The Sweet Truth – A Dialogue with Marion Nestle and Corby Kummer


JBF Leadership Award winner Marion Nestle, Ph.D., is known for her pragmatic advice on how consumers can take action to change the political and regulatory landscape surrounding food. She brought her straightforward outlook to the recent JBF Food Conference, where she and the Atlantic’s Corby Kummer discussed realistic expectations for the average American in a world overwhelmed by sugary, processed foods.

Video footage of all our 2014 JBF Food Conference talks and panels can be found here.

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Sustainability Matters: October 31, 2014


Americans eat more shrimp than any other seafood, but due to significant mislabeling, it may be harder than you think to buy sustainably. [Mother Jones]


The Environmental Working Group’s Food Scores online database allows consumers to check grocery store items for nutritional content, ingredients, processing, and other information. [NY Times]


Wondering where to find a sustainably-raised turkey for Thanksgiving dinner? Check out this guide and order now, before they're all "gobbled" up. [Ecocentric]


Cities across the country are making it more difficult for organizations to feed the homeless... Read more >

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Taming Sugar: Solutions and Challenges at the JBF Food Conference


The undeniable impact of sugar on the American diet was a prominent part of the discussion during Day One of our recent JBF Food Conference. This video features some of the leading voices in the campaign to combat sugar, from Laurie David, producer of the recent hit documentary Fed Up, to Dr. Robert Lustig, the “anti-sugar guy,” to individuals on the front lines like chef Cindy Gershen and JBF Award-winning pastry chef Emily Lucchetti. Watch this panel for their strategies on tackling our nation’s sweet tooth.


Video footage of all our 2014 JBF Food Conference talks and panels can be found here.

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2014 JBF Leadership Award Honoree Karen Washington


Karen Washington

Urban Farmer, Community Activist, and Former President,

New York City Community Garden Coalition


For Karen Washington, it all began with a tomato. “I had no experience growing food, and I took a chance,” she says of the decision to plant a backyard garden after purchasing a home in the Bronx in 1985. “I hated tomatoes—but when I bit into one of my own, I was hooked: I said, ‘I am going to grow everything.’”


What followed was nothing if not kismet. Washington saw from her kitchen window “a man with a pick and a shovel” working in the empty lot across the street—“an eyesore that turned my American dream into a nightmare.” She joined him, helping to transform that lot into a thriving community garden. More gardens followed when she connected with Bronx Green-Up, and her activity expanded to activism when she joined the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. “My training there taught me how to be a public speaker and... Read more >

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JBF Food Conference Day Two: Top 13 Quotes of the Day


The second day of the 2014 JBF Food Conference kicked off with a spirited discussion between Michael Pollan and Sam Kass, after which participants heard about innovative design, policy, and medical collaborations that harness the powerful relationship between food and health. Here are some of the most interesting things to come out of the conversation:


1) “How do you bring about change? Anyone who knows me knows that I think that lecturing people is not the answer.” – Jane Black, Journalist


2) “I don’t think it’s at all possible to make the change that we’re seeking without engaging... Read more >

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2014 JBF Leadership Award Honoree Navina Khanna

Navina Khanna

​Fellow, Movement Strategy Center


There’s the work, and then there’s the spirit behind it: with Navina Khanna, it’s one and the same. “Navina is a catalyzer and activator who puts others first and leads through hard work and service…and calls all of this ‘love,’” says Ricardo Salvador, himself a 2013 JBF Leadership Award recipient. “She is one of the few people who can act on that word meaningfully in the real world by making the lives of others better because of knowing and working with her.”


Indeed, Khanna is led by her heart. Touched at an early age by the marvels of nature, active in environmental initiatives as a teen, and horrified by the negative impact of the Green Revolution and corporate influence over the food system in her family’s native India, Khanna commenced early in the pursuit of more just, equitable, and sustainable food and agricultural practices.


After embarking on that pursuit, she began planting the seeds for others... Read more >

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JBF Food Conference Day One: The 16 Most Memorable Things We Heard Today

Mitchell Davis and Mark Bittman


The 2014 JBF Food Conference, taking place today and tomorrow in New York City, explores the intersection of food and health—the myriad ways in which food supports personal and public health; fails to deliver on the promise of better health; and both drives and responds to other cultural forces in America today. We got off to an incredible start today with presentations and discussions about the relationship between food and health marked by thoughtful, impassioned insights and, at times, healthy debate.


Here are 16 of the most memorable things we heard today:


1) “Food and nutrition is fundamentally a public health problem and are not best dealt with in the physician’s office.” – Ezekiel Emanuel, M.D., Ph.D., Chair, Medical Ethics and Health Policy Department at University of Pennsylvania


2) “Healthwise, the gap... Read more >

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Reel Food: Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change


We all know and love the celebrity chef. Now it's time to meet a new culinary breed: the chef advocate.


The James Beard Foundation's Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change provides a unique opportunity for civically and politically minded chefs to become more effective leaders for food-system change. During thematic retreats around the country, participants attend advocacy and media workshops while learning about important issues, challenges, and opportunities in their industry.


Watch the video above to learn more about JBF's Chefs Boot Camp for Policy and Change. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

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Introducing the Good Food Org Guide

The Good Food Org Guide, developed by Food Tank and the James Beard Foundation


The James Beard Foundation and its friends at Food Tank are proud to announce the release of the Good Food Org Guide, a comprehensive directory of nonprofits that are working toward a better food system. Culled by experts in food, health, and agriculture, as well as by past James Beard Leadership Award recipients, the list consists of more than 400 national and state-based organizations whose missions support improved nutrition, food justice, sustainability, and other causes. The first edition of what will be an annual publication, the Good Food Org Guide seeks to bring exposure and support to deserving groups that are making an impact. If you know of an organization that should be included in future editions, please... Read more >

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Watch Live: The 2014 JBF Food Conference

The 2014 JBF Food Conference


Our fifth annual JBF Food Conference starts today! This year's theme is "Health & Food: Is Better Food the Prescription for a Healthier America?" Starting at 9:00 A.M. EST, we'll be streaming all of our speakers and panelists live all day, so please join us and watch at We've got Laurie David, Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, and many more compelling thinkers and leaders in our two-day lineup. 


You can find more information and see the full agenda here. An archive of all talks... Read more >

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JBF Kitchen Cam