As we ate and drank our way through the South Beach Wine and Food Festival, one of the highlights was attending a Sustainable Foods Forum featuring Jamaican Reggae artist Ziggy Marley, along with Celebrity Chef Seamus Mullen (of NYC's Terlutia and The Next Iron Chef), Chef Ben Ford (of California's Ford's Filling Station) and Chef Bruce Sherman (of North Pond Restaurant in Chicago).
As a panel, they expressed the need to educate, revitalize and enroll communities, individuals and corporations in adopting and encouraging the use of local produce and sustainable foods. The panel articulated their concerns about food-created diseases such as diabetes that are a result of our modern food system.
Each of the chefs promote organic, sustainable and healthy foods in their restaurants, cookbooks and communities, and are committed to living a sustainable lifestyle.
As Jamaican and reggae royalty, Ziggy, the oldest son of Bob and Rita Marley, is a five-time Grammy winner in his own right, and also a “ passionate foodie.” He is a proponent of eating healthy organic food, and said that in Jamaica, he grew up eating seasonal, local fare, which is Jamaica’s food culture. He shared that when he is eating healthy foods, he feels “a life energy,” but when eating badly, he feels sluggish and realizes that food is the “fuel” that promotes good or poor health.
Ziggy and the chefs on the panel are passionate about advocating for the labeling of GMO products in our foods. GMO (Genetically Modified Foods) are the foods the panel believes are responsible for the enormous increase in both obesity and life threatening diseases such as diabetes in not only the US, but other countries, when introduced into their food culture. By labeling the GMO content, it both promotes awareness and allows consumers to make an informed choice.
In addition, Ziggy, was at SOBEWFF to launch Ziggy Marley Organics, a line of products that are USDA-certified organic, non-genetically modified and kosher. The products include flavored coconut oils and hemp seeds from Jamaica. Ziggy is committed to raising awareness about the highly nutritious value of hemp seeds and believes that they could be instrumental in combating hunger throughout the world.
It was amazing to see this renowned musician’s passion and commitment to improve awareness and good nutrition in both his message and his line of products.
This panel was serious about making a difference and they are just what we need to get the message out that you “really are what you eat.”
Photo by Carly Otness
RAISE YOUR SPIRITS AND GET THE DISH!