José Andrés on His New Book “Vegetables Unleashed”

Christiane Amanpour is joined by star chef José Andrés, who made a name for himself feeding the hungry in desperate situations. He discusses his new book “Vegetables Unleashed,” and why he’s trying to get us to see vegetables in a new light, just as the role of meat in climate change becomes apparent.

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JOSÉ ANDRÉS, MICHELIN STAR CHEF: Well, we’ve been always talking about how good meat is, let’s eat meat. The last 10 years or so, the conversation about vegetables is being kind of the forefront. But still I don’t think we’re doing enough. On the menus, they are always the side dish. That’s why a few years ago, I decided to open a fast food called Beefsteak. It’s a fast food restaurant where 99% of all the items are vegetables. And this book is very much trying to close the circle. We need to do a bigger effort to try to move vegetables forward and make sure that they are part of our lives, of our diets.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: So, I wonder, do you do that because it’s healthy for us, for our diets or is it also because of the environment? And let me just give you some of these statistics that we have, because raising, you know, livestock, whether to eat the meat or to have the eggs and the milk, apparently generates between 14.5 percent to 18 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s the second highest source, according to the U.N. and it’s outpaces, you know, transport, all the kind of transport. So, what is the main reason you’re doing this?

ANDRÉS: Quite frankly, it’s all of the above. Number one, in my family, we are very vegetable centric family. We are very lucky to have a little farm outside our home. We go to the farmers markets. But, many people in America and many people around the world don’t have this same simple access to those vegetables, that every family should be able to have access to and also, to be able to afford. Sometimes, it seems that lately, to buy a burger, it’s cheaper than to buy broccoli, and we have to end that. We have to make sure that families in America and around the world, where they live, they have easy access to vegetables that the families can afford, so their families can be better fed. Cannot be that in the process of being the richest country of the world like America, somehow, we are becoming more obese, less healthy, our environment is suffering because of the way we’re growing the foods we eat.

So, we need to be making sure that we keep asking ourselves how can we make sure that in the way we feed ourselves, we are able to eat better and healthier, and make sure that the environment surrounds us is better? That’s why I did the book, to bring recipes that are fun for the families to cook at home. And in the process, we bring some questions. Are you thinking every time you are eating? Are you seeing the consequences, or the benefits that what you eat and the way you eat can have to your family and to the environment that is surrounding you?


About This Episode EXPAND

Christiane Amanpour speaks with Gen. David Patraeus about Iran; and chef José Andrés about the role of meat in climate change. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Suketu Mehta, who says the West is being destroyed not by immigrants, but the fear of immigrants.