For The Love Of Local Food

Alice Waters makes no secret of her love for good food, sampling, and sampling some more, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports.

"I have to have a taste of that," she says as she strolls through a local farmer's market. "I'm dying for a Meyer Lemon Bread. Get me some salsa too, thank you."

It's a diet that could leave some with scorched taste buds, but Waters has taste buds that launched an eating empire - eight cookbooks and a famous restaurant called Chez Panisse, that is part luxury dining and part a crusade to change the way America eats.

She argues that it is better for our health and the environment to buy locally grown food.

"I think we have to understand that there are consequences about every decision we make every day," she says.

In the 1970s, farmers markets were rare. But in recent years, their numbers have swelled to more than 4,000 across the country - part of a movement to keep family farms alive.

"We have to learn how to cook again," Waters says. "You know, we don't know how to cook."

So Waters is campaigning to get Americans back into the kitchen, starting with some of the youngest, a classroom at Martin Luther King Middle School in Berkeley where Waters has helped get cooking into the curriculum.

"Boiling water! Sharp knives! Stoves! They're sixth grade," Blackstone said.

"Well they're incredibly capable," remarked Waters.

"Now we have to wait for a minute," one student said.

The kids don't just cook the food, they grow it in the Edible Schoolyard.

"Now, have you used oregano?" Waters asked.

"No," the kids answer in unison.

No one, including Waters, ever goes home hungry. For more than 30 years now Alice Waters has been leading what she calls a "delicious revolution." She's still a long way from winning the war, but every time you shop at a local farmers' market she claims a small victory.

"This is real food - and it's something very precious," Waters said.
  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.

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