Rebuttal to Alice Waters Takedown from a Volunteer at Edible Schoolyard


[Photograph: Edible Schoolyard]

Sarah Henry is a Berkeley, California–based freelance writer who also volunteers once a week at Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard project. She's got a unique take on that Atlantic–Caitlin Flanagan hatchet job that caused a stir last week.

Clearly Caitlin hasn't spent much, if any, time in the Edible kitchen, run by head chef teacher Esther Cook since its beginnings 14 years ago.

But I have. And I've seen a lot of wonderful things take place in that cooking classroom, not least of which is the making of fabulous, school-grown, organic feasts.

Here's what I've witnessed:

  • Kids from diverse backgrounds working together to cook food.
  • Middle schoolers who might not excel in conventional classes discovering other talents such as knife skills or cooking chops.
  • Teenagers discussing everyday events, controversial topics, or answering a thought-provoking question over a shared meal.
  • Students absorbing a healthy dose of curriculum along with healthy food. A whole lot of love. As a cynical reporter, I don't type those words lightly.

Related: Alice Waters-Edible Schoolyard Takedown in the Atlantic: Wrong, Wrong, Wrong »