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Expo East 2012: The Lament of Alice Waters

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Alice Waters, the founder of the iconic Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley, Calif., is saddened and terrified.

“We created our own standards,” she said of the natural/organic food movement. ”Now we’re willing to compromise.”

Waters’ keynote address to a standing room-only crowd here at Expo East called on industry stakeholders to reclaim the values that have defined the era. It’s time to reject the “fast-food” culture that has co-opted our culture, and to focus on community, integrity, honesty and other elements that make up the slow food ideal.

“Fast food values have been foisted upon us,” she said. “We were born of the counter-culture. We’re still counter-culture.”

More Expo East coverage: Trend Watch

The movement can start reclaiming slow food values by supporting California’s Proposition 37, which mandates the labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients. Waters is also passionate about guiding the tomorrow’s consumers by using food and farming as a way to educate young people in public schools.

She calls it “A Delicious Revolution.”

“If you want to make a substantial change, we need to turn to the next generation.”

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