Skip to main content

tv   Talk to Al Jazeera  Al Jazeera  November 24, 2013 7:00pm-7:31pm EST

7:00 pm
>> here are the top stories right now. a deal to end iran's nuclear program is getting look warm response from some u.s. lawmakers, including john boehner. the concern is that iran cannot be trusted to follow the new guidelines. the israeli prime minister called the proposal a historic mistake. president obama spoke with him today about those concerns. obama wants the u.s. and style you to begin consultations about the next steps in nuclear negotiations. >> in afghanistan, 2500 tribal leaders there have voted to keep american soldiers in the country beyond 2004. the president hamid karzai refuse to say sign the agreement until after next year's presidential election in april.
7:01 pm
much of the u.s. is braising for rough holiday travel as a large storm rolls through. it's expected to bring sleet and snow to parts of the east coast and to the south later this week. the storm killed eight people in western states overnight. >> an active volcano forced the evacuation of thousands on an island. it has spied ash into the air. the military is together 15,000 more people to leave. those are the headlines. talk to aljazeera is up next on aljazeera america. >> they he told use it would be fast, cheap and easy, and that's not the case. >> american chef and action visit alice waters said we
7:02 pm
should return to eating local and seasonal food. >> you know, it's celebrating life. >> the owner of the world renowned restaurant is famous for her pioneering use of organic ingredients. >> we are part of nature. we depend on it. >> for deck caused, she has championed the slow food movement. >> the idea of eating in your car is something just uncivilized. >> alice waters, welcome to talk to aljazeera. >> thank you. >> you have said that food should cost more. explain what did you mean. >> well, i have been running restaurants for 42 years, and i think the success of the restaurant is completely dependent on the ingredients we
7:03 pm
have. i discovered very early on that these farmers that were local and organic made the restaurant what it is and i wanted to give them the money directly, and so we don't really have a middle man. we go to the farmer and i want to pay him the real price of food. >> is it possible to replicate that? >> i think it really is. when you cut out the middle man who is taking that cut, because the farm are needs to be paid enough so that he can send his children or her children to school, and to college. it's really hard when someone is asking that farmer to give a wholesale price and to really compete with cheap food that is
7:04 pm
being produced by sort of the fast food system. in countries around the world, people spend more money on food because they know how precious it is. >> it sounds like you're a pretty big critic of industrial food and industrial farming. >> i am. i am, because they are interested in selling this food, not necessarily because of its -- you know, that it's good for one and selling food that's produced in a way that is destroying the land. so i want to support the people who are taking care of the land. >> what about the argument that industrial farming, and industrial food makes food less expensive and therefore more people can get it, you can deem with issues of malnourishment if
7:05 pm
you can get more people who are in poverty to be able to afford the food they buy. >> but, usually, cheap food is not nutritious, and so you're talking about food that's produced with pesticides and herbicides, foods that have antibiotics in them, like the meats, and the poultry, and so you're -- and foods that have a lot of salt and sugar, so what you're doing is you're feeding people -- you're feeding people, but you may not pay up front, but you'll pay out back. >> isn't that better than the alternative of not feeding people. one i eight americans are looking to cut back costs and
7:06 pm
what's wrong with them saying i can pay $2 for this per pound for this beach or i can go $6 for the organic for my family so they can ever any meat, we go with the less expensive version. >> i think some of that is in issue of not knowing how to cook. now, there are countries around the world that think of protein as a combination of grains and vegetables. we consider sort of that meat source as the only source of protein, but it's not true. we have to learn to cook the foods that are really affordable. >> is non-organic food bad for you? >> well, i believe it is, because i'm -- i don't want food that comes from animals that are caged up and fed antibiotics
7:07 pm
because they're in confinement, who aren't eating a natural diet out there in the field. i am really suspicious of that kind of production of meat and poultry. >> would you acknowledge, though, that organic chicken, beef, vegetables, fruit, that that really is a luxury item given the system that we have now. >> way back when in this country, we didn't eat so much meat. it was a special thing to have a steak, even to have a chicken, it was. we out other cuts of meat that were more affordable. now, we only want the chicken breast. but if you buy a whole chicken, you can have several meals out of that. >> as technology develops and they can grow food 16 they gotically and prove that it is not bad for you and do it inexpensively, would you support it? >> well, they did that already
7:08 pm
and we have found that it hasn't been successful. i think we're part of nature. we are part of nature, we depend on it. it's really what is giving us our nourishment, and we need to treasure the farmer, we need to take care of the land and that's a beautiful pleasure of life. >> you've been talking about changing wholesale, the system icon assumption of food in america as it stands today. how do you do that? where do you start? >> i think it starts in kindergarten. i you this you start in the public schools, because that's the place where you can really educate children when they're very young and bring them into a new relationship to food. they can be engaged with nature and where food comes from, and
7:09 pm
they can learn how to take care of the land where they're little, and they can learn to taste and smell and they're open. they're really open to that. >> you said that the government ought to provide, pay for school lunch programs across the country, that they should take it over. what would that look like? >> well, in my plan, it would look like a sort of like a stimulus plan, actually, that you would put the money to the buying of food, and educating children right in the public school system with a criteria for the buying of food. so, when you did that, you would be giving the money directly to local people that were farming sustainably. that would be the first thing. then the parents wouldn't have to worry about what they're
7:10 pm
children were eating at school, and then of course, the children would grow up with a different set of values. >> what do you say to those people who say well it sounds great, but still, it sounds very much like the nanny state, that the government knows best, knows better than individual families and it's the family responsibility to teach kids what to pick and choose from their school lurches? >> i think that this fast food culture is what has been educating everyone, and it's very difficult to get out of that prison, if you will, of fast food culture. i mean, they've told that you say food should be fast, cheap and easy and that's not the case. really, we've lost the beautiful ritual of sitting at the table. we've lost that moment in the day when we can communicate with our family and friends.
7:11 pm
they say it's ok to eat on the run. i'm saying that, you know, eating in your car, the idea of eating in your car is something just uncivilized. the idea that food is cheap means that somebody's missing out. somebody's not being paid. i think it can be affordable, but it shouldn't be cheap. so when you have a nation that's being fed these ideas through television, through the fast food everywhere, in every train station, you know, airport, along the street, vending machines, that are, you know, selling us things that are really addictive, very sugary,
7:12 pm
very salty, that we all have to go back to school and find out what real food is about. >> in washington, d.c. at the white house, the first lady started a garden of sorts. you have been there, seen the garden. how are they doing with their vegetable garden? >> i think the one thing that's just amazing is that they've had a number of events where they've invited children in to participate, in the harvesting of the food and the digging in the ground and planting seeds. now that's a beautiful thing. i do know that the harvest very often goes to them and to the kitchens of the white house. i think it's an example that has, you know, given people hope around the world, truly. >> and yet we don't hear the obamas, the white house talk about it very much. is that a mistake? >> i think it is a mistake.
7:13 pm
i think it should be kind of front and center, because we're at a point where we need to really take care of the land. it's endangered, not only the land, but the sea and the air. we, the best way to do that is to plant a garden, and company com post the food, and the leftovers, and it's those beautiful processes that send up the right kind of chemical process in the air that help to say save our ozone. so, it's -- you feel that cycle, that rhythm of nature, and that's what i'm trying to get into. it's like i want the to eat in season. i want to feel connected to this
7:14 pm
time and place. i feel disconnected when everything's available all year, and you lose your sense of time and place. you're eating second-rate fruits and vegetables all year long, so when the real thing comes around, you're motte even interested. >> we will continue our discussion about real food with some real life examples of personal choices we all make when talk to aljazeera continues, after this. [[voiceover]] no doubt about it, innovation changes our lives. opening doors ... opening possibilities. taking the impossible from lab ... to life. on techknow, our scientists bring you a sneak-peak of the future, and take you behind the scenes at our evolving world. techknow - ideas, invention, life.
7:15 pm
7:16 pm
>> we're back with alice waters, a chef and activist. what drew you to food way back when? >> that's a good question. when people ask that, i go way back to the time when i grew up in new jersey in my parents victory garden that they had during the war. i think i must have fallen in love with the straw about herries out in the garden, and that applesauce that they make from the tree. my parents bought the frozen food that was really omni present in the 1950's in the country. >> you never liked it. >> i never did much. i never liked vegetables, except
7:17 pm
tomatoes in the summer and corner, but i went to france when i was 19. it was a revelation for me. it was kind of an awakening, and i tasted things that i never had before. so, that was really where it was. you know, hot baguette in paris in the early 1960's and when i went to the farmers' market with friends, and we bought things and i just fell in love. >> did you ever think your career would take off the way it has? i mean you are one of the most influential chefs that exists out there in the world of organic foods. did you imagine you would be in my place? >> no, i never imagined. i was definitely a part of the counter culture of the 1960's. i was very influenced by the participation in the free speech movement and trying to stop the
7:18 pm
war in vietnam. so it came from that place. i was in the counter culture and i thought well, i can open a restaurant, and my friends will come. i want to live like the french. i want to have a little place. i was very serious from the very first day. i will not compromise. i wanted it to taste like the food in france, so i went looking for it and i couldn't find it. we ended up planting seeds in my back yard garden to have for the restaurant, and with we looked for farmers that had farm stands, and then we experimented with trying to get a piece of land and find a farmer, but that didn't work so well. we didn't know enough about farming to do that, and so we ended up looking for farmers in all the little areas around san
7:19 pm
francisco and berkeley, but really, had a product that was tasty. it turned out that these were the organic growers. so i wasn't really looking for the organic food at the beginning, although i was probably living in berkeley, you had that in you a little bit. >> i want to ask you about your restaurant. a lot of people may know you only through your restaurant, which used to have all the stars from michelin. it lost a star. what do you make of that and what do you make of the whole rating service of restaurants? >> there hasn't been, certainly any designation for restaurants that are using real food, and i
7:20 pm
think it's terribly important. i a long time ago, decided that sort of the proof was in the pudding, around rung the restaurant. if people were coming, and that they loved it, that that was good for me. >> when you travel now and you travel a lot, you must certainly see next to you on an airplane or waiting in an airport, somebody eating a bag of oreo cookies or processed salty snacks, what goes through your mind? >> i take my own food on the plane. i always bring my own food. i've taken to bringing some mint with me, and i ask for hot water and put the mint in the hot water. it sends out a scent into the cabin. people ask me questions about what i'm drinking.
7:21 pm
i love that. i love that idea that i can influence, reach people through an roma. >> that begins the conversation. >> that begins the conversation. i mean, i like to feed people ideas. i also bring it up so i can share it with anybody who's at the seat next to me, but i am, i'm shocked by what people e, what they eat in airports with, how they -- how they how omni present that food is and how accessible, how it's sold to people. i just -- i feel more sorry for the person who's eating it than to really, you know, be angry about it. >> yet the person who's eating
7:22 pm
that oreo or twinkie or gummi bears, they may feel sorry for you that you're not having any or haven't tried. have you ever just tried them to see what it's like? >> i have tried it. i mean, i certainly tried it when i was a teenager. i've eaten at mcdonald's once. >> what was that like? >> i was surprised. it didn't have any taste from my point of view. well, i was in and out in five minutes. >> we're going to talk about the future of the food industry and food consumption with alice waters on the other side of this break. thanks again for watching "talk to aljazeera." >> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america
7:23 pm
power of the people until we restore our fr
7:24 pm
>> are you optimistic about the future of organic foot consumption and the direction things were going? >> i am incredibly optimistic, because it's so tasty.
7:25 pm
you know? it's so good, and it also brings you into a connection with other people who care about the future of this country and the world, and they are people that share your values. when you go to the farmers market and you meet the farmer, you have a rapport with that person. then you end up cooking with your friends at home and it's not arduous when you have your pals over for dinner, and you all cook together. i think what's really hard is when someone is asked to do that every day by herself or by himself, but when you gather and you have your children participate in the cooking, that's when they want to eat the food. the one thing that i can say absolutely is when kids are involved in a garden, they grow
7:26 pm
it themselves, and they cook it, they all want to eat it. that it's a beautiful thing. >> what do you see the world being 50 years from now in terms of food consumption when you and i are no longer here. >> in an ideal world, i would see small communities that really are supportedding each other, that where the food is grown nearby, where there's, you know, we're decentralizing. right now, it's shocking that six or seven big corporations sort of own the food system. the small farmers are being supported by the people nearby. this is the way that we have eaten since the beginning of civilization. this is nothing new, that we have been eating in season, buying food locally, enjoying it
7:27 pm
with family and friends. it's cell braying life, and we have really -- we're losing our -- our meaning to life by -- by allowing other people to take over the way that we live every day, and eat and think about the world around us. >> so this is a question that i know a lot of people want to hear from you you. have five minutes to go shopping. you got 10 minutes to prepare your meal, you just don't have time, what do you do? >> i love this question. i really love this question, because i can cook a meal in five minutes if i have shopped properly and that's the truth, so when you have tasty
7:28 pm
ingredients that you bought from the warmers market and you have things in your pantry that are good, then it takes no time to cook them. i have greens from my garden and i have maybe a chicken breast, and i saute that, and make a little vinaigrette for a salad, three minutes for that, i put the greens in the bowl, i'm washing them while i'm cooking the chicken. then maybe i boiled a little potato, maybe have some brown rice. >> this has already taken 25 minutes. you can saute a chicken in less than 10 minutes. you can. i'm not sure i can. >> 10 minutes, if you boned off the breast, you're talking about six minutes. >> what's the one item that everybody should have in their pantry, just on stand by no. >> for me, i like olive oil and
7:29 pm
vinegar there. i need garlic. absolutely garlic. but i know that i can make something tasty if i have all three of those things. i can take some kale, saute i in a minute with a little garlic and olive oil. absolutely. >> alice waters, it's been a pleasure and an honor talking with you. thanks for being on "talk to aljazeera." >> thank you.
7:30 pm
>> hello and well come. i'm phil tore eses and we are here to talk about technology. let's check out our team of hard-core nerds. maria is a biologist specializing in ecoo ecology and evolution. scientists hunt down a bacterial killer. bionic eye. tonight we visit a young scientist who xreeate cree why d