal, similar to what you eat at the cafe or other Patachou-owned restaurants, like Napolese. Click here for more on The Patachou Foundation
Interview recorded on August 23, 2017. Hosted by Taylor Bennett. Part 1 of 1.
Read a partial transcript of the interview here:
Bennett: We've highlighted some organizations that are fighting against hunger, is it making a difference so far
Feltrop: Absolutely. Those statistics show that, across the nation, food insecurity and access to food is on the minds of policy makers.
Bennett: What is the issue in Indiana
Feltrop: Well specifically in Central Indiana you have a combination of issues. The reality is that hunger includes access to food. Indianapolis has a huge problem with the layout of the neighborhoods and just the economics of running grocery retail makes it difficult to place, locally, accessible, fresh food options in neighborhoods.
Bennett: Does it also mean healthy food
Feltrop: Fresh options are more healthy. Statistics do show that when there is a close proximity to a grocery store, the health outcomes of the community members tend to get better.
Bennett: What would you like to see as far as making this problem go away What would be the ideal
Feltrop: The reason why we are still grappling with this is that there are so many facets to the issue. It's an economic issue; poverty has continued to worsen. The polarizing economy really makes it difficult for families to get out of the cycle of poverty. When you include the health piece high food insecurity lead to negative health outcomes among youth. Indianapolis is ranked poorly when it comes to health in youth. Issues like diabetes and obesity are linked to food insecurity. Then there is a social piece about access to food; it's a neighborhood problem. Policy makers need to get fresh, healthy foods to neighborhoods based on their individual needs.
Bennett: A lot of components.
Feltrop: What we do at The Patachou Foundation is specifically address childhood hunger and their access to fresh foods. We work with local schools and deliver healthy meals to students facing food insecurity and poverty.