Food is the world’s biggest industry, and in the U.S. alone, restaurants contribute more than $550 billion to our national economy. By gathering thought leaders and stakeholders in our food system—chefs, farmers, purveyors, nutritionists, entrepreneurs, activists, philanthropists, policy makers, consumers, and others—the Foundation has created a unique forum to encourage dialogue on topics as diverse as sustainability, urban farming, public health, and childhood nutrition.
As we converse about our food system, an underlying theme of trust emerges. So much effort on a global scale goes into ensuring that healthy, wholesome, and nutritious food gets to as many people as possible, but all it takes is an E. Coli outbreak or an environmental accident to chip away at consumer faith. What’s more, where people place their trust—in large corporations, in small, local producers, in third-party certification, in government regulation, in scientific research—is always changing.
This year, the James Beard Foundation Food Conference tackled this complex and important issue of trust as it relates to our food system. We took a 360-degree perspective, looking at how we form trust, where we place it, how we can build and maintain it, and how we can all work to improve the wholesomeness and sustainability of the food we eat.
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