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Celeb Chefs Call for Food March on Washington

José Andrés, Andrew Zimmern, and more are pressing the White House for change

Climate Marches Take Place Across Country Astrid Riecken/Getty Images

Since Donald Trump moved into the White House just over 100 days ago, activists have taken to the streets in the nation’s capital — and all across the country — to throw their support behind numerous causes: First there was the Women’s March (reportedly the biggest-ever protest in U.S. history), then the Day Without Immigrants and, just last week, the March for Science sought to call attention to climate change (an issue that the new administration has clumsily side-stepped). Now, the Washington Post reports celebrity chefs including Andrew Zimmern and former Trump legal nemesis José Andrés are calling for a food march on Washington.

“We had the Million Woman March, we had the Million Man March. How many people could we get out there marching for food?” Zimmern told the Post. The Bizarre Foods host, along with a number of other chefs, is in Washington this week lobbying on behalf of chef/restaurateur/Top Chef star Tom Colicchio’s Plate of the Union, a campaign that aims to making food policy more beholden to the American public than to corporate interests.

Of particular concern currently is the Farm Bill, a massive piece of legislation passed roughly every five years that funds subsidies for agriculture, food stamps, international food aid, and various other food-related programs. The next Farm Bill will take effect in September 2018, and Zimmern, along with Andrés, Colicchio, and others, wants to make sure domestic food assistance programs like SNAP are well-funded; they’re also pushing for “more transparency in the way food is grown, processed and labeled,” more support for farmers to grow organic food, and anti-food waste measures.

But there are also plenty more food issues at stake right now that could inspire people to take to the streets: Think wages (the GOP has generally been opposed to any significant federal minimum wage increases), worker benefits (Trump’s proposed Affordable Care Act reforms could endanger employer-provided healthcare), and food safety (he’s proposed major cuts to the Food & Drug Administration, the agency tasked with ensuring the nation’s food supply is safe). Of course, whether or not the administration will actually be influenced by demands brought forth at a food march will remain to be seen — but at least we’ll get some clever signs out of it?

The Next Big March on Washington Should Be for Food, Celeb Chefs Say [WaPo]
What President Donald Trump Will Mean for U.S. Food Policy [E]