SXSW: Andrew Zimmern Speaks on the Importance of Helping the World

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  • Much like José Andrés — who Shira Lazar interviewed earlier at SXSW — Andrew Zimmern is using his pulpit as a celebrity chef to do good in the world. As he puts it, there’s something topsy-turvy about the world when people who need food the most are denied it — whether its people in war-torn countries escaping oppressive forces or lower income peoples in America who don’t have simply the time to make a fully nutritious meal. Zimmern’s goal is to do good in the world through his food, activism and social platform — and Shira Lazar had the chance to interview Andrew about his history of cooking, being involved with activism, and using his public persona as a platform for good.

    Zimmern discusses in the video above how food is a global problem that should be taken more seriously. It affects our health, our spending, and even the smaller parts of our lives such as how much we pay for car insurance. We have to help people, he says, one plate of food at a time and treat people around the world as if they are the ones we love. Andrew Zimmern goes into his past — one where he describes himself as a selfish person who only took, and was eventually saved from alcoholism by his friends. He now uses his pulpit to raise awareness and do good and says that doing otherwise would be a big “F you” to the universe.

    Andrew then discusses his television show which he describes as a Trojan Horse for the more humanist issues he wanted to bring in. He brought a show that many in charge wrote off as a dry six-episode mini-series and changed it to the kind of show where he eats insects. Andrew then discusses the future of activism — about how corporate activism is rising, but still has some way to go before it is ready to tackle the riskier issues — such as high sugar consumption, as covering it could alienate advertisers. He then discusses how the new generation — represented well by the Parkland teens — could be the generation that finally saves the world as they have had enough of what the world has heaped on to them. Incredible.

    Make sure to tune into The Zimmern List tonight, March 13th at 9/8c on Travel Channel.

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