Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

16 October 2022

World Food Day

Sophia Roe

“Stories are what are actually going to change the way people feel about their food systems.”
21/09/2022

USA

Chef, Writer and TV Host, Sophia Roe lives in Brooklyn, New York and is passionate about food. She loves to discover where her food comes from, the cultures that produce it and how to make nutritious and tasty dishes accessible to all - one zesty recipe at a time.  

From food supply-chain disruptions due to COVID-19 to politics and cuisine, Sophia explores food stories and innovations from around the world in her show Counter Space.  

“The most important thing I can do is speak in a language that young people are going to understand. That really crosses all generational gaps.”  

Recipient of the 2022 James Beard Foundation “Emerging Voice” award in broadcast media and the first Black woman to be nominated for two Daytime Emmy Awards (culinary category), Sophia's passion for cooking and food advocacy stem from her first-hand experience of food insecurity while growing up in foster care. 

Sophia recalls, at a young age, her confusion as to why a crate of oranges from her Florida middle school were from Venezuela, when orange groves existed in abundance throughout the State.  

“People have no idea about food systems and that more than 70% of the food we eat here in the U.S. comes from somewhere else.”  

Changes in agriculture and transformations in food systems have distanced individuals from food processes. Through her work Sophia wants to bridge the gap between people and the food they consume, generating awareness of the real cost of food.  

“I want people to understand that the cup of coffee they complain is too expensive should actually be triple the price. Just like I want people to understand how there are chocolate farmers who have been farming chocolate for 30 years and never tasted a piece of chocolate.” 

Through her decade of culinary experience and as a content creator, Sophia strives to convey how fun and accessible cooking can be and how essential it is for a nutritious diet. 

“The issue isn't just access to food, it's access to education on what to do with it.” 

After a day of work testing out recipes and producing videos, Sophia donates the food she makes and leftover ingredients to local pantries or coffee shops and all the proceeds go to local organizations combating food insecurity in the area.  

“When it feels like you cannot make a difference, you have to go to the place where you can make a difference. You can always make a difference in your community, always.”