Frank gets a check

I just got the prize check from Ashoka Changemakers today, and boy, this will buy a lot of compost! Seeing the $1,500 amount would have been enough, but they went the whole nine acres and sprung for one of those big novelty checks. This thing is enormous!


So what are we going to do now that Biofortified is solvent? Plan a big bash? Make some movies? Personally, I like the idea of renting some space at a tropical research station for a little winter nursery to do some field trials. But that’s just me.
Also, over Thanksgiving we finalized the details of our Michael Pollan meetup. On January 25th at 1:00 pm (PST), Anastasia, Karl, and Yours Truly will be having lunch with Michael at the shwanky Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. This might be a first for this locavore restaurant – will they serve ‘my kind’?
Unfortunately, there will not be any interviewing going on to be posted on the blog, however we are hoping to have a… ahem, Frank discussion with the bestselling author about genetics and food. We’ll certainly have questions for him, but we’re hoping that he will also have questions for us. But the big question on my mind is, what should I order?


  1. I’m surprised you won’t be eating at Cafe Gratitude where every item on the menu is an affirmation. It is right across the street from Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
    But congratulations on the check and I bet you’ll have a great time in Berkeley! Karl, I know your undergrad not too far away but I don’t know if Anastasia has ever had the pleasure of visiting our fair city.

  2. Congrats team Biofortified!
    Hey, I have an idea: how about $25 or $50 to “seed” some Kiva lending to agricultural entrepreneurs in the needy areas? If you form a Biofortified team others who donate via Kiva can also start lending. And that money will come back (all of my loans except one have come back in full) and can be used for another person later.

  3. Hmm, $50 is a micro-micro loan. I’m a big fan of microloans, and haven’t yet put money into one. Particularly as I think one of the key parts of building up impoverished parts of the world involves empowering their people to be able to produce their own food needs.
    Whoa. The biggest lending group are non-believers. I ought to tell PZ about this…

  4. How exciting! That is an awesome photo of Frank!
    I like Mary’s idea of a Biofortified Kiva team. My first thought was: but we probably wouldn’t raise much funds. My second thought was: but that’s the beauty of the microloan system! It doesn’t have to be a huge amount to make a big difference. Although, you certainly can’t deny the huge impact that Kiva’s Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious Team has had. We’ll have to think about it. We could specifically choose projects related to agriculture and speculate on which traits might best help out the farmer as a thought experiment.
    As for Chez Panisse, I am looking forward to going to such a famous restaurant, but I wish I had more options besides desert and maybe a salad (depending on what day it is). You’d think Berkley would be more vegetarian friendly. At Cafe Gratitude, I could choose almost anything on the menu, and be self-affirmed at the same time. Ah well. I’ll probably be too nervous to eat much anyway.
    I’ve never been to Berkley. I’ve visited San Francisco, Monterey, and Los Angeles, but I’m guessing Berkley is a whole ‘nuther animal. I’m hoping to fly in for the weekend before the lunch and do a little sightseeing and possibly visiting.

  5. Yeah Chez Panisse has only a few menu items, and we don’t get to know what the menu is until right before we get there, as it keeps changing. I’ll hardly be eating, too, though!
    Maybe we can walk over to Cafe Gratitude right after? Heh.
    There is some good potential with the Kiva thing, as a group. We could figure out a good one to fund, and drop some money into it, and encourage others to join us. Plus, in all likelihood the money would eventually come back and we could put it into another.

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