Our hearts will always be in the kitchen, but we also love to get out and taste the world and these are the causes and issues that inspire us.

Share Our Strength
Scleroderma Research Foundation
LA Gay & Lesbian Center
Sustainable Seafood
Mercury Contamination in Seafood
Farmers’ Markets and Agricultural Biodiversity
Genetically Modified Organisms


Share Our Strength
Creating a Hunger-Free Generation

Share Our Strength’s goal is to motivate and organize individuals and businesses to share their strengths in an effort to alleviate and prevent hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. By supporting food assistance programs, treating malnutrition, and promoting economic independence, Share Our Strength meets immediate demands for food while investing in long-term solutions to hunger and poverty.

Taste of the Nation®, one of Share Our Strength’s many fundraising programs, is the nation’s largest culinary benefit to fight hunger. More than 60 cities in North America hold yearly food and wine tasting benefits with 100% of the ticket sales going to anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts. Since 1988, Taste of the Nation® has raised more than $55 million to fight hunger.

For more information about Share Our Strength, Taste of the Nation®, and other Share Our Strength programs such as The Great American Bake Sale®, go to www.strength.org

Scleroderma Research Foundation
Dedicated to Finding a Cure for Scleroderma

The Scleroderma Research Foundation, founded in 1987 by scleroderma patient Sharon Monsky, is the only organization in the nation dedicated exclusively to finding a cure for this little-known, but surprisingly widespread disease. Scleroderma literally means hard skin, but it is much more than that, often affecting the body’s internal organs with life-threatening consequences. Today, scleroderma is recognized as a chronic and degenerative disease of the connective tissue that affects more than 300,000 people in the U.S. alone, more than muscular dystrophy and as many as multiple sclerosis.

In 1988, Susan and Mary Sue founded an annual fund-raising event with their longtime friend Monsky called Cool Comedy, Hot Cuisine featuring the chefs’ spicy foods and an all-star comedy lineup. Since its inception, the event has expanded from Los Angeles to New York and San Francisco, and featured entertainers such as Robin Williams, Jon Stewart, Conan O’Brien, Jay Leno, Tina Fey, Bob Saget, Arsenio Hall, Dana Carvey, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen DeGeneres, and the late John Candy.

Sadly, Monsky lost her battle with scleroderma on May 11, 2002, but the Foundation she started continues to lead the way in the search for a cure. For more information about the Scleroderma Research Foundation, go to www.sclerodermaresearch.org

LA Gay & Lesbian Center
Empower - Heal - Advocate - Lead

The L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center provides a broad array of services for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, welcoming nearly a quarter-million client visits from ethnically diverse youth and adults each year. Through its Jeffrey Goodman Special Care Clinic and on-site pharmacy, the Center offers free and low-cost health, mental health, HIV/AIDS medical care and HIV/STD testing and prevention. The Center also offers legal, social, cultural, and educational services, with unique programs for seniors, families and youth, including a 24-bed transitional living program for homeless youth.

As an active member of the gay and lesbian community, Susan supports efforts to fight for equality and empowerment through the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, where she is a member of the board. For more information about the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, go to www.lagaycenter.org.

Sustainable Seafood
Unfortunately, many of the world’s fish populations are in danger from overfishing, habitat damage, unwanted species bycatch, poorly managed fish farms, and pollution. Fortunately, there is no need to feel helpless in the face of these seemingly insurmountable problems. With over 70% of seafood being consumed in restaurants, your purchasing power really can make a difference. The key for consumers is to choose sustainable seafood – seafood from sources, sometimes fished and sometimes farmed, that can exist long-term without compromising the survival of the species or the health of the surrounding ecosystem.

To help consumers become advocates for sustainable seafood when dining out, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has designed a program called Seafood Watch. A central part of the program is a handy pocket Seafood Guide, recommending seafood BEST CHOICES and GOOD ALTERNATIVES. It also recommends which seafood to AVOID.

For more information about the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program, go to www.seafoodwatch.org

Mercury Contamination in Seafood
Border Grill has joined forces with Oceana, a non-profit fighting to protect and restore the world’s oceans, in their campaign against mercury contamination in seafood. The campaign focuses particularly on the high levels of mercury in tuna and swordfish. As a result, we have removed all tuna and swordfish from the menus at Border Grill Santa Monica, Border Grill Las Vegas, Border Grill Downtown LA, Border Grill Stop, and Border Grill Truck.

High levels of mercury in humans can cause neurological problems, heart disease, increased risk of heart attacks and infertility, and can pose neurological risks to developing babies. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency recommend that women who may become pregnant, women who are pregnant or nursing, and children should completely avoid eating swordfish, shark, king mackerel, and tilefish. They also recommend limiting consumption of some forms of tuna, including albacore.

For more information about Oceana’s campaign against mercury contamination in seafood, go to www.oceana.org.

Farmers’ Markets and Agricultural Biodiversity
Farmers’ markets do much more than sell fantastic, fresh, and often organic produce and flowers. They help keep alive the connection between the hands that farm and the hands that cook. Farmers’ markets also promote agricultural biodiversity, helping consumers rediscover wonderful forgotten foods and flavors often at risk of extinction because they are ignored by large scale distributors.

To find a farmers’ market near you, go to www.farmernet.com or www.cafarmersmarkets.com. For more information about agricultural biodiversity, go to www.slowfood.com.

Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally. For example, a gene from a cold water fish like a flounder might be spliced into a strawberry or tomato to make it frost resistant, giving birth to something that may look and taste like a tomato, but whose ancestor was a fish. These genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, contaminating future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.

Unfortunately, there is no way to recognize genetically engineered foods in the grocery store. With limited exceptions, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations do not require genetically engineered foods to be safety tested before they are sold to the public. Companies are not even required to notify the FDA they are bringing new genetically engineered products to the market. Since genetically engineered soy and corn are used in many processed foods, it is estimated that over 70% of the foods in grocery stores in the U.S. and Canada contain genetically engineered ingredients.

In contrast, all of the European Union nations, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries require the mandatory labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. As a result, food manufacturers in all those countries choose to use non-genetically engineered ingredients.

For more information about GMO’s, go to www.greenpeace.org and www.thecampaign.org.

 
 
                     
           
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