Food, Inc. explores where the food we eat really comes from. And the 26th annual Garden Party kicks off Gay Pride Week in New York with celebrity chefs and Gourmet Editor-in-Chief Ruth Reichl.
The documentary Food, Inc. opens June 12, and according to Miranda Purves in Elle magazine, it “will have you running from the supermarket for the hills, preferably ones dotted with grass-fed cows.” Let me start with a given here: Feeding the more than 300 million people who call the United States home is a monumental challenge. But as filmmaker Robert Kenner shows, the way America’s industrialized food system goes about it, with the acquiescence if not outright complicity of the federal government, threatens us all.
The issues are many and complex. The Food, Inc. official website spells them out. Factory farms raise animals under inhumane conditions, are dangerous for their workers, pollute surrounding communities, are unsafe to our food system and contribute significantly to global warming. Foodborne illnesses sicken an estimated 76 million Americans and kill an estimated 5,000 each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Add to that the obesity epidemic in this country, with its attendant health issues like diabetes, heart ailments and cancers, and the environmental impact of how our food is produced, and the need for change is evident.
Many of us have already begun to make changes in what we eat and how we shop for it. I suspect that after this film comes out, we’ll be making even more.
Garden Party 26 invites you to “Eat your pride out”
What is wrong with this picture? In the state of Iowa, smack dab in the middle of the nation’s heartland, same sex couples can legally wed. But in the reputedly progressive state of California, the Supreme Court recently upheld Prop 8, a state constitutional amendment that overturned its own ruling affirming the right of gays and lesbians to marry.
I really try to keep politics out of Blue Kitchen, but this is just plain wrong. Couch it in all the religious, moral and “don’t ask, don’t tell” terms you like, it still smacks of the Jim Crow “separate but equal” laws that sought to deny equality to African Americans for decades. This is not about “lifestyle choices”—it’s about equal rights for all Americans. Period.
Given this current state of affairs, I was especially pleased to hear about Garden Party 26 happening Monday, June 22, in New York. Started by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in Manhattan in 1984, it remains the only LGBT culinary festival in the country. And it kicks off Gay Pride Week in New York.
This year’s party will attract over 2,300 friends and supporters and feature more than 35 food participants. Celebrity chefs this year include Daniel Angerer [Klee Brasserie], Rebecca Charles [Pearl Oyster Bar] and Dave Pasternak [Esca]. And returning as Event Chair this year is Gourmet Editor-in-Chief, Ruth Reichl.
Besides great food and entertainment, there will be a silent auction. And all proceeds of the evening go to support the Center’s vital services. At press time, tickets were still available. For more information about Garden Party 26, visit the Center’s website.