Biography: Destin Joy Layne - Director, Eat Well Guide
As Director of the Eat Well Guide at GRACE, a New York-based foundation promoting innovative solutions for an economically and environmentally sound future, Destin Layne is a leader in bringing cutting edge new media to support the local food movement in the US and Canada. She personifies where “passion meets tech,” with a special focus on access for those who have none.
As a long-time food and community activist, with roots in Wisconsin, Destin brings over ten years of experience working for social justice to the fight for safe, delicious and ethically-produced food for all people. She offers, “We are waking up to the fact that our nation's increasingly centralized, industrial food system is not keeping us as safe or healthy as it should. We need to ensure access to a secure food system by supporting local farmers who use ecologically sustainable methods (and produce delicious food!), not by relying on factory farms or chemically processed, hormone- and antibiotic-laden food shipped in from overseas.”
Under her leadership and with her expansive vision, the Eat Well Guide has grown from a sustainable meat vendor database to a vast online directory with thousands of listings of family farms, restaurants, and other outlets for fresh, locally grown food. Its listings have expanded to include many new categories, and a water-consciousness campaign is even in the works. Visitors can search the new site by location, keyword or category to find good food, download customized guides, or plan a trip with the innovative mapping tool Eat Well Everywhere
. Eat Well is also home to The Green Fork blog
and the free print and online book Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement
In 2007, Destin traveled with other food advocates on the Eat Well Guided Tour of America, traveling by bio-fueled bus through rural towns and farmlands, blogging about all they shared and learned en route to Farm Aid.
Edible Brooklyn described the endeavor as "Summer of Love meets Little House on the Prairie," but the description could have been a reference to Layne herself, a Wisconsin native with roots in the music industry, or to her vision for the Eat Well Guide--how better to describe an endeavor that combines something as wholesome as sustainable agriculture with a medium as edgy and constantly evolving as the Web?
Prior to spinning the Eat Well Guide off as its own program, Destin Joy Layne was a Project Manager with Sustainable Table, where she developed key initiatives, established many partnerships, and launched the Green Future, a national college training program to inspire the next generation to engage with the sustainable food movement.
She also spent her previous years with an interest in community health, food security and poverty. Her work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison focused on the development and validation of a new measurement tool to assess the impact of food insecurity on the livelihood of families with young children. She pursued her Master's Degree there in the department of Family Economics and Consumer Behavior, worked on an eligibility guide to assistance programs for low-income households, and also helped establish the first accredited Child and Family Advocacy Institute.
As a woman who loves food, travel, music, and supporting the community, Destin's passion and dedication were well-matched to her previous work in public policy, the music industry, and strategy for a well publicized gubernatorial race.
Destin is committed to creating positive social change to transform the way we think about food.