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How Miami's Restaurant Industry Would Change the World Through Food

How would you change the world through food? Local experts weigh in.

To mark the relaunch of Eater today, the Features team compiled a collection of seventy-two of the best ideas for how people around the world are or how they plan to or how they want to change the world through food. A lot of the ideas are incredibly earnest. Some are ambitious beyond reason. But what they all have in common is a belief that, with hard work and good food, the world is headed in the right direction.

As a local component to this feature, we asked the Miami community to chime in. So check out the national responses over here and scroll below to see what local thinkers and doers would like to do to change the world through food. Have a suggestion? Add it to the comments.

Cindy Hutson, chef and owner of Ortantique: Food has always been the vital path needed to connect and change the world. It has brought many countries and cultures together throughout history - providing power, survival, trade, travel and discovery. In today's world as we become selfish and greedy and deplete species of fish, plants and animals, it becomes necessary to reverse what we have begun to destroy. We must find new ingredients that are more sustainable and less harmful to the surrounding environment, providing nourishment and development. Items like breadfruit, ancient grains, sardines, and kelp all provide health and are still flourishing and replenish rapidly. We need to change the way we think and teach our youth about our planet.

Norman Van Aken, chef and owner of Norman's at Ritz-Carlton Orlando: We have an amazing agricultural area in our south and we have school children who are hungry throughout our region. By uniting the two, we create miracles through the powers of food.

Andreas Schreiner, Pubbelly Restaurant Group partner: I would love to continue to create and develop food and beverage concepts that allow people to connect with each other and share life experiences, learn about each other, laughs and have a good time. If people around the world spent more time sharing a meal and understanding each other's cultures then perhaps we would not have so many fights or wars.

Makoto Okuwa, co-owner and chef at Makato: I would use food as an educational tool to teach families how to incorporate healthier habits into their life. Although food is a basic necessity, families don't always have well-balanced diets. I would host cooking classes for the whole family, as a fun activity for all members of the family to participate in while educating them on healthy eating habits. Changing these habits can go a long way, from decreasing the risk of medical conditions associated with poor eating habits to encouraging positive change in other aspects of their lives.

Timon Balloo, chef at Sugarcane Raw Bar: As a chef in Miami,  I would like my voice and my knowledge in the industry, to help educate consumers on a local and national level so they begin being conscious of their eating practices and ethical product sourcing and usage.

John Kunkel, CEO of 50 Eggs Restaurant Group: I would like to change the world through food by making a difference— at least through 50 Eggs— when it comes to where our food comes from. We run our restaurants with a commitment to promoting small farmers and local purveyors and ingredients that are not mass produced. This not only impacts our customers by providing them healthier, better product; it keeps family farms afloat in the face of agribusiness' multi-billion dollar challenge. GMO and processed foods are the antithesis of what 50 Eggs is striving to represent; and I think that every individual or company that can make the statement that it matters what we eat and where our food comes from is doing their part to change the world through food.  Through our company's planned international growth we hope to take this message farther afield and have a larger impact.  Food is at its essence sustenance, but it's much more when it comes to the experience of dining, and by helping people understand that it's important to know where your food comes from and giving them options to dine at restaurants that care about this, I think you can begin to change the world through food— at least it's a start.

Kevin Cory, chef and owner of Naoe and N by Naoe: Implement efficient organic agriculture and aquaculture technology around the world, after the world aligns politics and tackles science to create such sustainable economies.

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