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The James Beard Foundation recognizes leaders in sustainable food

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(Read caption) First lady Michelle Obama and American Indian children plant traditional crops in the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House, June 3, 2011.

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The James Beard Foundation, in efforts to recognize visionaries in the business, government and education sectors working to create a healthier, safer, and more sustainable food world, has named the recipients of its inaugural James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards.

The honorees – who range from urban agriculture heroes to tireless healthy school food pioneers – are Will Allen, Fedele Bauccio, Debra Eschmeyer, Sheri Flies, Jan Kees Vis, Fred Kirschenmann, First Lady Michelle Obama, Janet Poppendieck, Alice Waters, and Craig Watson.

The foundation, which is celebrating its 25th year, is showing a new focus beyond recognizing outstanding chefs with this inaugural award.

“Our foundation is widely known for recognizing the best chefs and restaurateurs in America through our annual James Beard Awards,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation, in a press release. “Our new leadership awards shine the spotlight on game-changing pioneers who have inspired positive action to improve our country’s food system.”

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