Hunger had at one point been nearly eliminated in the United States. So how did it become such a massive and pressing issue once again?
Chef and activist Tom Colicchio cites, among other things, a changing political landscape that resulted in a working population left unable to feed themselves and their families.
"When you have a sixth of the population that can't really participate in the American dream, you start questioning whether the American dream is pretty much over," he told CNN's chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour.
5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
A mentor by definition is a trusted counselor. What's not inherently included in that definition is the form a mentor comes in.
As it were, a mentor can exist in many forms - from father to carpenter to chef.
Chef Jonathan Benno has worked in the kitchens of culinary notables like Thomas Keller and Tom Colicchio, and he willingly acknowledges the lessons he learned from them have been integral in his own success - from James Beard Awards to a "Best New Chef" title.
Benno is now an executive chef in his own right at his first solo project, Lincoln Restaurant, in New York City.
The student has now become the master.
Five Lessons Learned Through Cooking That I Now Pass Along: Jonathan Benno
UPDATE – The House has passed Food Safety Bill (S.510) 215 to 144 - with the provision of S.372, The Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The bill now goes to President Obama to sign.
Sanjay Gupta spoke with chef Tom Colicchio and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson about the growing controversy over governmental oversight of food safety, spurred on by the recent unanimous Senate vote in favor of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
Get more on S.510 - the Food Safety Modernization Act:
CNN’s “In Focus” series explores ways people are giving of their time, their resources and their love. Watch the CNN photojournalist special “Giving in Focus” Christmas Day at 4 p.m. ET.
Heaping platters of turkey, bowls of gravy-slathered mashed potatoes, endless pies and more than plenty for leftovers; for millions of children across the United States, a meal like this is as far-fetched a Christmas fantasy as Santa actually dropping down their chimney.
Winter break is anything but a wonderland for children in many of the nation's estimated 44 million food insecure families, who rely on school lunch for sustenance.
Nearly 16 percent of US households with children were food insecure during 2009, according to the most recently published United States Department of Agriculture figures, meaning that they did not have consistent access to adequate food for active, healthy lives for all household members. CNN Money reports that 14 percent of the nation's population - or 1 out of 7 people - is now living on food stamps.
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Tom Colicchio is a man on a mission - several of them in fact. In addition to testifying before the House on behalf of school lunch reform, the chef, restaurateur and Top Chef judge recently traveled to Louisiana to see the effects of the BP oil spill on the fishing industry, firsthand.
In the video below, Colicchio strongly advocates the sale and consumption of Gulf Coast seafood. Eatocracy sat down with him after that interview to get more on how home consumers across the country can stand up for embattled fisherman and how he's using Twitter as a way to spread his message.
To many, it seems pretty cut and dried. Some kids' families can't afford to feed them enough at home - they should get a decent lunch at school. For free, ideally.
However others don't see it that way, as evidenced by the response to our Q & A with celebrity chef Tom Colicchio on the topic of childhood hunger and healthcare reform. Some heated debate ensued and in the interest of spurring open, honest dialogue about a weighty matter, here are some of the arguments that were presented.
On the child-free subsidizing school lunches via taxes
Top Chef's Tom Colicchio is on a mission to make healthy school lunches accessible to every kid. How do things stack up in your neck of the woods?
As always, sound off in the comments. We just might share especially insightful ones in a future feature.