This morning I had the pleasure of playing “straight(wo)man” to the funny, energetic and incredibly passionate personality Chef Danny Boome of ABC’s Recipe Rehab. We tag-teamed on a satellite media tour organized by the US Farmers & Ranchers Alliance, speaking to 27 television and radio stations from all across the country – San Diego to New York and Fargo to Dallas – about food and buzzwords. (Funny how these pesky “buzzwords” keep coming up; read When Buzzwords Stop Buzzing).
During each interview we tried to define terms like organic, hormone-free, grass-fed, natural and local with the best black and white factual response possible, and we all know how hard that can be given the subjective nature of these words.
When asked what he looks for in food and food trends, Chef Danny responded with more buzzwords, saying he seeks seasonal and local foods as much as possible, but more than anything is looking to connect with the farmer, looking for the story behind the food. Love that!
Some reporters threw us a curve. One anchor started with, “Today we are talking about food terms and I, for one, firmly believe in organic, hormone free and grass fed.”
Then she asked if as a mother I seek out these terms on labels when purchasing food. I told her I didn’t, that I know these words are used to describe how something is raised and isn’t necessarily a descriptor for the nutritional value of the food. I hope the silence on the other end was just an audio delay.
One anchor enthusiastically reported that last summer she planted not just any garden, but an organic garden. No fertilizers, no pesticides. I was struck at her pride in being able to say her garden was organic, but the bigger take-away was her enthusiasm for her green thumb success. When people can reap what they sow, their appreciation for food increases immensely.
We shared the same message over and over, defining words, talking relationships with food and farmers and sharing a few personal stories. But it was the interview recorded halfway through the morning that gave us pause.
The anchor launched into the list of buzzwords and said, “Yea . . . grass-fed . . . so this means grass-fed chicken, cows and pigs, right?”
I swallowed a laugh and Danny didn’t skip a beat, “That would be one skinny chicken.”
And the conversation goes on.