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Articles / Food with Mark Bittman: Tim Ryan

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Food with Mark Bittman: Tim Ryan

Published May 24, 2023

How life as a high school QB led to politics, and politics led to food — plus, the beauty of being home a bit more


I’m happy to be introducing today’s interview on Food with Mark Bittman: Kate, me, and former Ohio Representative Tim Ryan — recently a Senatorial candidate. I met Rep. Ryan about 10 years ago; he reached out to me when I was a columnist at the Times. We talked about food, but we also talked about some of his other interests, which we will get into here. He is a well-rounded, decent, really wonderful individual, with great politics, especially when it comes to food. 

Tim is sorta like how you’d picture the popular kid in high school, but the popular kid who wasn’t the bully. He’s had an interesting life, and is still quite young, so I’m excited to see what happens. He grew up Catholic (and has very thoughtful things to say about that) and played high school football as quarterback — again, the popular kid! He was meant to keep playing in college, but was derailed — by a knee injury, of course. Basically went into politics instead; the youngest Congressman of his generation. We talked about this transition, about his interest in food and his work in food, what he’s up to now, and many other things. This conversation runs the gamut. 

I’m sort of heartbroken that Tim’s not in the Senate, because he would have been terrific — but we can hope that will happen someday. My feeling is that if you know Tim, you love him, and I’m excited for you to hear this conversation. 

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