Restaurant patrons want green eggs and ham, hold the tweet
Consumer intelligence provided Zagat Survey’s latest poll of 153,000 diners revealed that 31 percent seek out restaurants specializing in “green” cuisine. As part of its research for the 2011 America’s Top Restaurants Guide, the survey also showed 68 percent of diners said it is important that the food they eat is locally sourced, organic and sustainably raised while 60 percent said they are willing to pay more for it. MeatingPlace Online story (members only – subscribing to their email service is free)
Restaurant customers willing to pay more for local food
Not only are restaurant patrons willing to pay more for meals prepared with produce and meat from local providers, the proportion of customers preferring local meals actually increases when the price increases, according to a team of internationalresearchers. A recent study of how customers perceive and value local food shows that restaurant patrons prefer meals made with local ingredients when they are priced slightly higher than meals made with non-local ingredients, said Amit Sharma, assistant professor, School of Hospitality Management, Penn State. The research will appear in the fall/winter issue of the International Journal of Revenue Management. Science blog.
Even Tailgate Snacks Come With a Cause for Giants Fans
How does a Giants fan celebrate the start of the World Series? With a community supported agriculture box, of course. Winning the title for “Game tie-in least likely ever to be seen in Dallas,” San Francisco’s popular 4505 Meats this week announced it was putting together two packages of locally grown, processed, butchered and cured meats intended for game-time snacking. The deluxe package, priced at $90, includes homemade chicharrones, spicy peanut cracker jacks, pork rillette, six beer brats and six dogs made with jalapeño and cheese. Dallas Observor blog.
Ohio Departments of Agriculture, Education and Ohio First Lady Celebrate Ohio Farm to School Initiative
The Ohio Department of Agriculture’s Farm to School Initiative, facilitated through Gov. Ted Strickland’s Ohio Food Policy Advisory Council, works to connect schools with local farms to provide healthy and nutritious meals to school children using Ohio-grown foods. The initiative combines collaborative efforts between the Ohio Departments of Agriculture and Education, and is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through a Specialty Crop Block Grant. Ohio Department of Agriculture news release.
Produce managers tell it like it is
Local produce is a big hit for Chicago-based Angelo Caputo’s New Farm Produce said produce merchandiser Vincent Ottolino. Caputo’s doesn’t rely solely on the “local” designation, however; Ottolino said signs tell shoppers how far away farms — in miles — are from the store. Caputo’s also works closely with local growers, going so far as to provide the seeds for specific varieties they want to carry in the store. “We tell them what we want for the next season,” Ottolino said. “It works for the famers and works for us.” The Packer article.
Can “Naturally” Raised Beef Compete In the Marketplace?
Researchers studied the effects of finishing management (confinement versus pasture) and production system (traditional versus naturally raised) on performance, carcass and economic characteristics in a group of early weaned Angus x Simmental steer calves at the Dixon Springs Agricultural Center in Simpson, Ill. The calves were fed on fescue pastures or confinement feedlots. The study revealed that naturally raised steers can be produced effectively in either confinement or with a pasture finishing system, but they require a substantial premium of $110 with today’s feed prices to justify the costs and returns. Faulkner said that pasture finishing is $35 more profitable than confinement feeding using current feed prices, making it an attractive option for producers interested in raising locker beef for local markets with either natural or traditional production systems. Seed Daily story.
Group seeks to improve local food access
Could West Virginia, ranked second in the nation in childhood obesity, draw on its strong homesteading heritage to begin tackling health problems? By making fresh, local food more accessible, could the state grow not only healthier but wealthier? The West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition, a new network launched in September, is working to connect these dots by addressing the challenge of providing access to healthy, locally produced food to all West Virginians, especially low income families and other vulnerable groups. The coalition is an initiative of the West Virginia Community Development Hub, which supports local-level community and economic development throughout West Virginia. Register-Herald story.
Dobrasevic Food Company Launches Dirt-To-Door Campaign
Dobrasevic Food Company (DFC) is launching their new Dirt-to-Door in Under 24 campaign. Known for delivering fresh, local produce, DFC is now delivering this produce within 24 hours of being harvested at local farms. The campaign will aim to highlight DFC’s close relationships with local farms and commitment to providing the freshest produce possible. Donna Webb, DFC Vice President states that, “We never store produce in a warehouse. Ever. Each delivery day we start with a trip to our local growers and end with boxes of produce delivered to our customers. We spent a long time hand-selecting small family farms to partner with. It’s these relationships that allow us to be able to provide the best produce available in Michigan at that exact moment.” Webb also says that, “We encourage people to think about the history of their food and where it came from. With us, you know with utmost certainty where your food came from, how it was grown and how old it is.” Greening Detroit story.
Europe to Slow Down on Food
The Slow Food movement has won significant support from the European Union. Dacian Ciolos, the European Union Commissioner for Agriculture, spoke to IPS in support of the movement at Terra Madre, a biennial reunion of promoters of the Slow Food movement. “Personally, I have a great interest and sympathy for Slow Food agriculture,” Ciolos told IPS. “But also as a Commissioner, I have to say that if the new agricultural policy of the EU wants to be fair to European taxpayers, it must take into account sustainable food production. “This model of agriculture has been marginalised because so much emphasis has been given to industrial food production. But now we must change the way in which we produce food, we must pay more attention to the use of natural resources,” said Ciolos, who is working on a new Common Agricultural Policy for the EU, to become effective after 2013. Inter Press Service story.
Students’ Association Congress passes two resolutions
Students’ Association Congress passed two resolutions at its Wednesday meeting. The resolutions were to support the Locavore club’s plan to build a garden on campus and SA’s plan to conduct a student-wide survey. Senior senator Scott Adrian, senior political science and communications major from Glendale, Calif., presented the resolution to support Locavore’s request to build a community garden in front of the library. He said the garden will raise awareness about the club and the benefits of eating locally grown foods. Abilene Christian University Optimist Online story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Food Forward: A New Kind of TV Show
Food Forward goes beyond celebrity chefs, cooking competitions, and recipes to reveal the compelling stories and inspired solutions envisioned by food heroes across America who are striving to create a more just, sustainable and delicious alternative to what we eat and how we produce it. Written by food journalist Stett Holbrook and produced by a veteran documentary film making team led by Greg Roden, Food Forward is a series of thirteen, 30-minute episodes exploring new ideas of food in America as told by the people who are living them. Each episode will focus on a different theme–school lunch reform, urban agriculture, commercial fishing, grass-fed beef, soil science–and spotlight the real people who are creating viable alternatives to how we grow food and feed ourselves. Website.