Iowa chefs experiment with ‘future of food’
Brett McClavy covets a good pig’s head. In his roles as manager, head monger, chef and charcuterie maker at The Cheese Shop of Des Moines, McClavy enthusiastically embraces that nose-to-tail cooking trend that’s gaining a foothold even beyond big-city food scenes. And the now firmly ensconced local food ethos is right up his alley. But he and a handful of other local chefs like Joe Tripp of Alba and Katie Porter of the Wallace Centers of Iowa are looking even further down the road to a whole new model — beyond farm-to-table — that acknowledges that buying local, organic, heritage wheat is good, but having a market for the millet, cowpeas and other cover crops needed to grow the wheat is even better. The watchword of Barber’s presentation was simple: deliciousness. USA TODAY story.
Slaughter of city-reared pigs sparks outcry among animal-lovers
IT was set up to help city consumers reconnect with the food they eat by offering seasonal produce from local growers, with a market garden and vegetable delivery bag scheme. But the latest venture by Glasgow Locavore, a not-for-profit food company, has proved slightly more controversial after it put on sale pork from two pigs which it had kept in a public park. The two 60g Gloucester Old Spot pigs were raised from six-week-old piglets on a piece of overgrown land at the edge of Queen’s Park Bowling Club’s disused tennis courts and were fed on organic waste from the company’s shop and gardens. Herald Scotland story.
L.A. school district goes locavore
In an effort to support local farmers and bring more healthful food to schoolchildren, the nation’s second-largest school system has pledged to take whatever high-quality produce Knight and others in his 31-member local farming alliance can grow. San Francisco Chronicle story.
Locavore movement takes to deer hunting across US
A decades-long national decline in the number of hunters has prompted states to tap into a new group of hunters — people who demand locally produced food, but don’t know the first thing about bagging a deer. Books and blogs on the topic are numerous, and state wildlife departments are offering introductory deer hunting classes in urban areas to recruit newbies who want to kill their own local, sustainable and wild meat in what some say is an ecologically friendly way. The Oshkosh Northwestern story.
WHy People Are Falling in Love With “Ugly Food”
The “ugly food movement” is taking off around the world, particularly in Europe and Australia, as an answer to the problem of food waste. So far, it has yet to firmly take hold in the United States, but given this country’s love of solution-driven food trends, it seems a good bet that ugly food might soon take its place beside local food, organic food, and environmentally conscious eating. “Ugly” foods are those that sellers and buyers often reject because of their appearance, like misshapen vegetables and bruised fruits. Farmers dump them. Supermarkets and restaurants reject them. Consumers historically have avoided them. Time story.
From Farm to Seder Table: Locally Grown Matzah on the Rise
In their small farmhouse bakery in Vermont, Doug Freilich and Julie Sperling work round the clock producing matzah in the period preceding Passover — a matzah that feels ancient and modern at once. Using a mix of grain they grow on their own farm and wheat sourced from other local farmers, the couple creates hundreds of pieces of the wholesome unleavened bread they call Vermatzah. Jewish Exponent story.
The Dark Side… of Urban Chicken Keeping
According to CBS San Francisco, in the Bay Area Animal Care and Control has a new and growing problem on their hands — homeless chickens. Turns out that rather than serve them up for dinner, when people have had enough of their chickens, they just kick them to the curb and let them fend for themselves (you’re picturing them begging on street corners, right?). Not to worry, there are rooster rescue groups along with opportunities to build housing for homeless chickens. Habitat for Hens, anyone? Huffington Post story.
East Bristol baker cycling 300 miles on bread route from Cornwall to Somerset
Baker Alex Poulter is to cycle 300 miles from Cornwall to his East Bristol Bakery in Easton on the West Country route of his bread’s ingredients, ready to prepare a loaf for the Bristol Food Connections festival. Taking the concept of food miles to a new level, Mr Poulter hopes his journey will “build the dialogue” about the roots of our everyday foods. Once back at his bakery on St Mark’s Road, the 28-year-old artisan baker will bake a loaf for the festival, which runs from May 1 to May 11. Western Daily Press story.
College Student Helps to Pass $10 Million U.S. House of Representatives Bill on Local Procurement
As part of an internship with Bread for the World, Houghton College senior Moeun Sun recently helped to lobby for a U.S. House of Representatives spending bill passed to allocate $10 million of the House’s spending to local and regional procurement (LRP) of food. In addition, she also contributed to the annual Hunger Report, which is circulated nationwide and to members of Congress. PR Web press release.
Sodexo names director of local food initiative
Sodexo, a world leader in providing integrated facilities management and food service operations, today announced the hiring of Anne Rowell of Craftsbury, Vt., as the director of its “Vermont First” local food initiative. Rowell – a Vermont native, Middlebury College graduate and local food advocate – will lead Sodexo’s program to help grow the local food economy and to supply consumers with more locally sourced food. Sodexo news release.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture
The great merit of Tony Weis’ excellent The Ecological Hoofprint: The Global Burden of Industrial Agriculture is that it offers a highly readable, tightly-argued structural analysis of the contemporary world food system, predicated as it is on both inequality and inefficiency. The introduction lays out the central argument of the book: that the historically unprecedented and rapidly-expanding ‘meatification’ of diets is not “natural, inevitable or benign” (4) but is integral to a “dominant system of agriculture across the temperate world” in which “the biological and physical foundations of agriculture are being rapidly undermined…in ways that hinge upon the unsustainable use of non-renewable resources”. Book review.