Three Ways to Build a ‘Sustainable Plate’ with Chef and Activist José Andrés and D.C. Food Scene Insiders

Chef José Andrés said that a sustainable food system will start with changing one dinner at a time.
Executive Director of Sustainability Kathleen Merrigan hosts open class on the restaurant industry’s role in sustainability.
February 11, 2016
When world-renowned chef and activist José Andrés began his restaurant career in the United States after a stint in the Spanish Navy, he started with tapas, the small plate dishes popular in Spain.
At the time, small plates were not the fashion, and he received complaints about portion size— “a lot of complaints,” he laughed. But recently, he was vindicated when the United States Department of Agriculture’s dietary guidelines began championing smaller portions.
Mr. Andrés said that the “iconic plate image” also has promoted the importance of eating a diet that is “50 percent vegetables and fruit.” But where are those crops grown and who has access to them? Does the current policy encourage biodiversity in farming? How can we regulate consumption and our resources?