I read a fantastic article the other day in The Telegraph about Alain Coumont, the founder of the organic restaurant chain Le Pain Quotidien.
For those who are unfamiliar with Le Pain Quotidien, it is absolutely exploding here in NYC and has a presence in 18 countries around the world. It seems as if they are everywhere in Manhattan, almost as ubiquitous as Starbucks.
Le Pain Quotidien serves mostly organic food (75% organic in the U.S. cafes, 83% in London and 89% in France), is known for its big wooden communal tables and has a very comfortable and inviting feel to it. Eating there is always a very pleasant dining experience.
Aside from reading about Alain Coumont, who is a very impressive guy, and how he has built his organic empire, I was struck by two main points in the article.
1) He ends it by saying “‘To me, good food is more important than a shiny Aston Martin.”
I couldn’t agree more. I would MUCH, MUCH rather spend my money on healthy, organic food than on things.
2) He says that the French Minister of Agriculture (Bruno Le Maire) wants 25% of farming to be organic in 4-5 years. When I read this, I almost fell off my chair.
Can you imagine living in a country where the government leaders truly “get it” and see that organic farming is the right way to grow food.
As part of his commitment to organic, Bruno Le Maire announced in 2010 a target of converting 30% more farmers to organic than had been achieved in 2009.
I am totally, totally impressed by the leadership of the French government when it comes to organic. They understand that organic is the only way to feed the world and keep our environment safe.