Change Food Fest Speaker Spotlight: Kim Huskey

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We’re excited to introduce you to our speakers for the 2016 Change Food Fest through a series of personal Q&A’s. Today we are talking to Kim Huskey of Google Food.

Kim HuskeyKim Huskey has worked for Google in NYC since 2007. She has 20 years experience as a hospitality leader in global corporate food services, restaurant fine dining, and restaurant consulting. At Google, Kim is the Food Services Manager, Americas. The overall mission of Google’s food program is to inspire and to enable the Google community to make food choices and to enjoy food experiences that support them being their best. In her 9 years at Google her responsibility has spanned Google offices in the East Coast of the States, Canada, South America and Australia delivering delicious, nutritious and healthy food around the world.

What inspired you to get involved with the good food movement?

I was, and still am, working with amazing chefs that are so thoughtful about where their ingredients come from, how they prepare them and how they introduce people to something special, like a purple heirloom carrot. It’s incredible to see how delighted people are once they taste and experience these offerings. Food is so personal, and by inspiring people through food we can make a big (or small) impact on their lives. By simply being thoughtful about a carrot or making it easy to choose water instead of soda, or creating the spaces to break bread together, we can have a big impact on even more people and affect positive shifts in how we live.

How can you be intentional and thoughtful about the food that goes to your employees in 56 countries, serving over +159,000+ meals? It sounds like a big challenge.

We put a tremendous amount of thought into the food & beverages we serve, which includes our approach to culinary, nutrition, responsible procurement, and resource utilization. I like to think about the ​journey of a tomato, what kind of tomato to buy (imperfect produce), who we buy it from (local), how we prepare it (delicious and nutritious), how it’s presented (make the best choice the easiest choice), enjoyed (with our friends and community) and how we manage our waste (waste tracking systems, food digesters which turn, waste into fertilizer, and donations to our local soup kitchen). You can see our values at Google Food are brought to life through the journey of tomato.

Google has a big vision to inspire and enable the world to make food choices that develop more sustainable lifestyles and communities. How do you even start to make that happen?

While we don’t have a one-size fits all approach across our Google locations, we embed the concept of being a responsible business into each aspect of our food program. This means taking many factors into consideration including the impact on our employees, as well as our broader community and world at large.​ ​We partner with thinkers and doers in the food space and apply those learnings and insights to move our employees toward a more balanced plant forward diet. And by balanced that also includes treats, who can live without treats!

You mention that even an individual’s food choices can help to shape a better food community. Do you think that those small conversations really make a difference?

Of course! Each of us has the power to affect change with our food choices. As an organization we can offer initiatives and choices that help an individual be at their best. We can make it easy for them to make those good choices, by making fresh food readily available, by showcasing spa waters and by promoting food options like sustainable seafood and more plant-based foods. We can even enable individuals by teaching them food literacy skills in our onsite teaching kitchens or engaging them in talks about our food system through our FoodTalks program.

What will you be talking about at The Change Food Fest?

How ​can food-service industry leaders and corporations support plant-based eating moving forward?

What’s one thing individuals can do to contribute to a better food system?

  • Introduce more plant-forward foods into your daily diet, eat fresh food that you like!
  • Get to know your food, the farmers and fisherman
  • Don’t be afraid of second tier/ugly produce
  • Respect others choices. Food is deeply personal and we all have our own ways we can contribute to more sustainable lifestyles and communities

The Change Food Fest “Growing the Good Food Movement”  will take place in New York City on November 12th and 13th, 2016. We will explore and celebrate change happening in the food system. Rather than simply talk about problems, we will actively look at solutions that are leading us to the sustainable food system we wish to see. Our focus will be on both real and visionary change and will include an exploration into seafood, plant based vs meat diets, possible impacts of new businesses and investment money coming into the food space – and much more. You can purchase a ticket or host a viewing party of the live webcast in your local community. Follow the action at #CFFest2016!

Change Food® works toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet.  Learn more about Plant Eat Share – planting food in public spaces. For free.