MSNBC’s First-Ever Food Correspondent, Chef Tom Colicchio

Tom Colicchio, celebrity chef and founder of Food Policy Action says, “We’re going to send a clear message to Congress that we’re organized, we’re viable, we’re strong, and yes we have a food movement and it’s coming for you.”

Blog MashUp by Paige Donner

Colicchio announced recently that he will be MSNBC’s first-ever food correspondent. He will also host his own weekly show, “Stirring the Pot,” on MSNBC’s new online channel Shift this spring.

A few weeks ago, he joined Senators Barbara Boxer and Richard Blumenthal and Representative Peter DeFazio as they reintroduced a genetic engineering food labeling bill.

Chef Tom Colicchio

Chef Tom Colicchio

Chef Tom Colicchio may be best known as the head judge on Bravo’s “Top Chef,” owner of a chain of restaurants and host of the new show, “Best New Restaurant.” But the renowned chef is also dedicated to food policy reform. He co-founded Food Policy Action in 2012 to educate the public about food policy and to pressure politicians to reform the food system.

His solution for the impasse in Congress: “they need to sit down around the table and have a good meal. They need to break bread and have a discussion.”

It’s not only Congress that needs to sit down, eat a meal and talk about food. Everyone needs to. “Sitting down and asking questions about food is something that is missing right now,” says Colicchio. “If you look at the last election, food never came up. Hunger barely came up. So let’s have this discussion. Let’s talk about food.”

The chef points out that a lot of stories we hear about in the news are really food stories. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill is a food story because “it affects the food chain, the fisheries and people’s livelihoods that rely on those fisheries.” Same goes for the “overuse of pesticides, which leach into the waterways and create a dead zone in the Gulf. Another food story.”

“People are ready for that next conversation about food,” says Colicchio. “People want to know what’s in their food, they want to understand food safety, they want to understand social and economic issues around food and they want to fix hunger problems.”

“This is a big deal,” author Michael Pollan told the LA Times. “The fact is that people are deeply engaged by food stories, whether about food safety, nutrition, hunger, animal welfare, public health or the environment. Tom has a sufficiently broad grasp of the issues to connect the dots between food and all these issues.”

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