KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Interview with Tanya Steel Part Two
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Interview with Tanya Steel Part Two

Bay Area Bites recently got a chance to sit down with Tanya Steel, Editor-in-Chief of one of our favorite food sites, Epicurious.com. In Interview with Tanya Steel Part Two we learn about the Wine. Dine. Donate. program and about hunger in America. If you missed last week's interview and would like to learn more about what happens behind the scenes at Epicurious, check out Part One here.

1. What brought hunger and specifically children at risk to your attention?
I was watching the news on New Years Eve, listening to a program about how the hunger level has risen dramatically in the past few years and that kids and the elderly are most at risk. That's when I learned about the BackPack program at America's Second Harvest. The next day I was walking around the track and I just began crying and feeling so lucky that my kids are not at risk.

2. How did you come up with the Wine. Dine. Donate program?
While I've always participated in charity events wherever I've worked, I've always wanted to do something big. I was trying to figure out how could this be a bigger thing with our community of Epicurious users.

Food people are very giving and generous. I asked myself, how could I create something on the site that would foster as sense of community and also have a cause? I knew I wanted to align with America's Second Harvest.

Wine.Dine.Donate is two pronged with events and also people can come online every month to find recipes designed by chefs for the home cook and they can throw a fundraising party at home that benefits their local food bank.

3. What can be done to raise awareness of hunger in America?
We spend a lot of time worrying about eating the wrong kind of food and too much food and both of those concerns are very important and crucial but it's also important to remember 14 million kids are at risk of going hungry, if not more. Maybe it will be a coalition of chefs and people in the media that bring attention to this issue.

4. Why does childhood obesity get so much attention and yet childhood hunger doesn't?
Obesity is so visible and poverty and hunger are swept under the carpet even by the people experiencing it, sometimes because they are so ashamed. The BackPack program is subtle so kids can participate and feel good about it.

5. If you could propose one thing to change the way Americans think about food what would it be?
In America 2/3 of us are overweight or obese, that's a national health crisis and it needs to be addressed in tandem with the hunger issue. The people that are eating the worst food have the least amount of money to spend on food.


This year, the San Francisco Food Bank, part of America's Second Harvest network of food banks, will distribute more than 25 million pounds of food including over 9 million pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

To learn how they distribute fresh produce through a program that is similar to a farmers market, head over to Cooking with Amy.
 
 

2 Comments:

Blogger Lisa said...

I'm so interested in this. I'm going to think about how we might have a wine, dine, donate party in our town. Thanks for the informative interview.

10/05/2006 10:00 AM

 
Blogger Amy Sherman said...

Some of us are going to try to do this here too. It's a fun way to try out some "celebrity chef" recipes and help out at the same time. If you do a dinner, be sure to post your photos of it over on the Wine. DIne. Donate forum.

http://boards.epicurious.com/forum.jspa?forumID=21

10/05/2006 6:18 PM

 

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