Former White Home Chef Talks Meals Equality and Cooking for Obama

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Without a doubt, one of the dreamiest aspects of life in the White House is having access to the on-site chefs who are there for the POTUS and their families. With an extensive background in culinary arts, some do seriously amazing things in the world of food, politics, and everything in between. For example, former White House chef Sam Kass, who worked during the Obama administration, is now a full-time food activist advocating food justice issues.

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He works with Blue Apron on behalf of Pass the Love w / Waffles + Mochi, which was founded by former FLOTUS Michelle Obama in Partnership for a Healthier America (PHA). The Pass The Love Meal Kits will be the three cheapest boxes from Blue Apron, and Kass has developed a recipe in each of them. We were lucky enough to email Kass about this great project and his time at the White House – he has some really unreal work experience, of course.

Source: Blue Apron

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Inspired by the popular Netflix series Waffles + Mochi, Blue Apron’s Pass The Love Meal Kits contain three kid-friendly recipes designed to inspire families to cook together. Kass says he’s thrilled to be able to work on something that will help bring delicious, healthy food to the homes of people who otherwise might not be able to afford the boxes.

“The best part about this partnership is using my passion for food justice and sustainability to show that cooking delicious and nutritious meals at home doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming,” he told Green Matters exclusively.

“These recipes are family fun and really teach kids the importance of taking care of what we put into our bodies, right at home in our kitchen … kid-friendly and accessible ingredients that are in the Most of the local grocery stores can be found so families can learn to gradually recreate and develop the dishes, “he says. “I realized that this was a powerful food opportunity to make a difference.”

Here’s what Kass had to say about food justice issues and his work experience during the Obama administration.

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Source: Blue Apron

GREEN MATTERS: What are some of the biggest problems we face in food justice and how do you think we can address them?

SAM KASS: We need stronger local, state and federal policies that strengthen programs that prevent food insecurity, especially for children and families. The affordability and accessibility of nutritious, sustainable food continues to be a major problem for food justice, but I am confident that as time goes on, more and more people will realize that these problems persist and that there is much more we can do about them Distribute food access more evenly.

One of the first steps in tackling food insecurity is to acknowledge that it exists. So seeing big companies like Blue Apron participate in campaigns as powerful as Pass the Love is incredibly inspiring to me, and gives me hope that more big companies will take a firmer stance.

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GM: Agriculture and farming are some of the leading causes of global warming – what do you think is the best way to lessen your impact when buying groceries at home?

SK: The most important thing you can do is reduce the amount of meat you buy, especially red meat, and eat more plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, and beans. Buying locally is another way to make a difference. Not only do you support local businesses, but you work directly with farmers who can tell you exactly where your food is coming from.

Limiting trips to the grocery store and shopping more carefully and consciously can also have a big impact, as can the use of set delivery services such as Blue Apron, whose recipes come with precise portion sizes to limit food waste.

GM: What are some easy ways to make home cooking healthier and more affordable at the same time?

SK: Invest in whole foods and a variety of lean proteins, fresh produce, and whole grains. The availability of these ingredients will help you make better kitchen choices and create a wide variety of dishes that not only taste good, but are good for you too. It’s about being successful and having a kitchen with healthy, simple things on hand.

GM: What were some of the Obama’s favorite dishes? Did the Obamas have any meatless favorites?

SK: The Obamas were really focused on a balanced diet. Although they didn’t have a favorite dish, President Obama enjoyed enjoying a burger or fries. But they really do practice what they preach by eating well day in and day out. Many of her favorite recipes came from what we have on hand in the White House garden, such as my Mustard Green Salad.