Meet an Expo Presenter

Name: Israel Buffardi

Are you a student?
I am currently finishing up my final course for my nutrition degree and I have a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales.

Why did you decide to combine a culinary and nutrition degree?
I love food and the experience of eating is very enjoyable. I wanted to learn how to continue enjoying that experience and combine it with a healthier lifestyle.

What will you be presenting at A Better World by Design’s Expo?
I plan on doing a food demo, highlighting a really great seasonal product from local sources and showing that if you’re using good seasonal produce, then it doesn’t need a lot of work–that work is done by the farmer. I also plan to have a showcase of what I do and my business goals.

What is your business?
The business name is Zest: How To, the slogan is “Learn Local, Cook Global”. The learn local side is thinking about cooking at home first, about where you’re living, what the season is and what’s growing locally. The Global part is about thinking of food on a global scale, being responsible about food. If I’m going to the supermarket to buy beef, where is that coming from? How does that affect the environment?

How do you see your business affecting the food system you want to see?
I think we would be a healthier country if people took charge of their own decisions in regards to food. The culture of dieting often casts food as the problem, or that a nutrient is evil. Food should be an experience and it should be social. We shouldn’t eat alone, we should eat with other people. Take time with food, take time to acquire it, to admire it for itself, to understand it, to know what to do with it and then to eat it. Have respect for where the food is coming from.

If I were to eat a Lean Cuisine I’d be eating it because I thought it was healthy, but I can’t picture myself enjoying it. I can’t picture someone having four friends over, sitting down around a table, drinking good wine and eating Lean Cuisines. That’s not a fun experience. Food should be a positive experience.

If we redesign the way we eat and think about food, do you think it would have an impact on the broader food system?
Absolutely. If there was more education about food, if people could have more appreciation for and think more about food, that would affect what they buy when they go to the supermarket.

Is that how you see Zest: How To fitting into the broader food system?
Yes, and I’m a very very small part of that. I think that the most important place that education needs to happen is with kids. I would like to work with teaching kids how to cook, especially lower income kids, because there’s a huge disparity with healthy eating and economic class.

Interested in joining the Expo? There’s still time! Click here to find out how.

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