Sara Morris, President of The Beecher’s Foundation is an organizational leader in the for-profit and non-profit sectors, and a passion for food, kids, education, and community. Prior to joining the foundation, Sara was President and CEO of the Alliance for Education. The Alliance is Seattle’s local education fund and one of the city’s largest education non-profits.

Food Tank had the opportunity to sit down with Sara to talk about her work at The Beecher’s Foundation, nutrition, and the power of consumers.

FT: How are you helping to build a better food system?  

SM: The Beecher’s Foundation directly operates programs that educate tens of thousands of people each year, youth and adults, about food, nutrition, cooking, and consumer power.  We focus on the demand side of the food system equation, educating and empowering people to make better choices for themselves, their families, and their community as a whole.

FT: What’s the most pressing issue in food and agriculture that you’d like to see solved?  

SM: Materially reducing the toxic stew of overly processed, highly sugared, additive-laden products that glut our food system. 58 percent of Americans get the majority of their calories every day from overly processed food.  We’ve been conditioned to prioritize cheap convenience and have become addicted to salt and sugar. It’s killing us, and it’s killing those in low-income communities faster.

FT: How can we best stimulate young people’s curiosity about food and agriculture and encourage their participation in building healthier food systems?  

SM: Our youth program educates fourth and fifth graders to become “Food Detectives,” equipped to read labels, understand how ingredient lists are ordered, and much more.  Educating kids in a fun, interactive, engaging way is the single best way to spark curiosity about food.

Read more about food education by McKenna Hayes at Food Tank.