Food

Critiquing the food declaration

The 12 (annotated) principles for a healthy food and agriculture system

Being based in Northern California, I am lucky to be located at the epicenter of the sustainable agriculture and Slow Food movements in the U.S.; it means very tasty cuisine all year round. I was intrigued by the recent 12 principles for a healthy food and agricultural system disseminated by some of the luminaries in the Bay Area. Below is my commentary on the 12 principles, followed by some closing thoughts. Forms the foundation of secure and prosperous societies, healthy communities, and healthy people. Not sure this is correct; there are many very prosperous regions in which agriculture does not …

Slow Food Nation: Unpacking my suitcase

Prepare for a bunch of recaps and videos

I’m just getting myself together after an incredibly packed four days at Slow Food Nation, which wrapped up Monday in San Francisco. Grist was lucky enough to partner with big-time indy movie studio Participant (maker of Syriana, Fast Food Nation, An Inconvenient Truth, and other worthy films) to conduct a bunch of video interviews at the event. I got to talk to many of my heroes, including Eric Schlosser, Raj Patel, Dan Barber, two bright young farmers (Laura Hess and Zoe Bradbury), Lucas Benitez and Greg Asbed of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, and more than a dozen other important …

RNC: Party party

The party scene is all about the energy debate tonight

The party circuit tonight is oddly exemplary of the energy debate in the country right now. The Minnesota Agri-Growth Council is hosing “AgNite,” where you can be sure that there will be some lively discussion about the ethanol issue. That starts at 8 p.m., and it’s supposedly the hot ticket tonight. Starting at 9 p.m. there’s the American Wind Energy Association and Solar Energy Industries Association Party. And just half a mile away, there’s a competing party sponsored by the Natural Gas Association, the National Mining Association, and the American Petroleum Institute. And that’s just five blocks from the Bipartisan …

Slow Food Nation: A slow food preamble

Wendell Berry’s statement of facts

Poet, essayist, novelist and “local-ist” Wendell Berry kicked off the final panel of the Slow Food Nation “Food for Thought” series on Saturday by reading a short statement describing the current food crisis. For too long, humans have been spared, mainly by the cheapness of the fossil fuels, from the universal necessity of local adaptation. It is ultimately an inescapable biological imperative that human land use economies should correspond as closely as possible to the ecological mosaic. To this, we no longer have even the illusion of a second choice. The increasing cost of energy and the vulnerability of long …

Slow Food Nation: Revolutionary diet

Slow foodies unveil declaration of sustainability

Copies of the Slow Food Declaration at San Francisco City Hall. Some of the leading voices in the movement for a sustainable agriculture system stood together Thursday to unveil the “Declaration for Healthy Food and Agriculture,” a 12-point set of principles for reorienting American food away from corporate farms and long-haul delivery to local producers and land stewardship. The luminaries, including movement bigwigs like Alice Waters, Dan Imhoff, and Marion Nestle, stood together inside San Francisco City Hall to read the declaration. The event was held on the eve of Slow Food Nation, a three-day gathering that promises to showcase …

Like when hell freezes over, only the opposite

Why freezer burn matters, and how to avoid it

In Checkout Line, Lou Bendrick cooks up answers to reader questions about how to green their food choices and other diet-related quandaries. Lettuce know what food worries keep you up at night. Dear Lou, What’s the deal with freezer burn, that white discoloration that occurs when something is left in the freezer too long? What is it exactly and is there any problem with eating food that has freezer burn? Ross Conrad Dear Ross, Because I know you are a beekeeper (author of Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture — nothing gets by this intrepid reporter), I feel the …

With berries and bread, you can make a delectable summer pudding

For years, I’ve drooled over photos of summer pudding — a traditional British dessert that’s the same deep blue and purple color as a serious bruise. Summer pudding features a little bread and a lot of berries, and Massachusetts, where I live, is known for its delicious late-summer harvests of raspberries, blueberries, etc. One of these summers, I’ve long thought to myself, Olde England and New England will intersect in my kitchen, resulting in a stunner of a summer pudding. Well, it’s been a weird summer here in Massachusetts: lots of rain, lots of thunder and lightning (ask any dog!), …

Sushi shenanigans

New York teenagers identify weak link in seafood chain

For anyone who missed it there was a good post in the blog two weeks ago on how to choose sustainable seafood. However, this article from The New York Times (hat tip CC) suggests that about one out of every four fish you eat isn’t the kind of fish you thought it was. It could even be an endangered species. Sort of like finishing a meal at a Chinese restaurant and finding this ominous note in your fortune cookie: “That was not chicken.” I use a simple surefire method. I don’t eat ocean fish. That fits somewhere in the middle …

Grist goes to Slow Food Nation

Sandwiched between the two political conventions, a slice of food politics from San Francisco

Starting Friday, I’ll be reporting from Slow Food Nation, a big, multifaceted food confab in San Francisco. What exactly is it? I’ll let you know when I figure it out. The event features both Slow Food royalty (Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Carlo Petrini) and Slow Food critics (like Brahm Ahmadi of Oakland’s People’s Grocery, who recently penned cogent critique of Slow Food’s approach to diversity.) SFN includes everything from wonky policy talks to tastings to blow-out dinners, and I’ll be taking in as much as possible of all of it. Partnering with Participant Media, I’ll be doing interviews with various …

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