Fresh Take: Train Carrying World Central Kitchen Food Attacked, Food Startups Can Still Thrive, And The Self-Made Women Of Food

Food & Drink

“2022 really is a year where world hunger and the food crisis are front and center,” World Central Kitchen executive director Nate Mook told me earlier this week. Just back from Ukraine, where he has spent the past 120 days feeding hungry refugees and others impacted from Odesa to Kyiv, Mook was telling me about the missile that hit a train transporting 34 pallets of food that his aid organization was set to distribute.

That story went live yesterday afternoon (check it out!) and the call with Mook was so informative yet powerful that I wanted to share more about what Mook told me. As I’ve reported and shared with you, the United Nations didn’t raise enough money and must now face cutting back rations in areas where starvation has been spreading. The situation is dire in many places. So I wanted to know how World Central Kitchen was dealing with the different crises. Mook said World Central Kitchen currently does not operate in Somalia, Ethiopia or Yemen, but “that could change.”

“The world needs to recognize that food is an issue that affects all of us, even if it happens in a place like Ukraine or a place like Yemen or the Horn of Africa,” Mook told me. “Hunger leads to unrest, which leads to destabilization, which leads to security issues, which leads to problems back at home.”

Humanitarian and hunger experts have been calling what’s brewing “a perfect storm.” That’s what I’ll be thinking about going into my weekend, and especially how even these kinds of massive global issues can be made better one small step at a time. You may find yourself barbecuing with loved ones or sharing strawberry season with friends. Or maybe you’ll be celebrating Father’s Day or Juneteenth. If you’re looking for recipes, I must recommend one just-published cookbook which I can’t stop flipping through: Watermelon & Red Birds: A Cookbook for Juneteenth and Black Celebrations by Nicole A. Taylor. Let’s all take a moment over the next few days to appreciate who is around our tables and what we are sharing.

— Chloe Sorvino, Staff Writer

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What’s Fresh

Russia Widens Attack On Food With Bombing Of Train Bound For José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen. A Russian missile hit a train near Donetsk, Ukraine, on Wednesday that was transporting 34 pallets of food to be distributed by World Central Kitchen, chef José Andrés’ aid organization. Story by yours truly.

How A Former Marketing Executive Built A $1.1 Billion Brand Around Frozen Fruits And Vegetables. Daily Harvest’s founder and CEO Rachel Drori quit her job in 2015 to start making smoothies in a kitchen in Queens. Now, at 39, she’s worth $350 million. Story by Yours Truly.

How Good Food Enterprises Are Thriving In The Covid-19 Era. The food industry is very competitive, especially during a pandemic, but these enterprises are showing how good food can scale and thrive, Errol Schweizer writes.

A Much More Diverse Array Of Restaurants And Chefs Took Home James Beard Awards. By fielding the most diverse field of nominees and winners, the James Beard Awards are looking to move forward after a rough couple of years, reports Hudson Lindenberger.

I love my community-supported agriculture share, which I pick up on Thursdays on Stanton Street. It’s strawberry season—go out and enjoy it!

Chloe Sorvino leads coverage of food and agriculture as a staff writer on the enterprise team at Forbes. Her nearly eight years of reporting at Forbes has brought her to In-N-Out Burger’s secret test kitchen, drought-ridden farms in California’s Central Valley, burnt-out national forests logged by a timber billionaire, a century-old slaughterhouse in Omaha and even a chocolate croissant factory designed like a medieval castle in Northern France. Her book, Raw Deal: Hidden Corruption, Corporate Greed and the Fight for the Future of Meat, will publish in December 2022 with Simon & Schuster’s Atria Books.

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