The Future of Food According to Farmer Lee Jones

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Farmer Lee Jones never expected his family’s farming business to lead to experiences like judging Iron Chef America, receiving the culinary industry’s most prestigious honor - a James Beard Award, participating in Google’s Innovation Lab for Food Experiences, or a TV appearance with First Lady Michelle Obama. But, over the past 30 years, Farmer Jones’ connection to the world’s most cutting-edge chefs has taught this Ohio farmer a lot about the direction of agriculture and the culinary industry – where they’ve been and where they’re going.

With increased education and awareness, consumers will begin to recognize the value in food grown with consideration for their health and the health of the environment.

Farmer Lee Jones of The Chef's Garden recently participated in a panel at The Institute of Culinary Education in New York City to discuss the future of American food. His fellow participants included Dr. Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University; Nation’s Restaurant News Food Editor Bret Thorn and other contributors to the "Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America." The panel discussion was lively and impassioned, covering topics like preservation of fresh water, the impact of post-harvest handling on nutrition and perceived inadequacies of today's food production.

“It costs more to produce food the right way,” explains Farmer Jones, “but we can either pay now or pay later. Health care costs in this country are staggering, and I believe the poor nutritional value of the foods we eat is a big part of that. One reason is that foods begin to lose nutrition after they’re harvested and even more so if they’re highly processed. I am confident that with increased education and awareness, consumers will begin to recognize the value in food grown with consideration for their health and the health of the environment.”

Much of what Farmer Jones and the team at The Chef’s Garden do is revive old agricultural traditions, so the future is inextricably linked to the past. “My dad has a saying about our approach to farming at The Chef’s Garden. ‘All we’re doing is trying to get as good as the farmers were 100 years ago,’” explains Farmer Jones. It was a time before chemicals and synthetic materials were used in agriculture, and it’s the approach demanded by the chefs they supply.

However, while the farm does is deeply rooted in traditions of the past, Farmer Jones always has his pulse on the future of food. Farmer Jones’ perspective has been shaped by a lifelong career of leading innovation in the agricultural industry and working with chefs who drive the culinary trends.

Contact the farm to speak with Lee Jones and learn more about the future of food according to one of the world’s most recognized farmers.


About The Chef's Garden
The Chef’s Garden is a family farm that grows, packages, and ships the highest quality, safest and most flavorful specialty vegetables, herbs and greens directly to the best chefs in the world. The farm recently introduced the Farmer Jones Farm Home Delivery Program for the public. In order to grow foods with optimum quality, flavor and nutrition, The Chef’s Garden is committed to sustainable agricultural practices that naturally replenish nutrients depleted from the soil, rather than synthetically. Read more about The Chef's Garden and owner Farmer Lee Jones at

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Alexandra Scheufler
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