“I’m going to get into it, man,” says Roy Choi to a packed house at last month’s MAD Symposium in Copenhagen (read our reports from Day 1 and Day 2-3). “With so many paved roads, farmers markets, great weather, restaurants and so much tree to smoke, we should be happy as clams,” he jokes. “But in many parts of our city, this is how we supply our neighborhoods.”
The Los Angeles chef and food truck pioneer then goes on to click through slide after of slide of photos of liquor stores, illustrating how food deserts — places where fresh, healthy food is unaffordable or inaccessible — are impacting Los Angeles. “There are people who can’t even eat a horse carrot,” he says, adding that the food world (celebrity chefs down to the mom-and-pop corner bistro) are generally serving food to the same people. Younger, smarter, more Instagram-savvy customers who are “constantly talking about food” but unaware of the crisis afflicting our major cities.
The news is certainly not groundbreaking. Our friend Michel Nischan dedicates a great deal of time towards hunger awareness and advocacy. But to see a lengthy presentation from somebody like Choi — perceived by many as a bleeding-edge, hipster, pot-smoking, rap-quoting Hollywood sort of guy — it’s even more refreshing. Though, we've known Choi was a thoughful dude for a while. Here’s the entire presentation:
Read more about Roy Choi on Food Republic: