Peggy Neu is President of The Monday Campaigns, a public health initiative that encourages organizations and individuals to use Monday as the day to start and sustain healthy behaviors. Meatless Monday, the first campaign launched in 2003 with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Schools of Public Health, has become a global movement through viral dissemination by committed advocates and the participation of key influencers and organizations like Oprah, Mario Batali, Sodexo and a growing number of schools, companies, restaurants and whole communities. In the US, awareness of the campaign has reached 43% without any paid media, with 36% of those aware saying that Meatless Monday influenced their decision to cut back on meat. Around the world Meatless Monday can be found in 24 countries, reflecting a shared commitment to address the health and environmental consequences of a meat-centric diet.
The Monday Campaigns now has campaigns that address a range of health behaviors including nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation, preventive screenings and overall wellness that are being implemented in a variety of settings.
Prior to the Monday Campaigns, Peggy was an Executive Vice President with Grey Worldwide, one of the world’s largest communications companies, working with clients such as Procter and Gamble, Sprint, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente and the Department of Health and Human Services. She serves on the board of the Nalanda Institute of Contemplative Studies, a non-profit organization working to build a sustainable future by infusing ancient contemplative science into contemporary culture and ways of life.
Michael Rozyne is Executive Director of Red Tomato, a non-profit produce ‘food hub’ based in Plainville, MA. He’s been marketing small farm products for three decades, including work on conventional and organic farms in Maine, and as Purchaser/Marketer for a regional food distributor in the Northeast. In 1986, he co-founded fair trade coffee company Equal Exchange, now a leading US fair trade company. Rozyne started Red Tomato in 1996, to bring global fair trade principles to farmers in the US. His current obsession is finding a way to make local produce available in a grocery store near you.
Megan Miller is founder of Bitty, a San Francisco-based food startup that uses high-protein cricket flour as the basis for a line of energy bars and gluten-free baked goods. Bitty seeks to remove cultural taboos around eating insects and popularize them as a delicious, sustainable ingredient that may help alleviate global food scarcity. Megan’s passions for food, sustainability and innovation led her circuitously to the creation of Bitty. In her early twenties, she studied anthropology and agriculture at the University of Maryland with a focus on human-food relationships, worked for the USDA Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, apprenticed on an organic farm and cooked in the pastry kitchen of a fine-dining restaurant. She also backpacked around Mexico and Thailand, where she first sampled edible insects from street-food vendors. After earning her MA in philosophy at St. John’s College, she moved to New York City, where she worked in editorial and digital roles at National Geographic Adventure, New York magazine and Popular Science. Megan became regarded as an expert in digital media innovation, appearing frequently as a TV talking head and speaker at events like CES and SXSW Interactive. In 2010, she relocated to San Francisco to head the U.S. R&D team for a global media company. Business travel took her around the world, including visits back to Latin America and Asia, where she developed the idea of introducing edible insects to Western culture. Surrounded by the Bay Area’s food and entrepreneurship communities, she launched Bitty to make that dream a reality.
Andrew Gunther is Program Director of Animal Welfare Approved. Since 2008, Andrew has spearheaded the program’s unprecedented growth. AWA farms are now recognized as being at the vanguard of high welfare, environmentally positive, and socially responsible agriculture. Combining an expert understanding of the supply chain beyond the farm gate with hands-on experience and knowledge of farm production—and its consequences—Andrew brings a unique perspective to the arena. He has been the driving force behind some seminal works on the impacts of pasture-based production on the environment, and linking animal-social justice and the environment in a way that is beneficial to each component. An outspoken critic of industrial farming systems, Andrew routinely exposes the negative impact of industrial agriculture on farm animals, the environment, and society as a regular contributor to Huffington Post. He also works closely with restaurants groups and retailers to increase the availability of Animal Welfare Approved meat, dairy and eggs in traditional retail settings.
Previously, Andrew was the senior global animal compassionate product procurement and development specialist for Whole Foods Market, leading the team that designed and launched the company’s five-step welfare program in the United Kingdom. From a truly agricultural background, Andrew, with his wife and children, pioneered the world’s first organic poultry hatchery for chickens. The Gunther family also managed the production and procurement for the largest independent organic chicken producer in the United Kingdom.
Lance Price is a public health researcher who works at the interface between science and policy to address the growing crisis of antibiotic resistance. In the laboratory, Dr. Price uses cutting-edge DNA sequencing to trace the origins of new antibiotic-resistant pathogens. By analyzing the genomes of bacteria found in humans, food, and livestock, Dr. Price and his colleagues have traced the origins of new superbugs to industrial livestock production. Dr. Price and his colleagues have also begun to broaden the scope of foodborne disease to include urinary tract infections caused by foodborne E. coli. In the policy arena, Dr. Price works with grassroots organizations, NGOs, and policymakers to develop science-based policies to curb antibiotic abuse in food-animal production and stem the emergence of new superbugs. Dr. Price’s work was selected by Discover Magazine as one of the top 100 science stories of 2012. His research has also been covered by top-tier media around the world, including the BBC, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Scientific American, Men’s Journal, and Fitness Magazine, among others.
Born in Ontario, Canada, David Binkle has served as Director of Food Services at Los Angeles Unified School District since July 2012. He oversees a program that provides over 650,000 meals daily by a team of 4,000 employees. Prior to joining the District, Binkle was Director of Dining Services at California State University, Fresno.
Binkle holds a Masters Degree in Public Administration from California State University, Northridge Tseng College and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in health from Oklahoma Panhandle State University. As a Certified Executive Chef (CEC), Certified Executive Pastry Chef (CEPC) and Certified Culinary Administrator (CCA), Binkle brings over 30 years of industry experience from fine dining, hotels, country clubs and institutional food service.
A Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow and longtime member of the American Culinary Federation (ACF), Binkle was awarded the 2011 Los Angeles Chef of the Year and was a 2010 recipient of the ACF Presidents Award National Medallion of Honor and 2013 Presidential Coin.
Binkle has been featured on CNN, NBC, ABC and CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. He featured in a documentary Our Food Chain to be released in the fall of 2013. He will also appear in the critically acclaimed series Food Forward, a 13-episode PBS series on people who are changing the way Americans eat.
Sam Van Aken‘s art combines sophisticated technology with traditional modes of art-making. Van Aken’s projects cross boundaries between artistic genres, including performance, installation, video, photography, and sculpture. With each body of work, he selects practices and new perspectives that provide a kinesthetic perception of objects and a visceral charge. Born in Reading Pennsylvania, Sam Van Aken received his undergraduate education in Communication Theory and Art. Immediately following his studies he lived and worked in Poland under the auspices of the Andy Warhol Foundation and the United States Information Agency. Returning after several years in Europe, Van Aken received his MFA from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2001. Since this time his work has been exhibited nationally and internationally receiving numerous honors including a Joan Mitchell Award, Association of International Curator’s of Art Award and a 2009 Creative Capital Grant. Sam Van Aken is currently an Associate Professor in the Art Department at Syracuse University.
Matthew Moore is a fourth generation family farmer, working artist and food activist. Moore farms outside of Phoenix, Arizona, and exhibits his video and installation artwork internationally. Through these practices, he addresses issues of ecological, cultural, and economical sustainability and the potential loss of small independent farms.
Moore lectures on art and agriculture at conferences and universities across the country from San Francisco to New York. His work has been exhibited at the Phoenix Art Museum, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, the Walker Art Center, MassMoCA, and the Confederation Centre and Nuit Blanche in Canada. He has been featured in publications including Metropolis Magazine, Dwell, and Architecture magazine, as well as Mark Magazine and Dazed and Confused of Europe.
Dr. Regina Bernard-Carreno was born and raised in Hells Kitchen, NYC. She is a graduating pioneer of the African American Studies Master’s Degree Program at Columbia University. She completed her M.Phil and Ph.D. Degrees in Urban Education at CUNY’s Graduate Center. Having taught in graduate programs at various colleges, she is now an assistant professor of Black and Latino Studies at Baruch College, CUNY, where her courses are particularly focused on race, class, and food activism. She is the author of Black and Brown Waves: The Cultural Politics of Young Women of Color and Feminism (2009), and Nuyorganics: Organic Intellectualism, the Search for Racial Identity, and Nuyorican Thought (2010). Her third book, Say it Loud: Black Power, Black Studies and Collegiate Culture will be published in late 2013. She has also authored pieces for a wide variety of books, collected editions, and in the Journal of Pan African Studies. Dr. Bernard-Carreno has been actively researching and writing about the cultural performance of food, food access and food racism in low income neighborhoods in New York City and abroad. Along with researching and writing, Dr. Bernard-Carreno has been designing scholarly projects and community products based on food access in poor NYC areas.
Sunny Young is the winner of this year’s TEDxManhattan Challenge. She is the director of Edufood Consulting LLC, a school food reform consulting firm, and program manager of Good Food for Oxford Schools (GFOS) in Oxford, MS, a project that combines farm to school initiatives, school gardens, and nutrition education. Her passion for good, clean, and fair food arose during a semester working on a fair trade vanilla farm in Madagascar. A transformative experience, Young left the farm knowing that she wanted to dedicate her career to food justice. After graduating college, Young moved to Boulder, CO, where she worked with Chef Ann Cooper, also known as the “Renegade Lunch Lady,” on her mission to change the way kids eat. Alongside Cooper, Young became a Jill-of-all-trades, working with the Boulder Valley School District’s School Food Project and coordinating Cooper’s Food Family Farming Foundation (F3). Through her work with F3, Young managed The Lunch Box website, which provides free tools and resources to communities interested in improving school food, as well as the Healthy Breakfast 4 Kids and Lets Move Salad Bars to Schools grants. In 2012, Young moved to the great state of Mississippi where she runs the Oxford school district’s GFOS initiative, the first school food reform program of its kind in the state. Additionally, Young serves as the National Farm to School Networks liaison for the state, a role that allows her to work toward creating widespread change by bringing lessons learned from Oxford’s programs to all of Mississippi.
Virginia Clarke is the executive director of the Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems Funders (SAFSF), an international network of Grantmakers. SAFSF offers opportunities for shared learning and information exchange, collaboration, and seeks to increase philanthropic awareness of the issues as well as funding needs. She came to SAFSF in January 2003 from the University of California’s systemwide office for the Education Abroad Program where she served as a Senior Analyst and Regional Director Assistant for Asia and Africa, coordinating university-level student exchanges. Previously, Virginia spent five years as a program director with the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria where she led programs for emerging world leaders on a wide array of issues including food security, sustainable agriculture, international non-governmental organizations, leadership, and various legal themes. She also coordinated the Seminar’s outreach to Latin America. Other learning/employment opportunities over the last thirty years have included a stint at the World Bank; a management reorganization for a private clothing manufacturer in Bolivia; assisting immigrants in their efforts to secure legal residency in the U.S.; and multiple positions within the broad food service and hospitality industry. Fluent in Spanish, she has a Masters in International Administration from the School for International Training. In addition to her years in Austria, Virginia has lived and worked in Spain, Bolivia, Mexico, and seven states in the U.S. She lives in Santa Barbara, California with her youngest daughter, and daydreams of the Northern Lights and visiting her eldest daughter in Alaska.
Alison Cayne is owner of Haven’s Kitchen, a recreational cooking school, specialty food shop and event space in Manhattan. Recognizing that improving our food system starts with showing people how to source and utilize sustainable ingredients, Alison conceptualized a school for the home cook that is both educational and comfortable. Alison believes that supporting local growers will ultimately make sustainable food available and accessible to everyone.
Before founding Haven’s Kitchen, Alison began working towards her Masters in NYU’s Food Studies program. This led to a growing passion for creating a more sustainable food system and educating people about the connection between eating and agriculture. Alison worked with GrowNYC, educating school groups and visitors about the importance of regional ingredients and farming practices.
In addition to working at Haven’s Kitchen, and studying at NYU, Alison is on the boards of Just Food and Edible Schoolyard NYC, and a contributing editor at Domino Magazine.
Nikki Silvestri is the Executive Director of Green For All. She was previously Executive Director of People’s Grocery in Oakland, CA, a non-profit organization working to improve the health and economy of the West Oakland community through a local food system. While at People’s Grocery, Nikki raised the profile of an already successful organization, developing an innovative leadership development program for food entrepreneurs, strengthening a body of racial justice programming, and developing new partnerships that doubled the financial impact of People’s Grocery’s initiatives. An experienced public speaker, Nikki also provides thought leadership on the history and future of the food movement in venues such as Bioneers, the Environmental Grantmakers Association Annual Conference, Slow Food International’s Terra Madre and the United Nations.Nikki began her work in social justice through the foster care system in Southern California, developing her passion for youth leadership development through mentoring, tutoring, and directing Foster Youth Empowerment Workshops. She later shifted into sustainability, developing course curriculum for the University of California system and working closely with Van Jones and Phaedra Ellis Lamkins at Green for All. In 2010, Nikki was featured in ELLE Magazine as one of five Gold Awardees. She has a Master’s Degree in African American Studies from UCLA, and is originally from Los Angeles, CA.
Myra Goodman, and her husband Drew, founded Earthbound Farm on a 2 1/2 acre backyard garden in Carmel Valley, CA, in 1984. Both were recent college graduates, “city kids” from Manhattan, who became self-taught farmers who intuitively resisted handling agricultural chemicals. Earthbound Farm has grown from humble beginnings to become the largest grower of organic produce in North America, with more than 200 farmers cultivating 53,000 organic crop acres. Their products are available in 75% of supermarkets across the country, and their farming practices avoid the use of more than 19 million pounds of agricultural chemicals every year. Earthbound Farm was the first company to successfully package pre-washed salads for retail sale in 1986, and the first to pack their salads in 100% post consumer recycled plastic containers.
Myra has authored three cookbooks that share her passion for delicious food and a healthy planet: Food to Live By – The Earthbound Farm Organic Cookbook; The Earthbound Cook – 250 Recipes for Delicious Food and a Healthy Planet; and Straight from the Earth – 100 Irresistible Vegan Recipes for Everyone (due out March, 2014). As a passionate advocate for organic food and farming, she has appeared on dozens of televisions shows, including Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly, and Good Morning America Health, and has been featured in many publications, including More, People, and Bon Appetit. Drew and Myra still live on their original farm in Carmel Valley. They have two children, Marea and Jeffrey.
Saru Jayaraman the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United), Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley and Co-Founder of the consumer engagement campaign, The Welcome Table. She authored Behind the Kitchen Door, a groundbreaking exploration of the political, economic, and moral implications of dining out (Cornell University Press, 2013).
After 9/11, with displaced World Trade Center restaurant workers, she co-founded ROC in New York, which organizes restaurant workers to win workplace justice campaigns, conducts research and policy work, partners with responsible employers, and launched cooperatively-owned restaurants. Now a national organization, ROC United has 10,000 members across 26 cities and local offices in NYC, Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington DC, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, and Oakland. The founding of ROC has been chronicled in the book The Accidental American.
Ms. Jayaraman is a frequent presenter on the low-wage workforce, specifically on the restaurant industry and raising the tipped minimum wage from the federal standard of $2.13 per hour. She has appeared on Real Time with Bill Maher, MSNBC, NBC Nightly News, and PBS, among others. Saru is a graduate of Yale Law School and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She co-edited The New Urban Immigrant Workforce, (ME Sharpe, 2005). She was profiled in the New York Times “Public Lives” section in 2005, and was named one of Crain’s “40 Under 40” in 2008 and one of New York Magazine’s “Influentials” of New York City.
Educator and poet Clint Smith teaches English at Parkdale High School in Prince George’s County, MD. In the classroom, Mr. Smith combines his passion for poetry and justice to teach students the importance of their own stories as catalysts for meaningful social action. Outside of the classroom, he serves as the school’s slam poetry coach and is the founder of Parkdale Students for Social Justice, which empowers and trains students to become community organizers. In 2013, Mr. Smith was named the Christine D. Sarbanes Teacher of the Year by the Maryland Humanities Council. He has been featured in the Washington Post and is profiled in the book, “American Teacher: Heroes in the Classroom” (Welcome Books, 2013) as one of the top 50 educators in the nation.
In addition to teaching, Mr. Smith is an Individual World Poetry Slam finalist and was a member of Washington D.C.’s 2012 & 2013 National Slam Poetry Teams. His poetry has been featured on TVOne’s Verses & Flow and at the International AIDS Conference, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, and Teach For America’s annual alumni conference. In 2012, Mr. Smith served as a cultural ambassador to Swaziland on behalf of the U.S. State Department where he conducted poetry workshops on HIV/AIDS prevention, cross-cultural understanding, and youth empowerment. He is an alumnus of Davidson College and New Orleans’ public school system.
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree moved to Maine in the 1970s, and after graduating from College of the Atlantic she started a small farm on the island of North Haven. A knitting business she started in the early 80s soon grew to ten year round employees producing knitting kits and books that were sold in hundreds of stores across the country.
After serving on the local school board, and as the town’s tax assessor, Chellie was elected to the Maine Senate in 1992 and after serving four terms—two as Senate Majority Leader—went on to become the national President of Common Cause.
In 2008 Chellie was elected to Congress to serve Maine’s 1st District. Not only was she the first women from this District to ever be elected to Congress, her election marked the first time in American history that women have made up a majority of a state’s Congressional Delegation.
In Congress, Chellie has introduced the Local Farms, Food and Jobs Act—a comprehensive package of reforms to agriculture policy that will expand opportunities for local and regional farmers and make it easier for consumers to have access to healthy foods.
Chellie is still a small business owner today, owning and operating the Nebo Inn and Restaurant on North Haven, which features locally grown food.
Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG), is widely recognized as one of the most prominent and effective independent analysts of U.S. farm policy. Cook is a principal architect of landmark conservation laws that have shifted U.S. agriculture policy toward preservation of land, water, wetlands and wildlife. EWG’s farm subsidy database details nearly $250 billion in subsidy payments and has generated 254 million searches since 2004. A New York Times profile of Cook said that the unique database “not only caught the attention of lawmakers, it also helped transform the farm bill into a question about equity and whether the country’s wealthiest farmers should be paid to grow commodity crops while many smaller family farms receive nothing and are going out of business.”
Tom Colicchio spent his childhood immersed in food. At age 17, he made his kitchen debut in his native town of Elizabeth, New Jersey, at Evelyn’s Seafood Restaurant.
Colicchio then cooked at prominent New York restaurants such as The Quilted Giraffe, Gotham Bar & Grill, Rakel, and Mondrian. In July 1994, Colicchio and his business partner Danny Meyer opened Gramercy Tavern. Colicchio’s cooking at Gramercy Tavern won consistent recognition, garnering three stars from The New York Times and earning him The James Beard Foundation’s 2000 “Best Chef-New York” Award.
In 2001, Colicchio opened Craft one block south of Gramercy Tavern. Soon after, The New York Times awarded Craft with three stars. With Craft and its casual sibling, Craftbar, established in New York City, Colicchio set out to expand his simple, elegant brand of cooking. He has since opened Craftsteak at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas (2002), Craft and Craftbar in Los Angeles (2007; 2009) and Craftsteak at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods (2008). In summer 2013, he opened Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak at The Mirage in Las Vegas.
Colicchio opened his first ‘wichcraft – a sandwich shop rooted in the same food and hospitality philosophies as Craft – in New York City in 2003. Today ‘wichcraft has 14 New York City locations, as well as locations at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas and the Westfield Center in San Francisco.
In January 2010, he opened Colicchio & Sons in New York. Later that year, Colicchio opened Riverpark in New York with chef and partner Sisha Ortuzar. In 2012, he opened the restaurant at Topping Rose House, a new inn he is operating in Bridgehampton, New York. In May 2010, Colicchio was awarded The James Beard Foundation’s coveted “Outstanding Chef” award, the culmination of his 30 years of hard work in the restaurant industry.
Colicchio has published three cookbooks. The first, Think Like a Chef (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2000), won The James Beard Foundation “KitchenAid” Cookbook Award in May 2001. Tom’s second cookbook, Craft of Cooking, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2003. A sandwich book inspired by ‘wichcraft, was released by Clarkson Potter/Publishers in 2009.
Since 2006, Tom has been applying his experience and expertise to cable television as the head judge on Bravo’s hit reality cooking series “Top Chef.” The Emmy-winning show is filming its 11th season.
Tom appears in and served as executive producer on A Place at the Table, Participant Media’s documentary about food insecurity in America, produced and directed by Kristi Jacobson and Colicchio’s wife, Lori Silverbush, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Magnolia Pictures released the film March 1.