WATCH: Rick Bayless Talks The Drought, Julia Child’s Influence, And How To Make Healthy Mexican

Rick Bayless stopped by CBS This Morning to weigh in on the effects of the drought on small farms, like the kind he sources his food from at his locavore-supporting Chicago restaurants Frontera Grill and Topolobampo.

He calls the drought “close to devastating,” and urges us to keep in mind that most of the reports we’re hearing about are in reference to corn and soybean farmers, with little attention paid to smaller producers, like the ones from which he purchases his menu ingredients.

So he’s set up a foundation benefiting small farms, which gathers funds for capital improvement grants, which then go toward providing farmers with the equipment needed to continue production.

Rick also touched on his efforts to push for a more healthful approach to Mexican cuisine, apart from the typical cheese-topped Mexican-American fare we’re used to north of the border. In fact, it was watching Julia Child as a culinarily-sheltered tyke growing up in a barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma City that inspired Rick to go hunting for then-unusual ingredients to cook with. Picturing Baby Bayless sitting in front of his black and white TV, carefully taking down her recipes every week in a notebook (which he still carries!) is priceless.

Check out the clip below.

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