Alice Waters' Crusade For Better Food

Lesley Stahl Profiles The Outspoken, And Sometimes Controversial California Food Activist

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The garden is just half of the program. The kids also learn how to cook what they've grown. For many of the kids it's the first time they've cooked and eaten fresh, organic food.

"Did you ever cook anything that you thought before, oh my god, I'd never eat anything…like that in a million [years]?" Stahl asked the children.

"Oh yeah. This one thing with toast and then there's spinach and mushrooms on top of it. I thought I would hate it but it was really good," one student told Stahl.

If Waters had her way, there'd be a program like this in every single school.

"We have schools across the country that are cutting gym, where they can't afford books for the kids. Do you think it's possible that what you're doing or what you're trying to do can really be spread all across the country in these times?" Stahl asked.

"In these times it needs to be spread more than ever," Waters argued. "That children would grow up knowing how to cook. This is something that we don't know how to do anymore."

"But can we afford it? I guess that's what I'm asking," Stahl said.

"But we can't not afford it," Waters argued.

She did agree with the notion that she's a dreamer.

But to others she's a visionary. Now she has her sights on a new project and we would like to warn President Obama that the steamroller is on its way.

"You have been pushing for a vegetable garden at the White House for years. Rose garden? Forget that. You want a broccoli garden?" Stahl asked.

"I have been talking nonstop about the symbolism of an edible landscape at the White House. I think it says everything about stewardship of the land and about the nourishment of a nation," Waters said.

Asked if she thinks she'll achieve such a garden at the White House, Waters told Stahl, "Well, I'm very hopeful. I've always liked the idea of doing press conferences at the compost heap."



Five days after this story first aired, Michelle Obama broke ground for a garden on the South Lawn of the White House. It's 1,100 square feet, with organic herbs, fruits and vegetables.

Produced by Ruth Streeter