Accepted abstract - Creative Tastebuds Symposium 2021

School food, taste and sustainability: The case of Brigaid

Opinion paper

By Rachel Black, Connecticut College

Since 2016, Chef Dan Giusti of Noma fame has been showing how chefs can improve school food in the United States. Giusti’s innovative company Brigaid put chefs in school kitchens in order to improve the taste, quality and sustainability of school food. This research follows the Brigaid pilot project in New London, Connecticut from 2016 to present in order to reveal the politics of taste involved in feeding children and the more tangible outcomes of repercussions of taste. In particular, this research shows the ties between taste and sustainability. Brigaid’s main premise is that if food tastes good, kids will eat more and waste less. This may seem like a simple goal but this research considers the many ways in which sustainability is impacted when chefs create better school food programs. Through participant observation and interviews, this research shows how the reskilling kitchen labor, implementation of sustainable practices such as reusable plates and utensils, and the reduction of plate waste through the improvement of food quality Brigaid has developed a model that could potentially transform school food in the United States to make it more sustainable, nutritious and delicious.