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In 1998 Glenn Roberts, a Charleston-based historic restoration consultant and thirty-year veteran of restaurant and hotel concept design, took his career in an entirely new direction.  He founded a company,[…]

The president treats sustainability and organic food issues as more than a talking point.

Question: What advice would you give to the President or the rnSecretary of Agriculture?

Glenn Roberts: One, it’s a fabulous idea to think that rnthe President, any President, would have time enough to stop and rnconsider sustainability beyond a talking point and beyond getting rnsomeone into the Cabinet that is driven in this direction.  And frankly,rn the current administration seems to have done that on a fairly crediblern scale.  They brought in some caring people on that level and I think rnthose people have a voice. 

Certainly in the White House, rnthere’s a lot of sustainable agricultural advocates for what goes on rnwith state dinners now and things like that.  They’re actually thinking rnthrough food systems when they bring them forward, they’re also thinkingrn culturally.  And I haven’t mentioned this, but if I had the ear of rnanyone in government, including the President or the Secretary of rnAgriculture, I would say that the culture of food is probably as, or rnmore important than the production of food.  It’s something that we’ve rnignored in our country for a lot of reasons.  We have a food science rnrevolution that runs parallel to the talking points that I am deliveringrn right now.  And that food science revolution is based on things that wern could barely recognize as food 30 years ago.  So, I think that we have rnto think about the culture of food; the fact that food actually is an rnimportant part of our culture and not just something that fuels the rnculture in one way, shape or form.  Food as fuel is a dangerous concept.

Recorded on April 28, 2010
Interviewed by Priya George