Take Back the Tray
Revolutionizing Food in Hospitals, Schools, and Other Institutions
by Joshna Maharaj
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Pub Date 05 May 2020 | Archive Date 03 Feb 2020
A beloved chef takes on institutional food and sparks a revolution.
Good food generally doesn’t arrive on a tray: hospital food is famously ridiculed, chronic student hunger is deemed a rite of passage, and prison meals are considered part of the punishment. But Chef Joshna Maharaj knows that institutional kitchens have the ability to produce good, nourishing food, because she’s been making it happen over the past 14 years. She’s served meals to people who’d otherwise go hungry, baked fresh scones for maternity ward mothers, and dished out wholesome, scratch-made soups to stressed-out undergrads. She’s determined to bring health, humanity, and hospitality back to institutional food while also building sustainability, supporting the local economy, and reinvigorating the work of frontline staff.
Take Back the Tray is part manifesto, part memoir from the trenches, and a blueprint for reclaiming control from corporations and brutal bottom lines. Maharaj reconnects food with health, wellness, education, and rehabilitation in a way that serves people, not just budgets, and proves change is possible with honest, sustained commitment on all levels, from government right down to the person sorting the trash. The need is clear, the time is now, and this revolution is delicious.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
If you've stayed in the hospital long enough to eat a meal, you know that the food isn't the best. Same with school dining halls, or prison cafeterias. Maharaj explores the world of institutional food service and why organizations have cut corners on food budgets, as well as what we can do about it. She advocates for fresh, prepared-on-site meals, and has ambitious ideas for improving mass-produced food in general. This will appeal to readers who enjoy well-written nonfiction, those looking for a cause, and anyone who cares about what we eat.