Broken Bread's Roy Choi Lists The Three Biggest Food Problems In The U.S.- Exclusive

As the title of Roy Choi's latest passion project implies, "Broken Bread" is about what's broken in the food chain. If you've caught even one or two episodes of the KCET/Tastemade series on PBS, you've likely picked up that our problems with food go way beyond needing to wait an unreasonably long time for your eggplant Parmesan at your favorite restaurant, or not being able to find cream cheese at the grocery store. 

In fact, according to Choi, our health, and the livelihoods of entire communities, is at stake. In an exclusive interview with Mashed, Choi explained that "Broken Bread" is actually a "social justice show" that uses food as a window into what's wrong with society at large. "We are a solution-based social justice show disguised as a food show," Choi said. "We use food, not in a manipulative way or not in a bad way, but we use food as a bridge to get people to come in. Because it is TV at the end of the day, we want to be entertainment." The purpose of the series, he added, is to be a "platform to find solutions for these really, really difficult and almost [incomprehensible] problems." 

What might those problems be? Choi honed in on three major threats to our health as a nation.

These are the biggest food problems facing Americans, according to Choi

To begin with, Choi said, "Seeds are disappearing! The whole essence of agriculture and regenerative agriculture is disappearing." With less diverse seeds to grow the food we eat–a consequence of the industrialization of agriculture–we may be getting fewer nutrients from the foods we eat, and certainly less flavor. "If we don't start to do something about it, there may be no heirloom or wild or natural or dynamic seeds, it will be maybe five seeds that exist within the whole world controlled by one source," Choi warned. "That could happen within the next five to ten years."

The second big problem is already happening, and has been happening for years: "Kids in elementary schools can't even access any food that have any nutrients," Choi explained. He believes the third problem is a social justice issue as much as it is a food issue. "Communities that have been forced and pushed through the history of American culture, especially communities of color, are continuously ... now being pushed again out of their home," he said. "There are no regulations or laws to protect them. They're literally being forced out. Immigrants' water is being cut off in order for them to flee from their homes, or their apartments, to make way for luxury condos."

Watch new episodes of "Broken Bread" on KCET and Tastemade.