Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Local Food in the News...

I'm just getting settled back in NYC after a whirlwind December and ski trip to Utah where I didn't actually ski. I took up snow shoeing and hiked, did pilates and gyrotonics. I shopped at the new Market Hall indoor farmers market in Park City and cooked a few meals using delicious and local fare.

In catching up on my local food news today, I thought I'd share a few recent articles and interviews that I found interesting:

NEW YORK STATE WHEAT
In today's The New York Times, Florence Fabricant writes about "Reviving New York State's Grain Belt" and mentions Farmer Ground Flour and Cayuga Pure Organics grain and bean products. Read more about Farmer Ground Flour in my July 2009 post and try the delicious honey corn muffin recipe using their delicious corn meal. There's also a cool article about the founders in FARMING magazine

IRON CHEF AMERICA AT THE WHITE HOUSE (FOOD NETWORK)
On Sunday, the Food Network's Iron Chef America aired the White House competition between WH Executive Chef Cristeta Comerford, super chef Emeril Lagasse and iron chefs Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. Besides being the highest rating show ever on Food Network - it would have been higher if Cablevision hadn't pulled Food Network from their channel line-up -- and entertaining, First Lady Michelle Obama advanced the local food agenda with her announcement that the secret ingredient for the epic battle was "anything from the White House garden" ---- LOCAL, FRESH AND DELICIOUS. The amazing Obamafoodorama blog author Eddie Gehman Kohan did a fine job covering the competition. Read about the high ratings for the show , the winners, and watch a video clip of the judging. When you see the show, you'll know why Michael Pollan called the White House Kitchen Garden "the most important event to advance sustainable agriculture" last year.

Speaking of Michael Pollan, he's got two new books out that are creating a buzz. Huffington Post writers review: Omnivore Dilemma Young Readers Edition and Food Rules -- both look like inspiring reads. You can follow Michael Pollan on twitter here (Pollan's most recent post is his interview on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart). "Eat food" and avoid "edible food-like substances" he says -- Pollan's message is still simple.

New Yorker Magazine's profile piece by Nick Paumgarten on John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods "Food Fighter: Does Whole Foods' C.E.O. Know What's Best for You?" hits on Whole Foods and local and organic foods, small farms and grass-fed beef among other (and more controversial) issues about its C.E.O. and his views on food and health care and climate change (after the New Yorker printed the article, Mackey announced he was stepping aside as Whole Foods C.E.O. ) -- read about the "Food from Around Here" locavore campaign at Whole Foods on my September 2008 blog post.

Brian Halweil's article "Deep Thoughts for 2010: Foer, Atwood, Hoffman, Barber, and Eating Less Meat" in Edible Manhattan addresses one of the most important issues to emerge from the sustainable agriculture movement in 2009 -- animal protein. Local NYC chefs and caterers (Dan Barber, Peter Hoffman, Mary Cleaver and Liz Neumark) and NYC writer (Jonathan Safran Foer author of the new book Eating Animals) discuss eating less meat and fish to save the planet and its oceans in this video interview.

Nicole Taylor, the foodculturist and host of Hot Grease radio show on Heritage Network Radio, recaps the victories of 2009 in the local food movement in her December 21st program. I was delighted to be a guest and talk about the "wins" of '09 -- including NYC community gardens, the changes to NYS WIC program, beekeeping in NYC and the White House Kitchen Garden -- and Just Food and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringers "NYC Food and Climate Summit' held in early December. Thanks, Nicole. Listen here.

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2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Check out this informative and inspiring video on why people choose vegan: http://veganvideo.org/

Also see Gary Yourofsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bagt5L9wXGo

Alexa Van de Walle said...

As an omnivore and food advocate, I am increasingly aware of the impact eating meat has on human and environmental health. While I don't agree with all of the message and certainly not the proselytizing of the videos posted by Anonymous at 10:19, I do think it's important for meat eaters to eat more consciously and consider adding a lot more plant food to their diets -- select humanely raised and organic products and eat less meat (and fish) to save our planet and our health. Please read Mark Bittman's article in the New York Times "Rethinking the Meat Guzzler"and other Mark Bittman pieces on eating more vegetarian/vegan meals http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?_r=1 and

I'd love to get a dialogue going and understanding between vegans and omnivores. Eating less meat, dairy is better for our nation's health (Michael Pollan's exact message in Food Rules published last week) and less animal products ESPECIALLY FISH to save our planet and our quickly depleting oceans. Eating NO meat, NO dairy and NO fish is just not realistic for our highly carnivorous society.