Saturday, January 16, 2010

An Economic Development Framework for Sustainable Agriculture at URI, January 21, 2010

This Thursday, January 21, 2010, a free talk entitled "An Economic Development Framework for Sustainable Agriculture", sponsored by the van Beuren Foundation, Rhode Island Foundation, and University of Rhode Island, will be presented at URI by Michael Hamm, CS Mott Professor of Sustainable Agriculture, Michigan State University.

To be discussed:
If the regional population were to eat the USDA recommended daily portion of fruit and vegetables, what would be the increased consumption?

What share of that consumption pattern could be grown locally?

How much more land would have to be in cultivation in order to produce that quantity of food?

What would be the economic impact of the agricultural expansion?

talk location: University of Rhode Island Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, Flagg Road, Kingston Campus

Thursday, January 21, 2010, 10am - 12pm

RSVP for parking to Kim Dame, Grants Manager, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, 401.619.5910 or

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Deli meat demo, Saturday, January 16, 11:30-3pm

Deli Arts, a two-year old Massachusetts company founded by native New Yorkers, produces authentic New York deli meats (pastrami, corned beef, and two flavors of roasted turkey), and they just happen to be doing a demo at Eastside Marketplace on Saturday, January 16, 11:30am until 3:00pm. It also just so happens that January 14 is National Hot Pastrami Sandwich Day, so the timing seems quite auspicious.

From the Deli Arts website:
Deli Arts reflects our passion to preserve great, endangered, food traditions and share them with others. We are especially focused on restoring the grandeur of traditional regional and ethnic specialties that have crossed over into the mainstream – but somehow lost their soul along the way. These once great treats have become all but unrecognizable through assimilation and commercialization. We’re working hard, through research into traditional materials and methods and through innovation in modern preparation and packaging to bring these once great flavors and textures back to life...

I, for one, like the sound of that, and the fact that Deli Arts' founder, Dan Estridge, is a scholar of deli - blogging about deli meats here - is fascinating as well.

Slow Food RI's Annual Meeting, Tuesday, February 2 at 7pm

2009 was a great year for Slow Food Rhode Island: We not only saw our membership more than double, we also hosted and co-hosted some great events (movie nights, panel discussions, a movie followed by a talk on coffee with New Harvest Coffee Roasters, and a wonderful author and farmer talk with author-farmer Novella Carpenter and Providence's City Farm farmer Rich Pederson) as well as increased activism on the local and national level with the push to increase biodiversity and awareness of place-based foods through the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out, and the Slow Food USA Time for Lunch campaign, which strives to get healthy food into schools through an increase in funding for the Child Nutrition Act.

As you may know, local Slow Food chapters are run entirely by volunteers, and our funding comes from event fees and donations to the chapter. In addition to events similar to those we hosted in 2009, we will be fundraising to send a local farmer, food producer, cook, academic, or advocate (or perhaps a couple of people) to Terra Madre in October 2010.

To start off 2010 strong, we are hosting our annual meeting on Tuesday, February 2 at 7pm at Local 121. There will be a delicious buffet available for $15, cash bar, and we are requesting a donation of $5 per person to help fund this year's efforts and events.

During the meeting, we will discuss our plans for this year and beyond - and we want to hear your ideas as well. We'd like to know what types of events you'd like to attend, and, of course, if you'd like to coordinate an event, we'd love that as well!

We will also vote on officers for our chapter, including Chairperson, Membership, and Secretary. The current officers are Chair, Amy McCoy, and Secretary, Ingrid Lofgren.

Please rsvp to, and feel free to send along any questions or suggestions for the chapter, whether you are able to attend or not. As always, if you are interested in volunteering with Slow Food RI in any way, please also drop us a line at

We look forward to seeing you at the annual meeting and making plans for this year and beyond!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Mario Batali talks with Peter Buffett about Slow Food

From Peter Buffett's advent calendar, click here to see the video.

Plus, a little information on Mario Batali's foundation.
The mission of the Mario Batali Foundation is to feed, protect, educate and empower children, encouraging them to dream big while providing them with the necessary tools to become an active force for change in today's world. In an effort to do so, the MBF strives to ensure all children are well read, well fed and well cared for. Help Mario make a difference in children's lives locally, nationally, and abroad!

To learn more and/or donate, visit

Monday, December 21, 2009

Community Supported Fishery Subscriptions Available at Providence Wintertime Farmers Market

Port Clyde Fresh Catch Maine shrimp Community Supported Fisheries (CSF) subscriptions are now available in Pawtucket at the Wintertime Farmers Market. Six monthly CSF deliveries will begin during the weekend of January 9th and 10th. Subscribers can pick up their shares at the entrance to the Wintertime Farmers Market (1005 Main Street, Pawtucket).

Subscriptions of Maine shrimp shares will be available for pick up between 12:00-2:00pm on January 9th, February 13th, March 13th, April 10th, May 1st, and May 29th.

Similar to local community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs, CSF subscribers purchase a “share” of the fishermen’s catch; in turn, they receive the freshest possible, wild-caught seafood every week for a specific period of time. All deliveries of Maine shrimp will be vacuum-sealed and frozen in 1 lb packages for easy storage. Subscriptions will consist of six monthly deliveries, each of 5 lbs of ready-to-cook Maine shrimp, for a total subscription cost of $216. Subscribers can also add on a copy of “The Original Maine Cookbook” to their subscriptions for an additional $18. Those who do not live near one of the two CSF delivery locations or who wish to place mail orders for fish, lobsters, lobster meat, crabs, or crabmeat can do through the Port Clyde Fresh Catch website, subject to seasonal availability.

The Midcoast Fishermen’s Cooperative, whose fishermen sell their seafood under the Port Clyde Fresh Catch brand name, are the last fleet of small groundfishing boats east of Portland, Maine and the village of Port Clyde is among the last true fishing communities left from the industry’s heyday. While CSFs and restaurant sales have been an enjoyable experience for all involved, they are also critical strategies for the future of the Port Clyde community. In the words of MFC chairman Glen Libby, “The community support generated by the CSF program has been overwhelming—it has made a huge difference to our fishing families.”

Those who would like to find out more about subscriptions to the CSF should contact Jessica at (207) 975-2191 or for more information.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Celebrate this Holiday Season with Local Food!

And help support the local economy while you're at it - what could be more holiday spirited than giving great gifts and keeping the business local?

The Wintertime Farmers Market in Pawtucket, RI is the perfect place to do your holiday grocery and gift shopping! Get the eggnog, pie, veggies, cheese, meat, or shellfish you need for your holiday gatherings, plus pick up gifts for everyone on your list.

Below is the Farm Fresh RI Holiday Gift Guide, a selection of edible gifts available at the Wintertime Farmers Market. Many people may be scaling down their purchases this year due to the economic downturn, so everything on this list is $25 or under (sweet!):
  • Farmacy Herbs Tea Sampler: a collection of their handcrafted, organic tea blends to help you relax, fight colds, and warm up this winter. Add a jar of local honey for an extra sweet gift!
  • Deluxcious Foods’ gluten-free chocolates, cookies and confections are hand made using farm fresh local ingredients. They make perfect stocking stuffers!
  • Narragansett Creamery cheese baskets feature heavenly cheese made in small batches in Providence RI. Give it to someone who’ll share!
  • Coffee-lovers will be pleased with a pound of New Harvest Coffee Roasters fair-trade coffee, roasted in Pawtucket, RI.
  • Jacks Snack’s handmade dog biscuits are made from human-grade ingredients, local and organic when possible. Dogs love 'em! (my Golden, in particular, would tell you how much she loves them if she could)
From hot pepper jelly to salsa to apple butter, there is an edible, spreadable treat for anyone on your list. Pick out your favorite flavors made from ingredients grown in RI.
  • Sweet or spicy roasted pecans from Purple Pear of Providence make a special gift for a food-lover. Once you try them you’ll want to keep them for yourself!
  • Spoil someone with succulent scallops and herb butter from Bomster Scallops.
  • Assemble your own gift basket: help someone de-stress with Earth Essence Herbals lavender aromatherapy spray, an herb plant from Allen Farms, and ache-away salve from Farmacy Herbs.
  • Fresh Bucks, a gift certificate for the farmers' market, can be purchased at the Farm Fresh info table. They never expire and always bring a smile!
Whether you are hosting a holiday dinner or attending a party, get the ingredients for a festive and flavorful meal at the Wintertime Farmers Market:
  • Poultry, beef, lamb, pork, clams, oysters, lobster, scallops, eggs, milk, and cheese are all available from local farmers at the market.
  • Veggies in season include beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, collards, garlic, herbs, leeks, onions, parsnips, pea greens, potatoes, turnips, and winter squash.
  • Sweet apple cider, Christensen’s Dairy eggnog, and Yacht Club seltzers make fun holiday drinks.
  • What's a holiday dinner without dessert? The Cupcakerie features stunning seasonal cupcakes such as Peppermint Twist and Gingerbread. Pies are available from Cutie Pies and Hopkins Farm. Cookies, breads, and other treats are available from many vendors! Or bake your own using farm-fresh apples, pumpkin, or pears. Top with Kafe Lila Ice Cream!

For more information about Farm Fresh Rhode Island or the Wintertime Farmers Market go to

Big changes needed to make diets sustainable, report

This article from caught my eye:

Reducing meat and dairy consumption, eating fewer fatty and sugary foods, and wasting less food are the three changes to consumption habits that will have the biggest impact on making diets more sustainable, says a new report.

The Sustainable Development Commission was asked by the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food, Rural Affairs to map out evidence on sustainable diets and look at synergies and tensions between public health, the environment, social inequalities, and economic stability.

It points out that no one, universal definition of a sustainable diet exists, but that this must be addressed for the government to meet its goal of a sustainable, secure and healthy food supply. Until now, the healthy eating element has been centre stage.

For the full article, click here. And to read the report, click here.

What do you think? What steps are you taking to make sustainable food choices?