Every movement needs its revolutionaries and spokespersons, and in the growing crusade for a healthy, ethical, and “fair” food system, Bryant Terry and Anna Lappé happen to be both. Terry is a chef and founder of b-healthy! (Build Healthy Eating and Lifestyles to Help Youth)—a nonprofit group in New York that teaches low-income kids not only about nutrition, but also how to prepare healthy food themselves. Lappé is a writer, speaker, and co-founder (with her mother, Frances Moore Lappé) of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund. The latter supports grassroots efforts around the world that address the causes of hunger and poverty.
The two packed their passion and experience into Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen, a practical book that explains why our food system is the way it is, but also what we can do to change it. And don’t be surprised if, along the way, you pick up a few tips about cooking (pepper grinders are key) and music (Césaria Évora is nice accompaniment to cinnamon-dusted sweet potato fries). Associate editor Molly Marsh spoke recently with the author-activists.
Sojourners: So why the name Grub? What is grub?
Bryant Terry: When Anna and I started working on this project, we had so many people tell us that healthy organic food is for wealthy baby boomers. That’s a common misconception. We wanted people to understand that grub—healthy, local, sustainable food—is food that’s accessible to everyone. It’s something all people have a right to.
Anna Lappé: For us, it’s not just about food that is organic or local. It’s about making the connections between what we eat and whether it’s produced in a sustainable and just way.
Sojourners: How did you meet, and when did the idea for the book emerge?