America’s 10 Most Powerful People in Food

Food Network chefs aren’t the only foodies with a ton of muscle in America, but you can be sure they are pretty formidable. When Guy Fieri tells you to check out that dive in the South, people listen. But not all of these powerful individuals cook meals, some cover food trends, some are in charge of food processing and other are creating new food products that we’re sure will be hot in a couple months. The Daily Meal created this sweet list, and we just want to share a piece of it with you. Keep reading for more!

10. Jim Skinner, President and CEO, McDonald’s Corporation – Though he started working at McDonald’s as a management trainee, this entrepreneur now has complete power of the world’s arguably most popular hamburger chain.

9. Sam Sifton, Restaurant Critic, the New York Times – The controversial critic has the power to make or break a restaurant in the Big Apple. He’s influential and an amazing writer.

8. Mike Duke, President and CEO, Walmart – Walmart is actually the world’s largest grocer, but also America’s top customer for organic foods. I don’t really like Walmart, but it looks like I’m in the minority of Americans.

7. Brooke Johnson, President, Food Network – Not only has she changed food into a premier source of entertainment on the Food Network, but she recently launched the Cooking Channel. 

6. Alice Waters, Chef-Restaurateur and Activist – Waters was the forefront of the now mainstream movement to eat organic and locally sourced food. She also  started the Edible Schoolyard and School Lunch Initiative programs to improve childhood nutrition.

5. Steve Jobs, New Media Guru and Co-Founder and CEO, Apple – Consumers can now learn anything and everything about food through the iPhone, the iPod Touch, and the iPad. Food sites like Epicurious have boomed, and chefs love to have new recipes right at their fingertips.

4. Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States and Activist – Her “Let’s Move” campaign is a huge effort to make school food healthier and to reduce childhood obesity to five percent by 2030. We hope she can get it done!

3. Hugh Grant, Chairman, President and CEO, Monsanto Company – His firm is the world’s largest producer of genetically modified seeds. They also manufacture Roundup, which is the most commonly used agricultural pesticide in the world.

2.  Thomas J. Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture - The USDA monitors the country’s food safety systems and sets nutritional guidelines. It also plays a role in how deal think of and deal with food. This man is at the head of it.

1. Us! – All of us! Not just the cooks or restaurateurs, but the people eating and deciding what to cook in their homes. We decide what we’re going to eat, and what to pass up.  Go us!

Here are some fun recipes to get you started!

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