Category Archives: food culture

Freshocracy

Just came across this from my weekly Good Food Jobs email blast, and I have to say, this is a fantastic idea. Freshocracy is the brain child of Christina DeLaura who is working to bring sustainably harvested, fresh market ingredients to kitchen tables across NYC. A simple concept – she does the shopping at the market, prepares healthy recipes, incorporates pantry staples perfectly portioned so there is zero-waste, and delivers them to your door. She’s even done the math – the average cost of eating out is around $48 (with tax and tip), the average cost of take-out is about $19, and the average cost of a freshocracy meal is only $15 (which includes 4 servings). It sounds like a no-brainer for singles or families who want meals made from local ingredients but don’t have the time, energy, or access to farmer’s markets. What I love most is that amateur, at-home chef’s are learning new skills with each delivery, and hopefully spreading the message and sharing food love with others. A message from the maker – Join. Cook. Enjoy.

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A taste of what’s in season

Last week I was lucky enough to spend the afternoon at Green Bridge Farm with owner Michael Maddox and his two trusty sidekicks. We chatted about retirement (Michael is a newbie), what’s in season, the love, sweat, and tears that go into organic farming, and the great reward of finally harvesting the goods and sharing a meal with friends. Along with two of my fellow colleagues, Erin Fenley and Robyn Richardson, I’m planning an evening supper at the farm in a few weeks to initiate two great projects/organizations: Foodscape Savannah and Slow Food Savannah, both in their infancy but boasting with great potential. The first dinner will be a pilot test run and a research study. Hopefully, all is well that ends better (a saying I heard from a friend this weekend), so that this becomes a common occurrence. Michael has done a fantastic job – from designing and building his spectacular two-story southern pine home to creating the most beautiful organic garden landscape I have ever seen. He makes living on the farm a dream come true. The photo story below will help bring the afternoon to life. Enjoy and a special thanks to Michael and his tour guides. Looking forward to “The Great Escape.”

an intruder in the garden

a beautiful herb garden

freshly harvested onions

a growing cilantro field

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starting to change color

a chicken coop made from leftover materials

hello friends

Eat With Me

During my Sunday blog/website favs scanning sesh, I found this great little eating party gem called Eat With Me, a new social networking site (based in Melbourne) that allows you to create food related events and invite your friends. You can also search events in your area and ask for an invitation. A great way to meet like-minded foodies, engage in great conversations around the table, and grow a community of individuals who value time spent sharing a meal. So far, it looks like I am a lone dot in the Savannah EWM landscape, so fellow food lovers, come eat with me and let’s get this party started!

The innerworkings of dinner on the farm

Today I met with two of my favorite fellow food ladies to discuss the logistics of hosting a dinner on the farm for a crowd of hungry Savannah locavores. Can four amateur chefs really pull off a 5-course dinner for 40 people using locally-sourced produce and limited kitchen accommodations in less than a month? We’re determined and truly inspired…mainly by the beautiful photos from a group of devoted culinary adventurists in California who started Outstanding in the Field back in 1998. Today, they travel around the country and Europe hosting dinners on the farm with their signature white linen tables that extend for what seems like miles.

Aside from grappling with numbers, costs, distribution, accommodations, and the like…we’re also wondering what do we want to get out of this “project?” What should people experience? What should they take away? Is this even possible, or is it just too difficult to source meals locally and make it affordable – and that’s why people  don’t do it on a regular basis? If nothing else, this will be one of those tried and true learning experiences. The first attempt may not be outstanding, but it will be an outstanding effort. Stay tuned!

Reflections on progress

The subsequent paragraphs written by Jean-Louis Flandrin explain precisely the need for alternative food networks and validate the potential impact of Slow Food on our industrialized landscape.

“The undeniable advances in agriculture have brought problems along with benefits. The exodus from the countryside has left today’s farmers in possession of much larger farms than in the past. They obtain much better yields from the soil with less effort, thanks to mechanization, artificial fertilizers, and new species, yet they suffer from crises of overproduction, and [are] burdened by enormous debt.

Strangely enough, neither farmers nor farm organizations seem inclined to question the wisdom of the continual improvements in yields that have led to the present situation of chronic oversupply and attempts to limit production by leaving some land unplanted. Nor do they seem to worry that steadily falling agricultural prices (coupled with the fact that the demand for food cannot increase indefinitely) have decreased the share of the average family budget spent on food.

For consumers the benefits of agricultural progress are no less ambiguous. Not only has the environment been seriously polluted by modern fertilizers and intensive farming methods, but the decrease in food prices has been accompanied by a decrease in quality. Fruits look impeccable to the naked eye because they are free from damage by insects or disease, yet they may be tainted by invisible pesticides. Harvested while still immature, they lack fragrance and flavor…Gourmets will often travel long distances to buy [produce and meat] from specialty farmers. Is this progress?”

What a great question to end on.

a modest practice in farming

 

Taste: a noble sense

So close to finishing Food: a culinary history from antiquity to the present! And I’m really glad I was able to keep my eyes open long enough to catch the significant passage that highlights the importance of taste. For your reading pleasure, I will share with you this excerpt from the great Saint Jerome of the seventeenth century:

” ‘Taste is not the noblest of the senses, but it is the most necessary. Without taste, man cannot live for long, but he can live without the other senses.’ Although we value taste today, we see it as less important to survival than sight or hearing. Even in the culinary realm, we rely on sight to read food labels, indications of safety and freshness, and so on. We no longer rely on taste to decide what might be harmful to our health, and nutritionists no longer advise us to heed our taste in deciding what to eat.”

Pretty amazing that this was written in the late 1600s, and yet like so many other historical events, still holds true in present day.

a clean plate relies on taste

 

 

florida food story

While on a quick trip to south Florida, I stopped to visit with a local citrus farmer, Jerry, and his orange-loving chocolate lab Sophie. It was my first time picking Honeybells and tangerines from the tip top of the trees, carefully making sure to not puncture the skin (we only lost one, and it wasn’t really lost, the juice went right into my mouth 🙂 yum! We ended up with five giant grocery sized bags of the sweetest, juiciest citrus there is! I have my vitamin C for the next month, fresh, local, all-natural, and pesticide-free. Many thanks to the dedicated farmers and the skills and knowledge they lend to curious upcoming generations like me.

simple perfection

 

jerry and dad walking to the orchard

empty cart waiting to be filled for Highway 80 travelers

picking the hanging fruit

the sweet smell of hard work

lost one to the picker

jerry the citrus grower

jerry and rosalie's outhouses

sophie waits patiently for a tangerine

fruits of our labor

Petrini’s manifesto

In beginning to think about my literature review, (i.e. compiling all the sources to build a theoretical foundation on which to base a valid argument concerning my thesis), I decided to start at the roots of the movement, Carlo Petrini’s Slow Food Revolution. Essentially an auto-biography of Slow Food, Petrini highlights the major milestones (and setbacks) of what started as a resistance to the Italian Left. Throughout his collection of memoirs and public speeches, I found inspiration in his words and several design opportunities. A lot has transpired since the book was published in 2005, including criticism for the movement’s sometimes elitist connotations and American “brand” typology. Yet there is truth and hope to the manifesto that was officially introduced to the world in 1987, and I hope to find a peaceful co-existence with history and modernity.

our relationship with food

“Everyone has a relationship with food, whether they like it or not. think if you enjoy your food and actually pay attention to it, then that’s the first step in having a healthy relationship with it.” Sam Bompas, food design, co-owner of Bompas & Parr, London.

amit sharing his indian food traditions in senones, france

 

Conflict Kitchen

Thanks to fellow colleague Jill Graves for posting this wonderful example of the relationship (usually positive) between food culture and experience of place. Even in times of conflict, we can unite through food and the simple act of sharing a meal. In today’s virtual world, we can co-eat our tagliatelle with our distant neighbors in Tuscany…

jillyoe:

Conflict Kitchen

Conflict Kitchen is a take-out restaurant that only serves cuisine from countries with which the United States government is in conflict. Please help us to realize the next stage of the project, “Bolani Pazi”, an Afghan take-out restaurant.
It is easy to forget that behind all of the government conflicts there are people and a culture. When this personal connection is lost, things become dangerous. Conflict Kitchen creates a public forum and space fordiscussions that might not normally take place, mediated by food. Conflict Kitchen also programs public events to more directly connect everyday Americans with everyday people from the country of focus. For example, Kubideh Kitchen brought together members of the public for a live Skype meal between Tehran and Pittsburgh, during which groups in both countries shared the same meal on a virtually connected table: an inter-continental dinner party. Read More

(via jillyoe)

conflict kitchen concept