Greg Christian is on a mission to transform food service and event catering into more sustainable industries. He heads up his own consulting business, and is a founding member of B Corporation. He belongs to both Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) and Green Meeting Industry Council (GMIC). He is currently helping to develop policies and procedures for APEX (Accepted Practices Exchange), an organization focused on best practices for meetings and events. If that wasn’t enough, Greg’s efforts as founder and developer of the Organic School Project (OSP) have been recognized on a national level. The Grow.Teach.Feed. model of OSP works to provide better food and food education to children in schools.
AE: Greg, what are you fed up with?
GC: I am fed up with school food being so crappy. And the people responsible for feeding the kids in school…administration, board members, and food service companies all going home every night saying, “Honey—I worked hard today.”
AE: What do you mean?
GC: It’s really easy to feed kids better in school while keeping costs flat AND serving the environment and future generations. Most food service companies consider this rocket science. Most school administrators find other “business things” to be more important.
Most board members, food service directors, even mayors just want to look good and play politics while we feed kids crap every day…in every way.
AE: Mayors, huh? So this starts at the top?
GC: If the mayors in all the towns in America (maybe starting here in Chicago!) ate the food every day in their school cafeterias, things would change much faster! If we drove better food through contracts, the big school feeders would figure this out much quicker. If we got out of the “who done it” brain exercise and out of “it’s their fault” and just had a vision for school food.
AE: What’s your vision?
GC: Something like when you walk into a school—it smells good—smells like home cooked real food. The food came from the local farmers; food raised right. Farm workers being paid just wages. You walk into the cafeteria and there are kids in the kitchen helping make and serve the food. They know where the food came from. It’s colorful! Plate waste is zero—they eat all their food every day. They like it! The school even sells home replacement meals…for those busy families that cannot cook from scratch every night. The kitchens are zero waste. Everything is recycled and composted. Kids eat on real plates. There’s water to be drunk – not just chocolate milk. And this food system is not housed under the USDA umbrella. That’s simply makes no sense at every level. And maybe even there’s recess!
AE: Hear, hear! I like it!
GG: Well, if this is not your vision or complete enough for you…good! Make it yours – add and take away. I am not looking for agreement, but more to inspire those that are called to dream and dream big. We can feed our kids from a sustainable food system.