Chef and restaurateur Alice Waters outlines her philosophy on cooking and eating in her latest book, We Are What We Eat, which draws connections between fast-food culture and threats to human health, the environment, and economic equality. Waters, who has been called the founder of the farm-to-table movement, advocates here for enjoying meals in a “slow food way” to encourage global peace, to conserve biodiversity, and to promote human happiness.
This article appears in the Fall 2021 issue of Alta Journal.
What does it mean to eat in a slow food way?
It means eating intentionally. Knowing where your food comes from, knowing that your food is seasonal, ripe, and organic—that it’s grown locally and regeneratively—is vital to me. The Slow Food organization’s mantra is “Good, clean, and fair.”
How has your role in the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s shaped your food philosophy?
The Free Speech Movement gave me hope! It taught me that if we work together, we can change the world. It also made me believe in the mission of the University of California: as a public institution, it has a responsibility for the future of the students it educates and nourishes.
Do you have a favorite food ritual of 2021?
Going out to my newly planted front yard victory garden and picking lettuce and herbs is my daily ritual.•