Alice Waters and Nikki Henderson occupy radically different places in the sustainable food movement.
Waters is a white baby boomer who was raised comfortably middle class; Henderson is an African American millennial who grew up with seven foster brothers. Waters runs an iconic white-tablecloth restaurant in well-heeled Berkeley. Henderson runs an iconic anti-poverty nonprofit in low-income West Oakland. Waters speaks most naturally as an aesthete; Henderson, as a community organizer.
The fact that a single movement can contain both demonstrates its great potential—think of the civil rights movement, which really began to coalesce when an alliance along similar race/class lines developed in the late 1950s. But it also indicates crucial fault lines: If the food movement becomes dominated by its white-tablecloth faction, it risks devolving into a high-end tasting club that has little impact on the broader culture.
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