Food

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 …

Colleges forgo cafeteria trays to save water and energy

Colleges around the country are ditching cafeteria trays to lower water and energy use and to prevent wasted food. “If a college is looking to go ‘green,’ they need to start looking in the dining facility,” said Sodexo spokeswoman Monica Zimmer; the food-service company expects 230 of the 600 colleges it serves to stop using trays. Skeptics worry about broken dishes, and some students worry about balancing their plates in bustling cafeterias, but it’s hard to argue with the savings. The 18,000-student Georgia Tech went trayless in response to last year’s drought, saving an estimated 3,000 gallons of water each …

Crunch time for 10 health-food-store potato-chip brands

Chip shot. Photo: Maria Falgoust As a cook, I gravitate toward fresh, whole ingredients. I prefer whole foods as an eater, too — unless there’s an open bag of potato chips nearby. My usual strategy is to avoid proximity to open bags of chips. But because of my lamentable chip-love, I couldn’t resist this assignment: taste-testing health-food-store potato-chip brands. I figured finding green-ish chips would be easy — just walk down the snack aisle of a natural-foods supermarket and plunk all the bags marked “organic” into the cart. But on a recent trip to Whole Foods in Chapel Hill, N.C., …

Masanobu Fukuoka, 1913-2008

Long live ‘do-nothing farming’

I was aiming at a pleasant, natural way of farming which results in making the work easier instead of harder. "How about not doing this?" "How about not doing that?" — that was my way of thinking. I ultimately reached the conclusion that there was no need to plow, no need to apply fertilizer, no need to make compost, no need to use insecticide. When you get right down to it, there are few agricultural practices that are necessary. The reason that man’s improved techniques seem necessary is that the natural balance has been so badly upset beforehand by those …

Dispatches from the Fields: The trouble with small-scale farming

Can sustainable farming provide a sustainable living?

In “Dispatches from the Fields,” Ariane Lotti and Stephanie Ogburn, who are working on small farms in Iowa and Colorado this season, share their thoughts on producing real food in the midst of America’s agro-industrial landscape. —– Should small-scale farmers who grow organically and sell locally or regionally be able to make a middle-class living with farming as their sole source of income? I’ve always answered this question with a fervent “yes,” at least from a philosophical perspective. But the answer to the follow-up question — “do they?” — is nearly always a resounding no. Sure, there are exceptions. In …