Long before Mary Sue Milliken became famous for her innovative Mexican and Central American cuisine, she made environmental sustainability the center of her menu.

The co-founder/chef of Los Angeles-based Border Grill restaurants and gourmet food trucks was one of the first restaurateurs to serve only sustainable seafood and meat raised without growth hormones or the over-use of antibiotics.  To this day, each year, Mary Sue sets a new goal — switching to non-GMO vegetable oils one year after moving to all organic rice and beans the year before.

IMG_0129x1“It is important that chefs and others in the food industry lead by example. We need to purchase sustainably produced ingredients as well as work to reduce the unconscionable amount of food waste now the norm for restaurants.  But inspiring each other and our customers to change their habits is not enough to fix our broken food system.  We also have to become actively involved in lobbying Washington to change our food policies.

“If good food is a right of every person on the planet — and I believe it is — how are we going to feed 8 billion people delicious, healthy, sustainably raised food?  That is the question that keeps me up at night.”

Join Mary Sue at Chefs Collaborative’s Food Summit in Boulder where she will share the inspiring stories of teaching — and learning — as she cooks with women struggling to feed their families both here and in disadvantaged countries around the world. Her talk will take place on Monday Sept. 29 at 9:20 am.