local food

Cookbook author and food columnist Mark Bittman recently wrote in The New York Times about The $11 Trillion Reward: How Simple Dietary Changes Can Save Money and Lives, and How We Get There,” a report by the Union of Concerned Scientists. Bittman says, "A main point of the report is that encouraging farmers to grow fruits and vegetables and sell them locally boosts public health." It puts an actual number to the medical costs and estimates the number of lives that would be saved by increasing fruit and vegetable intake by just one serving daily: "About 750,000 United States deaths annually — a third of the total — result from cardiovascular disease, at a medical cost of about $94 billion....
It's that time of year when garlic scapes start to curl their way around tables at farmers' markets and overflow CSA boxes. This once-forgotten stalk of the garlic plant is edible and delicious, and has started to pop up in recipes from dips and pestos to soups and pizzas. Today we have a soup recipe from Local Kitchen that highlights this vibrant spring treat. This soup can easily be made vegetarian by using vegetable stock, and even vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter.                            Image courtesy of Local Kitchen GARLIC SCAPE & WHITE BEAN SOUPAdapted from Local Kitchen 3 Tbs. butter1 large...
We're excited to hear the news from FamilyFarmed.org that Midway Airport, McCormick Place and Chicago Public Schools are committed to increasing their local and sustainable food programs! Collectively these institutions serve over 1.5 million meals per day. McCormick Place will source 15% of its food from local and sustainable sources. Premier Restaurant Group, the foodservice provider at Midway Airport, will partner with FamilyFarmed.org and purchase up to 10% of its food from local and sustainable sources. The foodservice provider for Chicago Public Schools, Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, has purchased more than $4.2 million in produce...
We were intrigued by the recent post on takepart.com called “Not Lovin’ It So Much: McDonald’s Global Sales Drop for the First Time in 9 Years.”  Could it be possible that our work at FarmPlate, combined with the great work by our friends and partners at NOFA-NY, NOFA-VT, Slow Food USA, GOOD, Sodexo, and others has finally started to tilt the scales away from unhealthy fast food? Could the local food movement really be making the difference we believe it can? Not exactly. Once you get past the exciting headline and read on, it becomes clear that McDonald’s — and fast food in general — is probably not at the beginning of a long decline. “To wit, although monthly sales were...
As we look forward to Halloween, we hope that these beautiful Autumn days find you enjoying some of our most beloved fall activities: picking and carving pumpkins, putting your garden to bed, and celebrating with friends and family. Whatever the season brings, you will probably encounter two items that dominate the Halloween spotlight: pumpkins and candy. Glowing as round, orange jack-o'-lanterns and crinkling in colorful, iconic packaging, we often don't recognize these pillars of Halloween as food. In fact, Halloween may be the American holiday that shares the most confusing relationship with food. At FarmPlate, we see Halloween as a great chance to get in touch with your local...
To celebrate Cider Week 2012, we are pleased to share with you an excerpt from Taste, Memory, a brand new book (to be released on October 11) that describes the rediscovery of forgotten foods and the process of bringing them back to our tables.  In Taste, Memory, author David Buchanan explores questions fundamental to the future of food and farming. How can we strike a balance between preserving the past, maintaining valuable agricultural and culinary traditions, and looking ahead to breed new plants? What place does a cantankerous old pear or too-delicate strawberry deserve in our gardens, farms, and markets? To what extent should growers value efficiency and uniformity over...
Jersey City (New Jersey) Farm to Table restaurant Thirty Acres opened in April of 2012 with the same mission as many local food restaurants: to create an ever-evolving menu featuring great local ingredients. Their next goal? To establish personal relationships with the producers of those great local ingredients on their ever-evolving menu. “The reason we stay as local as possible is mainly to support all of these farmers who I've gotten to know as people,” says Thirty Acres chef and co-owner Kevin Pemoulie, Former Momofuku Noodle Bar chef de cuisine. “Not only does all this stuff taste amazing, it hasn't had to travel far. And it's great to be able to support our fellow Jersians,...
The increase of local food awareness in recent years has led to an explosion in the number of small farms, farmers’ markets and restaurant menus with detailed explanations of their sustainably sourced ingredients. Another exciting—and tasty—outcome is the increasing popularity of farm dinners across the country. On a warm mid-August Sunday evening, I was fortunate to be able to attend Seacoast Eat Local’s third farm dinner of the summer at New Roots Farm in Newmarket, New Hampshire. Jake Smith, executive chef of Kittery, Maine’s The Black Birch created a feast for about 100 guests. Dinner started with live music, hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and a tour of the farm. We sat down to a delicious...
NAME: Jeremy Gildrien FARM: Gildrien Farm AGE: 34 Can you provide some brief background information about your farm? In your opinion, what makes it special or unique? I believe in quality over quantity, so my farm is small - just a few acres - and I focus on producing the highest-quality food that I can. I also try to push the boundaries of what we can grow here in Vermont without resorting to lots of fossil fuel - for instance, we have a solar-heated bed in the greenhouse where we grow ginger. Fresh baby ginger is a real treat! Why do you believe farming is important, particularly for the younger generation, and why did you decide to become a farmer?  I'm a farmer because I love food...
On August 25 (last Saturday), Jason Merrill, Dave Brodrick and Kurt Lessard opened the Worthy Burger, a farm-to-table burger bar inside an 1800s railroad-freight house in South Royalton, Vermont.  Merrill is a former chef at the Hanover Inn and the Quechee Club, and along with Brodrick and Lessard, is partners in a venture called Lakeside Hospitality Group. They’ve also invested in Waterbury’s Prohibition Pig (in the space formerly occupied by The Alchemist), as well as a small catering business. The space seats 71 people, 25 of which are on a charming outdoor patio next door to Patrick Dakin’s Freight House Brewery, which is also opening soon. Freight House brews will be served...
The Big Green Bus spent the past three nights at Gales Meadow Farm in Forest Grove, Oregon, while doing day events 45 minutes away in Portland. Gales Meadow is on a small plot of agricultural land tucked up against a wooded hillside, and has that calm, practical air that seems to accompany hard work and stewardship for the land. Chickens wander through the yard and you can't always tell where wildflower meadows end and planted rows begin - but there are barns full of drying garlic and produce orders being filled every day. We spent our last day in the area working at the farm, preparing beds and planting kale and collard green starters. The rows we prepared had just produced a crop of...
For a chance to win a copy of The Town that Food Saved, just log on to FarmPlate and review your favorite food businesses. We'll enter your name in our drawing once for every review you write. More reviews equals more chances to win! The Town That Food Saved: How One Community Found Vitality in Local Food... This is a mouthful of a title, one that puts forth quite a few interesting ideas. The Town the Food Saved conjures up images of a supercarrot defending a small rural town from a giant can of pesticide. The imagination can run wild with that phrase. “How one community found vitality in local food” is equally intriguing on a more intellectual level. How did they do it? What is...
The circus is a quintessial summer event. When the big top rolls into town, rumours spread about elephant sightings, supposed meetings with clowns in bars, and the love affair between the two main acrobats. A circus brings not only a wonderful performance but also a bandwagon of excitement wherever it goes. Part of its charm is the mystery of this magical community that rolls in, able to perform seemingly impossible feats defying the laws of gravity and making us laugh 'til we cry. Who are they? Were do they come from? What do they do outside the ring? In the case of Circus Smirkus, the performers are youngsters between the ages of 10 and 18, from New England and around the world. During...
On July 17, 2012, Three Revolutions launched the world's first crowdfunding platform dedicated to farm and food ventures! Here's how the platform works: Farmers, food processors, and food-associated businesses, artists and artisans, communities building gardens, brewers, abattoirs, activists, food hubs, and many others can share their story and funding needs on the 3R platform. Backers can fund these ventures with as little as $10 or as much as several thousand. The farmer or food entrepreneur responds with the tempting promise of a monthly shipment of cheese over the coming year, an open tab at the local brewpub, a half-priced CSA or perhaps an overnight stay at their farm. 3R takes a cut...
There has been a small but steady stream of criticism of local food recently, particularly as a result of the recent book by a Canadian professor that calls the movement into question, saying local food destroys jobs.   An interesting piece from a local Alaska TV station touts some of the great benefits of eating locally. For the family profiled in the piece, what started as a yearlong Eat Local Challenge became more of a pleasure, as it taught them about the pleasure of self-sufficiency, and the health benefits of eating wholesome food grown in Alaska. It’s also a lesson in urban agriculture, as they have transformed their 9,000-square-foot Anchorage lot into a highly productive food...