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
www.mariobatalifoundation.org.

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 jessica@midcoastfishermen.org 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 www.farmfreshri.org

Big changes needed to make diets sustainable, report

This article from FoodNavigator.com 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?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Slow Food Boston's Brazilian Cocktail Party! Part 2!

Brazilian Cocktail Party, Part 2 Quick! What's the most common ingredient in the tasty appetizers we'll be serving at our Thursday, December 3rd festa, first event in our series exploring immigrant food traditions? -Caipirinha or tropical juice spritzer -Farofa de carne seca, sautéed manioc flour with Brazilian cured beef -Pão de queijo, cheese and manioc rolls -Canjiquinha, creamy corn soup with pork -Mandioca frita com lingüiça calabresa, deep-fried manioc with Brazilian sausage -Bolinho de bacalhau, codfish balls -Empadinha de palmito, heart of palm turnover -Empadinha de camarão, shrimp turnover -Orange slices and vegetable sticks -Molho and piri piri, hot sauces -Brazilian pastries Gold star if you said manioc, also called yuca or cassava. The starchy tuber is Brazil's major contribution to the world food basket—it originated in the Amazon—and one of its most important staples. Our party menu pays homage to manioc three ways: as crunchy, toasted farofa, as the silky-textured base for bread and as a crisp-on-the-outside, tender-on-the-inside home fry. Here, Nazare and Washington, two of our volunteer cooks, show me how to make pão de queijo with sour starch, fermented manioc starch.

Brazilian Event Promo Cooking from Slow Food - Boston on Vimeo.

Please join us for a culinary trip to Brazil this Thursday, December 3rd at the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), our host and partner for the event. Proceeds will be donated to their AIDS/HIV Prevention & Education Program.

Brazilian Cocktail Party Thursday, December 3rd, 6:30-9:30 pm Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers 1046 Cambridge Street, Cambridge Tickets $20; reserve them here. Next up: a Vietnamese picnic in spring 2010. Email me if you have ideas for others! Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, Slow Food Boston

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Slow Food Boston's Brazilian Cocktail Party!

Brazilian Cocktail Party, Part 1 This December Slow Food Boston is kicking off a series exploring the food traditions of local immigrant groups. First stop: Brazil! Nazare and Washington—two of the volunteer cooks for our upcoming festa—and I are here at Casa de Carnes Solução, a Brazilian butcher shop on Bow St. in Somerville. We're shopping for the ingredients for pão de queijo, rolls made from manioc and cheese from Minas Gerais, region of origin for most of Massachusetts' estimated 75,000 to 230,000 Brazilians. Let's take a look inside!

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Brazilian Event Promo Shopping from Slow Food - Boston on Vimeo.

We hope you'll come by on December 3rd for a frosty caipirinha, piping hot cheese rolls and 7 other delicious appetizers prepared by the Brazilian staff of the Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers (MAPS), our host and partner for the event. Proceeds will be donated to their AIDS/HIV Prevention & Education Program. Next up: a Vietnamese picnic in spring 2010. Email me if you have ideas for others! Brazilian Cocktail Party Thursday, December 3rd, 6:30-9:30 pm Massachusetts Alliance of Portuguese Speakers 1046 Cambridge Street Tickets $20; reserve them here. Anastacia Marx de Salcedo, Slow Food Boston

Monday, October 26, 2009

Urban Agriculture Talk with Farmer-Author Novella Carpenter and Farmer Rich Pederson, November 12 at 7pm


We're really excited about our two talks coming up in the next few weeks - the "Building and Maintaining a Local Food System" panel discussion at URI's Kingston campus on Thursday, November 5 at 6pm, as well as this talk:

Farm City, City Farm: Tales in Urban Farming from Farmer-Author Novella Carpenter and Farmer Rich Pederson

Sponsored by Slow Food Rhode Island and Southside Community Land Trust
Thursday, November 12, 2009, 7pm
at the First Unitarian Church of Providence, 1 Benevolent Street
A donation of $10.00 per person ($5.00 for students) is suggested

Join us for a evening of stories – trials, tribulations, and triumphs - from two talented urban farmers; Novella Carpenter, author of Farm City: the Education of an Urban Farmer, and Rich Pederson, Southside Community Land Trust’s City Farm Farm Manager.

Novella and Rich will take turns sharing their urban agriculture experiences with us, with their unique perspectives influenced by each of their environments; Novella’s in Oakland, California, and Rich’s here in Providence. They’ll follow their story-telling with an audience question and answer period, which is sure to be entertaining and informative - and quite likely very funny as well.

For more information, email slowfoodri@gmail.com

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On Locally Grown Foods, courtesy of Providence the Creative Capitol

As we're all interested in the local food scene - and we mean the growing, as well as the preparing and serving - this article (excerpted below) from Providence the Creative Capitol caught our eye:

The national trend towards locally grown, organic, seasonal foods has been gaining momentum thanks to recent food scares and recalls. Vegetables containing E-coli and peanuts spreading salmonella have helped raise awareness about food production, called into question factory-farming practices, and led consumers to want to know where their food is coming from...

...Bruce Tillinghast, owner and chef of New Rivers, a Providence restaurant serving refined bistro food made from fresh, organic ingredients, was an early local promoter of locally grown food.

We were thrilled to see that the article included insight into the Rhode Island food system, with our friends from New Rivers, Farmstead, Red Planet, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, and Southside Community Land Trust all mentioned in the article. We think it nicely demonstrates how many people are working so diligently at building and maintaining a local food system right here in Rhode Island.

To read the article in its entirety, click here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Panel Discussion: Building and Sustaining a Local Food System

We are pleased to present the "Building and Sustaining a Local Food System" panel discussion at the URI Kingston campus on Thursday, November 5, 2009.

The panel members include Matt Jennings of Farmstead and La Laiterie at Farmstead and Don Minto of Watson Farm.

This same panel participated last year, and by all accounts, it was a fabulous discussion. What's more, the event is free of charge.

The talk starts at 6 pm and will run approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. The location is the Weaver Auditorium at the Coastal Institute (click on the link, the Coastal Institute is #13 on the map) on the URI Kingston campus.

Parking is available along Flagg Road and in nearby parking lots.

We hope to see you at URI for a budget-friendly, educational evening.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Slow Food Bastille (Paris) on hunt for grandmothers' recipes


We received this wonderful invitation from Slow Food Bastille, via Slow Food New York's Regional Governor, Ed Yowell:
We are organizing a recipe contest on Internet to put together recipes transmitted from person to person, trough family or friends. The "award ceremony" will take place in Euro Gusto, the next french "salone del Gusto" in Tours in November.
The Slow Food Bastille chapter would love to receive recipes from overseas, so get out grandma's recipe file, and get to work! Recipes should be made with common, economical ingredients, should feed at least 6 people, and should be geared to non-professional cooks. There are 19 days left until the close of the contest, so you have a little bit of time to review your recipes before submitting them, and you may submit multiples. Winners will be announced at EuroGusto at the end of November.

Entries may be made in French, English or Italian (just click on the flag).

To enter, visit: http://sites.google.com/site/tresorsdefamille/

Friday, October 16, 2009

Heirloom Harvest Week Sneak Peek

This post comes to us from Anne Obelnicki at Chefs Collaborative - in case you haven't made up your mind about which restaurant you'll be visiting during these last days of the Heirloom Harvest Week, Anne provides us a sneak peek at what's being served up.

It’s Heirloom Harvest Week in Providence, Boston and Portsmouth (October 12-18), a time when we asked all the participating chefs to have one or more items on their menu highlighting and honoring locally grown vegetables from the RAFT Grow-Out project. The chefs in Providence have outdone themselves, using RAFT veggies in creative and delicious ways, and making some of the most beautiful food I’ve seen. The dishes speak for themselves, so here they are. All I have to say is: Providence, I will be back!

Chez Pascal

Matt Gennuso, Chef/Owner

Pike’s Peak Squash Dumplings with Blue Cheese and Walnuts

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Marfax Bean Ragout with Molasses, Bacon and Seared Pork Head Roulade with Pickled Gilfeather Turnips

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New York State Tasting of Lamb with Long Pie Pumpkin Gateaux de Riz, Gilfeather Turnips, Student Parsnips & Red Wine

Long Pie Pumpkin Custard Tart with Graham Cracker Crust and Student Parsnip Ice Cream

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Gracie’s

Joseph Hafner, Executive Chef

Slow Poached Heritage Farm Duck Egg
Long Pie pumpkin, marrow squash, Jimmy nardello’
s peppers, duck confit, duck crackling

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Julian’s

Mike Nice, Chef

Roasted Long Pie pumpkin flan with hazelnut graham wafer cookie, tarragon granita and Mexican chocolate sauce

Julian’s will be running various RAFT-inspired specials throughout the week


La Laiterie at Farmstead

Matt Jennings, Chef/Owner

Sformato of Long Pie Pumpkin
Wild Arugula, Gilfeather Turnips, Marfax Beans, Parmigiano Stravecchio, Jimmy Nardello Pepper ‘Agrodolce’

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Local 121

David Johnson, Chef

Long Pie Pumpkin Pumpkin Pie with Molasses Ice cream

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Jimmy Nardello Peppernadda with prima pasta and Narraganset creamery fresh ricotta

Other RAFT-inspired specials throughout the week

New Rivers

Bruce Tillinghast, Chef/Owner

Beau Vestal, Chef de Cuisine

House-cured Sopresatta with Jimmy Nardello Pepper Jam, Molasses Mustard and Baguette

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Confit of Belly of Pork with Gilfeather Turnips, Green Apple and Cider/Vanilla Sauce

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Grilled Tartine Wethersfield Onion and Bacon marmalade, Long Pie Pumpkin and Gruyere


Nick’s On Broadway

Derek Wagner, Chef/Owner

Skillet roasted wild Rhode Island Striped Bass with local heirloom vegetable ragout, white wine and garden herbs

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Waterman Grille

Michael Conetta, Chef

Wood Fired Apple Napoleon: Pippin Orchard Apples, Simmons Farm Pork Sausage, Hannah Bell Cheese, and a mulled apple Cider Reduction

Georges Bank Scallops with Tiverton pumpkin puree, Jeffries Baby Greens and pickled beet salad



Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Farm Fresh RI's Perfect Pickle Contest, November 7

Farm Fresh Rhode Island is sponsoring a fun contest to celebrate the harvest and preserving. It is taking place on Saturday, November 7, the first day of the Wintertime Farmers Market at the Hope Artiste Village. And, who, we ask, does not like a pickle? So what are you waiting for? Read on and sign up!

From the Farm Fresh RI website:
Rhode Island not only has many wonderful farmers, but we Rhode Islanders also have a wealth of homegrown knowledge about how to turn fresh foods into jarred and prepared delights! We've survived winters in New England for more than a few years. From raspberry jams to Johnny cakes, from peach pie to pesto, local talent needs to be exposed – and this November it's the picklers' turn to shine. We hope the pickle contest will not only inspire non-picklers to try pickling—but it will also promote the wealth of good food that grows in Rhode Island. Plus, a great way to start off the winter season is with a zesty taste of the bountiful autumn.

How to Enter:

Pickles
  • Register by October 31 with your name, category, and what veggies will be local in your entry.
  • Let us know which farm grew your veggies if you can (or if they're from your own backyard).
  • Everyone – chefs, schools, home cooks, gardeners, market-goers and more – is encouraged to enter.
  • First time picklers encouraged!

Judging Location and Time:

  • Opening day of the Wintertime Farmers' Market - Saturday, November 7, 2009 at 12pm at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket.
  • Six expert pickle tasters will work to decide which pickle is best. Winners will receive a unique, handcrafted basket of local goodies as well as the honor of being Rhode Island's Perfect Pickler. There is one track for Chefs and another track for Home-batch.
  • By 1pm we will know the finest pickle makers in all the (Rhode Is)land.
  • Best of luck!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Heirloom Harvest Week, October 12 through 18


We hope that you can join us in celebrating the agricultural bounty of New England and the RAFT Grow-Out project during the RAFT Grow-out Heirloom Harvest Week. It starts this upcoming Monday, October 12th and runs through October 18th in Providence and Newport-area restaurants.

Heirloom Harvest Week is a celebration of New England's agricultural heritage, biodiversity and farmer-chef connections. From October 12th through 18th, Grow-Out participant restaurants will have one or more items on their menu highlighting and honoring locally grown, heirloom vegetables from the project.

Stop by to eat delicious food while supporting your local restaurants and farms and celebrating New England's agricultural heritage.

Participating Restaurants:
22 Bowens, Newport, RI
Boat House Restaurant, Tiverton, RI
Castle Hill Inn and Resort, Newport, RI
Chez Pascal, Providence, RI
DeWolf Tavern, Bristol, RI
Gracie's, Providence, RI
Julian's, Providence, RI
La Laiterie at Farmstead, Providence, RI
Local 121, Providence, RI
New Rivers, Providence, RI
Nicks on Broadway, Providence, RI
Tastings Wine Bar & Bistro, Foxboro, MA
The Mooring Seafood Kitchen and Bar, Newport, RI
The Smokehouse Café, Newport, RI
Trio, Narragansett, RI
Waterman Grille, Providence, RI

Here at Slow Food RI, we're all very excited about the RAFT Grow-out project and the reintroduction of our region's place-based foods. The Heirloom Harvest Week is a great way to try out some of those foods, and, who knows - perhaps persuade you to include them in your seed order, or to request seed starts from your local nursery next year?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September Membership Drive

Soggy tater tots. Mystery meat. Fast-food pizza and refined sugar.

This is the reality of our children’s school lunches and it is time for some serious change.

On September 7th, people in all 50 states are coming together at nearly 300 “Eat-ins” to show their support for real food in schools. With the National Day of Action just a few days away, we critically need your gift today to help grow our movement and force our legislators to take notice.

And here’s the best part: during the month of September only, your donation of any amount will make you a member of Slow Food USA.

Here’s why we need your support right now. Slow Food USA is working to directly impact national and local food policies. From the Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act to the Farm Bill, we will be building alliances, bringing in key industry experts and heading to Washington to demand change.

Our National Day of Action marks the beginning of these efforts. Your gift today will allow us to take immediate action in the days following September 7. With your help, we can turn the power generated by thousands of people attending hundreds of Eat-ins into a movement that makes real impact on America’s food policy. Will you help us grow the movement by becoming a member today?

As a member of Slow Food USA, you’ll enjoy the following benefits:

* Invitations to local, national and international events celebrating good, clean, fair food.
* Member-only discounts on select events and publications.
* Getting connected with your local Slow Food chapter, made up of people who care about food, agriculture, health and the environment.
* Opportunities throughout the year to take action and have an impact on critical legislation affecting food and agriculture in the U.S.

Membership normally starts at $60, but from now until September 30th, your gift of any amount makes you a part of this movement. Give more if you can and less if you can’t. The point is – we want you with us.

Our kids deserve more than mystery meat and our communities need access to fresh, real food. Your support today will help make that happen.

Thanks for your support and we look forward to your involvement! Become a member today by visiting www.slowfoodusa.org/growthemovement.

With thanks,

Josh Viertel
President, Slow Food USA

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Great Guests at Slow Food RI's Eat-in


Slow Food USA's Time for Lunch launches in just over a week with more than 280 Eat-ins all over the United States.

Here at Slow Food Rhode Island, we're looking forward to an afternoon of good food and great company for a cause at Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Monday, September 7 at 2pm.

In addition to pot-luck dining, we are thrilled to have Deborah Lehmann, one of the editors - with Chef Ann Cooper - of School Lunch Talk, and Kimberly Sporkmann of Kids First RI on hand.

Deborah has spent 8 months traveling the United States researching school lunch. She'll share her observations and experiences with us at the Eat-in. 

Kimberly coordinates the Farm to School program for Kids First RI. If you are unfamiliar with Kids First RI, they are very involved in child nutrition and physical well-being throughout the state. In addition to working to get Rhode Island-grown fruits and vegetables into schools, Kids First has a team of chefs who work with food service directors in every district to improve school lunch. This year, Rhode Island has new nutrition requirements that have been mandated. The standards are high and exceed the USDA requirements for whole grains, the amount and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and include sodium limits. Kids First works to help school food service change their practices and offerings to meet these new requirements, and also works with schoolchildren to educate them on nutrition and help them adapt to these changes that are being made. 

Please spread the word to your friends, invite them to join you at the Eat-in, and if they are unable to make it, please encourage them to sign the petition and to contact their legislators to let them know that healthy food in schools is important to us all.

If you are able to join us, please rsvp to slowfoodri@gmail.com, and please let us know what dish you'll be bringing. The Eat-in is BYOU - bring your own utensils (and plates, and cups!) - to cut back on waste at the site.

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You're invited to Slow Food RI's Time for Lunch Eat-in, Monday, September 7

About a month and a half ago, we announced Slow Food USA's new campaign to get healthy food into schools, Time for Lunch.

Time for Lunch aims to change the Child Nutrition Act by letting our legislators know that healthy food in schools is important to us all. The Child Nutrition Act governs the National School Lunch Program, which sets the standard for the food that more than 30 million children eat every school day. In the last few decades, as school budgets have been cut, our nation's schools have struggled to serve children the healthy food they need.

Primary goals of Time for Lunch are to increase the amount allotted for each school lunch by a dollar - from $2.57 to $3.57, to guarantee 50 million dollars in funding for Farm-to-School programs, and to enact high standards for all food sold in schools, including vending machines and fast food outposts.

To read more about the Child Nutrition Act and the National School Lunch program, please visit Slow Food USA's Time for Lunch website.

Slow Food Rhode Island will be kicking off our Time for Lunch campaign efforts - which will continue throughout the fall - with an Eat-in - a pot-luck get-together held on the beautiful grounds of the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Labor Day. As of today, there are 232 Eat-ins planned in 49 states, all taking place on Labor Day.

The Slow Food RI Eat-in will start at 2pm, and in addition to good food, great company, and supporting an important cause, there will also be live music. State legislators and school administrators have been invited to attend as well.

If you are planning to attend the Eat-in, please email slowfoodri@gmail.com to let us know you'll be joining us, and to let us know what dish you're planning to bring. There is no admission for the Eat-in, though donations in any amount are appreciated to offset the facility fees.

If you cannot attend the Slow Food RI Eat-in, please be sure to sign the petition, contact your legislators to let them know that healthy food in schools is important to you, and spread the word to your friends. If you'd like to organize your own Eat-in, information on coordinating Eat-ins is available here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Eat-in!

Details:
Slow Food RI Time for Lunch Eat-in
Monday, September 7, 2009
2pm
Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center
3852 Main Road
Tiverton Four Corners, RI
For directions, click here

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another casualty of late blight

As you may know, Slow Food Connecticut hosts the fabulous Tomato To-mah-to: Heirloom Tasting Feast each year. This year, it was scheduled for Sunday, August 23rd.

However, with the rainy conditions in the northeast and the ensuing late blight for tomatoes, it is not to be this year.

The hosts for this event are Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain and Upper Forty Farm in Cromwell, CT. Both farms are suffering greatly from circumstances related to this unseasonably cool and wet weather. A few weeks ago, when Susan Chandler, the leader of Slow Food Connecticut emailed to announce the event's cancellation, it was unclear if there would be any field grown tomato plants surviving by next Sunday. Flooding and blight have taken an enormous toll at the farms, and the areas at Upper Forty where tents are usually set up and parking is provided were saturated with rain to the point that they had been swamp-like for weeks.

We hope that if you have the means, you'll contribute to Slow Food Connecticut's Tomato Fund in support of Upper Forty Farm and Urban Oaks Organic Farm, who have generously hosted this event for eight years.

Proceeds will be equally divided between Upper Forty Farm and Urban Oaks Organic Farm and are entirely tax-deductible.

If you would like to donate, please send a check to "Slow Food Connecticut" and mail to:

Susan Chandler
1870 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117.

Please note "Tomato Fund" on the memo line.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Locavores in Rhode Island

This post has been submitted by Ingrid, a Slow Food Rhode Island board member. Look for more on Ingrid and Josh's 100 Mile Diet challenge through August and September, and feel free to add your comments if you're participating in a similar challenge or are a locavore.

My husband, Josh, and I are taking the 100 Mile Diet challenge . . . again. Last year was our first try and we did July and August. This year, Josh and I chose to do it during August and September. Yes, yes, yes – we did choose easier months but no matter what months we choose, we still can’t have chocolate or coffee!

One of our big inspirations last year (and continues to be) was the book Plenty – One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Elisa Smith and JB McKinnon. Elisa and JB did the 100 Mile Diet for a whole year living in Canada. Very impressive! In addition to Plenty, the great experience we had last year and the ever-increasing amount local products available to us now has continued to inspire us this year. We are regulars at the Farmers Markets at Goddard State Park, Hope Street at Lippitt Park, and the relatively new one in East Greenwich so our choices are quite varied.

We are just coming to the end of our first week and we have been enjoying blueberries from Schartners Farm, greens, tomatoes, country style ribs and a whole chicken from Pat’s Pastured, peaches, apples, eggplant, onions, and . . . the list goes on. We also planted two small gardens at our house – one is for veggies and one is for herbs. Right now our parsley is going crazy! Soon we’ll try a modified version of Fergus Henderson’s parsley salad from his cookbook The Whole Beast. The best part is there will be even more local foods to gobble up in the coming weeks. We’ll be posting a few entries on Slow Food Rhode Island throughout August and September so stay tuned!

posted by Ingrid

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Time for Lunch Eat-in, Monday, September 7


By now, you have probably heard about Slow Food USA's newly-launched initiative for real food in our nation's schools, Time for Lunch.

Time for Lunch is national campaign to tell Congress to provide America's children with real food at school. One of the major milestones for the campaign will be orchestrating more than 100 Eat-Ins in communities across the country on Labor Day, September 7, 2009.

Slow Food Rhode Island will be hosting an Eat-in at the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Labor Day, and we'll be posting up more information on the event throughout the summer.

The Eat-Ins - potluck gatherings - will draw attention to the need for real, healthy food for the more than 30 million children who participate in the National School Lunch Program. The school lunch program is part of the Child Nutrition Act that Congress will reauthorize later this year.

The need for real school food has never been greater. Today, one in four children is overweight or obese, and one in three will develop diabetes in his or her lifetime. In the face of this crisis, our schools are financially struggling to feed children anything but the overly processed fast food that endangers their health. For many children, school lunch is their only guaranteed meal of the day. Right now, those children are forced to choose between going hungry and being unhealthy.

The Child Nutrition Act is a federal law that comes up for reauthorization in Congress every four to five years. It governs the National School Lunch Program, which sets the standard for the food that more than 30 million children eat every school day. In the last few decades, as school budgets have been cut, our nation's schools have struggled to serve children the real food they need.

The deadline for reauthorizing the current Child Nutrition Act is September 2009. Unless we speak up this summer, "business as usual" on Capitol Hill will let Congress pass a Child Nutrition Act that continues to fail our children.

If you cannot attend the Slow Food RI Eat-in, please be sure to sign the petition, contact your legislators to let them know healthy school lunches are important to you, and spread the word to your friends. If you'd like to organize your own Eat-in, information on coordinating Eat-ins is available here.

Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you at the Eat-in at Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Monday, September 7, 2009.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Renegade Lunch Lady

For those of you looking for some additional information on school lunches, Ann Cooper, "the renegade lunch lady" of Berkeley, California, speaks on school lunches in this video.

And check out pictures of actual school lunches here.

Please be sure to spread the word about Slow Food's Time for Lunch campaign to your friends, sign the petition if you haven't already, and contact your legislators to let them know why real food in schools is important to you.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

It’s Time for Lunch: Slow Food USA Pushes to Get Real Food into Schools

We are thrilled to announce that the Slow Food USA Time for Lunch Campaign is planning more than 100 Community Eat-Ins for National Day of Action on Labor Day, Monday, September 7, 2009.

Today, Slow Food USA launched Time for Lunch, a national campaign to tell Congress to provide America’s children with real food at school. One of the major milestones for the campaign will be orchestrating more than 100 Eat-Ins in communities across the country on Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. The Eat-Ins will draw attention to the need for real, healthy food for the more than 30 million children who participate in the National School Lunch Program. The program is part of the Child Nutrition Act that Congress will reauthorize later this year.

“The way we feed our kids is a reflection of our values. We cannot, in good conscience, continue to make our kids sick by feeding them cheap byproducts of an industrial food system,” stated Josh Viertel, president, Slow Food USA. “It is time to give kids real food: food that tastes good, is good for them, is good for the people who grow and prepare it, and is good for the planet.”

With nearly 32 percent of children ages 2 to 19 considered obese or overweight, and one-in-three born since 2000 in jeopardy of developing diabetes in his/her life time, providing schools with real food is a national priority.

The Time for Lunch campaign is asking people everywhere to contact their legislators and tell them to invest in the health of our children by allocating $1 more per day per child for lunch. The USDA currently reimburses schools $2.57 for each meal served to a student who qualified for free lunch – most of this covers labor, equipment and overhead costs – but less than $1 goes toward actual ingredients.

The campaign also seeks to protect against foods that put children at risk by establishing strong standards for all food sold at school, including food from vending machines and school fast food. Right now, children can buy overly processed “fast” foods from vending machines and on-campus stores that sneak under the radar of federal nutrition standards.

Lastly, the campaign is pushing for the government to provide mandatory funding to teach children healthy eating habits through innovative farm-to-school programs and school gardens.

To show your support, sign-on to our petition, read our platform for updating the National School Lunch Program, or for details on how to organize your own Eat-In on Labor Day, visit our web site at http://www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Michelle Obama speaks out on US food policy

During a White House garden event with children from the Bancroft School - the students who originally helped to plant the garden - Michelle Obama spoke about US food policy. For the full article, please visit www.obamafoodorama.com. Here is an excerpt from their article:
At an afternoon picnic at the White House, during a celebration of the harvest of the White House Kitchen Garden, Mrs. Obama delivered policy-heavy remarks that covered some of the most hot-button topics in food. While ostensibly addressing the Bancroft Elementary School fifth graders who’ve been helping her work in the garden, Mrs. Obama talked about food deserts, food security and food justice; getting more fresh and nutritious foods into the USDA’s Child Nutrition programs; the critical issue of reducing diet-related disease; supporting local and smaller food producers; encouraging urban and community gardening. Of course there was a big media presence at the harvest event, but most news outlets failed to report how very far-sighted Mrs. Obama’s remarks were, how potentially radical they are at a moment in time when everything about food is open to debate. Instead, mainstream media focused on the feel-good angle of the story, with headlines like It’s Pea Picking Time in The Garden! and Garden Party: The First Lady’s 73 Pounds of Lettuce.
This excerpt provides a great overview of her remarks, though we highly recommend reading the entire post for all of the encouraging details.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Long Pie Pumpkin

The Long Pie Pumpkin is one of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out varieties. It’s thought that the Long Pie Pumpkin originally came from the Isle of St. George in the Azores and was brought to Nantucket in 1832 on a whaling ship, where it was known as the Nantucket Pumpkin.

Farmers shared the seeds until it migrating north to Maine, and eventually became the favorite pie pumpkin of growers in Androscoggin County, Maine. Among heirloom enthusiasts, it is considered the best pumpkin for pie today. Which has us looking forward to its appearance on participating restaurant menus this fall.

Long Pie Pumpkins are long and thin, like overgrown orange zucchinis. They average 3 – 6 lbs, and often are not ready at harvest, for they are picked when the spot in contact with the ground is orange, but mature to a full‐orange in storage over several weeks or months. They are not ready to eat until fully orange.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Rhode Island CSAs with availability for 2009

This update comes from our friends at Farm Fresh Rhode Island's blog:

Each week during the summer months, farmers across Rhode Island put together a selection of whatever is at peak harvest. Hundreds of local families stop by the farms or designated pickup spots for that week’s slice of heaven, with flavors that are seasonally spontaneous and guaranteed to be delicious. The farmers benefit too. Normally, farmers must invest in seeds, equipment and months of labor before receiving even a penny for their harvest. But in Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) arrangements, customers pre-pay for the weekly pickups and that helps tremendously.

We surveyed CSA farms to find out which still had spaces available for 2009. We’ll continue to update this list until most CSAs begin (mid-June).

There are many CSA variations, some with work days on the farm, some that offer cheese, and seafood and still others that let customers choose from a market-style selection of produce.

Don't delay - get your spot reserved for 2009 and enjoy a steady supply of fresh, local produce and more!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Forellenschluss Lettuce

For those of you still interested in growing some of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out varieties in your own garden, it isn't too late to start Forellenschluss lettuce from seed.

Forellenschluss means “speckled like a trout” in German, which describes this tasty butterhead lettuce aptly. The thick, light green leaves have maroon speckles. Traceable to 1660 in Holland, this lettuce traveled through Germany until in 1790 it was first brought to Ontario, Canada, and then on to the US.

Forellenschluss has juicy, thick leaves and has been said to taste similar to watercress. It is mild flavored,and has a loose‐leaf romaine–type head.

Also good to know is that Forellenschluss lettuce holds well in summer heat.

In a mere 55 days, you could be enjoying your very own speckled-like-a-trout lettuce with over 340 years of history. Now that makes for some interesting dinner conversation, doesn't it?

Seeds are available at Seeds of Change, though seedpacks have also been spotted in Providence-area Whole Foods stores.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Southside Community Land Trust Annual Plant Sale May 16 & 17

Southside Community Land Trust's 17th Annual Plant Sale is taking place this weekend, May 16 and 17 at City Farm. Hours are from 10am - 2pm, with a special preview from 9am - 10am for Southside Community Land Trust members.

City Farm is located in South Providence at West Clifford and Dudley Streets. In addition to rare and unusual plants, including lots and lots of veggies, there will be live music, and you'll be helping support a great cause while filling your own garden with good food and interesting plants.


Monday, May 11, 2009

Tour of Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain, CT, June 6

From our friends at Slow Food Connecticut:

Save the date for a tour of Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain on Saturday, June 6.

It began in 1999 with a vision to create an inner-city organic farm to help save a neighborhood.

Next, came the challenge to clear trees, shrubs and weeds from 2 1/2 acres of land and 15,000 square feet of shattered greenhouses at an abandoned florist site.

Today, Urban Oaks Organic Farm is the first of its kind in the nation.

Owned by the non-profit Urban Oaks Community Development Corporation, Urban Oaks Organic Farm is dedicated to growing top-quality, certified organic fresh produce, year-round, for restaurants, specialty markets and our local community.

Urban Oaks Organic Farm specialties are salad greens, cooking greens, heirloom tomatoes and herbs. But they also grow sweet peppers, hot peppers, frying peppers, Italian and Asian eggplant, melons, cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and all the crops you’d expect in the summer in southern New England.

Lettuces, salad greens, kale, chard, spinach, collards, herbs and more are harvested year-round from their greenhouses.

Please check the Urban Oaks Organic Farm website for details as the date draws near.

urban-oaks-organic-farm-logo-color

Phone: 860-223-6200
email: urbanoaks@earthlink.net

Friday, May 8, 2009

East Coast Food and Wine Festival, June 27 & 28

This just in from our friends at Slow Food Central New Jersey:

Tickets are now on sale on-line for the East Coast Food & Wine Festival, held June 27 & 28 at Hopewell Valley Vineyards in Pennington, New Jersey. For the month of May, tickets on our website – www.slowfoodandwinefestival.com are just $30 for a one day pass, $50 for a two day pass. In June, these prices go up to $35 and $55. There are no added fees and you can print your tickets right at home. Pricing at the door the day of the event is $40 for a one day pass and $60 for a two day pass.

Tickets provide entry into the festival, into the multiple cooking demos and seminars, wine tasting, winery tours, parking, an engraved wine glass and more. A portion of the ticket price also goes to support Share Our Strength which works to eradicate childhood hunger. Food is available at a nominal fee.

The East Coast Food & Wine Festival features the best restaurants and the most celebrated professional wineries of the area. Attendees can sample dishes prepared with the season’s locally grown vegetables, fruits, seafood, chicken, meats and more dished up by some of the most exciting chefs in the State. Participating restaurants include Brother’s Moon, Hopewell; Catherine Lombardi, New Brunswick; High Street Grill, Mt Holly; Nomad Pizza, Hopewell; Stage Left, New Brunswick; Tre Piani, Princeton and more.

In addition, professional wineries from the State will be offering samples of hundreds of wines grown and produced nearby.

A popular feature of the Slow Food and Wine Festival is the Farmer’s Market, where attendees can purchase locally made cheeses, salami, organic produce, breads, honey, meats, seafood, gelato, flowers and much more -– all grown and/or produced in the Garden State -- to enjoy at the festival or to take home with them.

This year’s event includes nationally known chefs and wine experts including Michael Colameco, host of Colameco’s Food Show on PBS and Food Talk on WOR radio, author of the soon-to-be-released Food Lovers Guide to New York City; and teacher of Cooking 101 at the International Culinary Center in New York City. Michael will be speaking on Saturday as well as serving as Master of Ceremonies for the Cooking Demo & Seminar Tent that day.

Also on Saturday, Maureen Petrosky, wine expert on NBC’s TODAY Show, wine writer for New Jersey Life and author of the Wine Club will be speaking in the Wine Seminar tent. Attendees can also purchase her book at the event and have it signed.

On Sunday, George Taber, author of Judgment of Paris, will be on hand to discuss his book. George, who was a Paris-based reporter for Time magazine, was the only reporter present in 1976 at the blind wine tasting that set the wine world on its heels. In this Paris-based tasting, California wines beat the French wines, putting California wines on the map and changing the wine world forever. His book is now being made into a movie. Copies of his book will also be available at the festival.

Cooking demos will also be offered on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday, Kerry Dunnington, author of This Book Cooks, will be hosting a cooking demo as well as making copies of her book available for purchase. Additional speakers and chefs will be announced in the near future.

More information on this fun and informative weekend can be found at www.slowfoodandwinefestival.com. Here you can find information on lodging – including advance pricing, tickets, participating wineries and restaurants, seminar schedules and more.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Spring Dinner May 22 and 23 at Beehive Cafe, Bristol

The menu for this spring dinner at The Beehive Cafe in Bristol arrived in our in box and sounded like a lovely night out; in Bristol with a view of the harbor, a long communal table, byob, locally sourced food, and delicious coffee from our friends at New Harvest Coffee Roasters.

Chef Eli Dunne and owner Jen Cavallaro are planning two evenings of wonderful food on May 22 and May 23 at 7pm. It works like this. Each night they will accept 20 reservations. Seating will be at one long table upstairs at The Beehive. Details are on The Beehive website, click on Events.

Charge will be $65 for 5 courses and includes tax, tip, and corkage. Since there is only one seating for the night you will have the whole evening to enjoy the sunset, eat, chat, drink and relax over coffee. The idea here is that they take their time preparing the meal and you take your time eating it. Enjoying the pleasures of the table at a nice, slow pace. What a great idea!

MENU

Trio of Spring Soups

Scallops with Proscuitto di Parma and Local Pea SHoots

Braised Baby Lamb with spring vegetables and minted potatoes

Green Salad

New England Cheeses

Rhubarb Confit with Meyer Lemon Cream and Cardamom cookie

Coffee

If your restaurant has anything similar planned, please let us know by emailing us at slowfoodri@gmail.com and we'll do our best to get it posted. Likewise, if you are a producer or farmer, please let us know what you're up to - we'd love to share with the community!

Farmers Market in Bridgewater, MA

We just learned of the brand spanking new Farmers Market in Bridgewater - we're sure it will be a very welcome addition to the community. It was coordinated by Arthur Lizie of Bridgewater State University, a Slow Food USA Terra Madre delegate.

The farmers market is sponsored by the Bridgewater State College Center for Sustainability, and will be held in Bridgewater at the corner of Spring and Broad Streets (Route 18 by the railroad tracks), rain or shine on Tuesdays from 3:00-6:30 from July 21-October 27, 2009.

If you are interested in selling at the market, Amy Braga is the Market Manager, and she can be reached at 508-807-0147 or via email at amybraga@hotmail.com. If you want to find out how you can be a part of the market aside from becoming a vendor, please contact Amy or Arthur (alizie@bridgew.edu).

Happy farm fresh shopping!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Marfax Bean

According to the Fedco Seeds website, the Marfax Bean is ideally suited to cooler climates as it matures in 86 days, and is a delicious brown baking or soup bean.

It has been a New England favorite for generations, so if you have any stories of or recipes for Marfax Beans, please do share.

The Marfax Bean is one of the Renewing America's Food Traditions Grow-out varieties, so be on the look out for it this fall in restaurants and in farmers markets.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Slow Food RI welcomes City Farm to the RAFT Grow-out

Slow Food Rhode Island is happy to have Southside Community Land Trust's City Farm joining in the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out project.

City Farm is the original garden that launched Southside Community Land Trust.  It was founded on an abandoned lot that had been used as a chop shop for stolen cars.  In 1981, neighbors in this area joined together to form community gardens that evolved into Southside Community Land Trust, and now City Farm provides a space for children and adults alike to learn about sustainable growing practices.  

City Farm hosts a summer children's garden program, youth internships, fieldtrips, apprenticeships and public workshops in urban agriculture. Neighborhood children spend time at City Farm learning about gardening first-hand, including activities like feeding the hens, helping to weed, learning the names of plants, and picking and eating edible flowers, sweet cherry tomatoes, and delicious raspberries.   

City Farm is a 3/4 acre farm that supplies local farmers markets, groceries, restaurants, coffee shops and food pantries such as the Amos House, Food Not Bombs and the RI Food Bank, and this season.  They will add True Red Cranberry Beans and Boothby's Blonde Cucumber, two of the RAFT Grow-out varieties, to their list of crops this summer.  

Sunday, April 26, 2009

URI students collaborate with Slow Food Rhode Island and Kids First


University of Rhode Island students from the Animal Science Club and the Nutrition Club are working in conjunction with Slow Food Rhode Island and the Kids First Program based in Providence RI to promote biodiversity and local eating to grammar school students in Rhode Island.


The Animal Science Club worked with Becky Sartini, URI Animal Sciences Assistant Professor, on a fun, interactive session on the Rhode Island Red. The Fogarty Elementary School students learned about the differences between brown and white eggs, the origin of the Rhode Island Red, and choices chicken breeders make in breeding high producing hens. All of the children got to see the live Rhode Island Red chicken who was also visiting the classroom.


The Nutrition Club worked with Ingrid Lofgren, URI Nutrition and Food Sciences Assistant Professor, to introduce the students at Kent Heights Elementary School to the Rhode Island state fruit, the Rhode Island Greening apple. In addition to learning about the RI Greening, the Kent Heights students also learned about the benefits of eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Both clubs look forward to continuing their work with Slow Food Rhode Island and Kids First in the future.

posted by Ingrid and Becky

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Movie Night Wednesday, April 29: Black Gold

Slow Food RI and Farm Fresh RI are pleased to announce the showing of Black Gold, a documentary about the coffee industry, at Local 121, 121 Washington Street, Providence, Wednesday, April 29.

The coffee industry is an 80 billion dollar industry, but while consumers pay a high price for their lattes and cappuccinos, coffee farmers are paid so little that some may have to give up their coffee fields. Black Gold follows the General Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Co-operative Union, Tadesse Meskela, as he travels from Ethiopia to London and Seattle fighting to save the coffee farmers he works with from bankruptcy.

From the directors:

We decided to make BLACK GOLD after it was announced at the end of 2002 that Ethiopia was facing another famine. Twenty years earlier in 1984, people across the world had been motivated to respond to this crisis by giving aid.

The difference this time was that Ethiopian coffee farmers, known for producing some of the best quality coffee in the world, were also caught up in this new food crisis. Given that the global coffee industry was booming, making record profits for the largest multi-nationals, we felt that this was a story that had to be told - a story that could expose the exploitation in the coffee industry as well as highlight that the developing world want a fairer trading system rather than aid.


We are thrilled to have Rik Kleinfeldt of New Harvest Coffee Roasters speaking after the presentation of the movie. Rik has recently returned from Honduras and Colombia on a coffee sourcing trip and will share his experiences - as well as his delicious fair trade coffee - with us.

You can have a look at the Black Gold trailer by clicking here.

Local 121 will provide a buffet of locally-sourced food for $15 as well as a cash bar. Admission to the movie is free.

The room will open at 6pm and the (quite delicious, might we add!) buffet will be served starting at 6:15pm. The movie will start at 7pm.

Please RSVP to Local 121 at 401-274-2121.

We hope to see you at Local 121 on April 29!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Kansas bill HR 2121 disallows rbGH labeling

Last Friday, the Kansas legislature passed a law that disallows rbGH labeling on milk and milk products. By removing the requirement to label milk, consumers in Kansas will no longer be able to determine whether the product they are purchasing does or does not contain bovine growth hormone.

Civil Eats writes in their post on the bill, HR 2121: The required disclaimer would read: “the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has determined there are no significant differences between milk from cows that receive injections of the artificial hormone and milk from those that do not.” That statement is based on an 18-year-old FDA review; however, FDA’s own publications, as well as subsequent scientific studies have shown that there are significant differences, some of which may affect human health. The Kansas bill also goes against long-established Federal policy as outlined by the FDA in a July 27, 1994 letter to New York Department of Agriculture and Markets: “The bottom line is that a contextual statement is not required…and in no instance is the specific statement ‘No significant difference has been shown…’ required by FDA.”

Kansas Governor Kathleen Sebelius is President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services. She has the power to veto this bill before moving on to Washington, D.C.. Please take some time to read up on the bill at Food and Water Watch and Civil Eats, and please sign the petition urging Governor Sebelius to veto the bill here.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Stowell's Sweet Corn

Imagine corn seed spurring one to look more closely at who one considers a friend?

The original strain of Stowell's Sweet Corn was bred by Nathaniel Newman Stowell. Stowell was born May 16, 1793 in New Ipswich, Massachusetts. After years of refining the strain, Nathaniel sold two ears of seed for $4.00 to a friend who agreed to use it only for his private use. His "friend" then turned around and sold the seed for $20,000 and it was introduced to the seed trade in 1848. Could this friend not have split the profit? Or at the very least, paid him back the $4.00?

In any case, after 151 years, his variety is still the leading white variety for home gardens and market growers. Ears grow 8-9" long and have 14-20 rows of kernels, 1-2 ears per stalk, and will be yours to eat in just 80-100 days should you plant them in your own garden. If you would like to purchase seed, it is available at Seed Savers Exchange.

Otherwise, please be on the lookout for Stowell's Sweet Corn at farmers markets and restaurants around Rhode Island at harvest time.

Monday, March 30, 2009

H.R. 875

We encourage you to read up on H.R. 875, the Food Safety Modernization Bill of 2009. The Slow Food USA blog has posted an informative piece on the bill, and recommends that members and interested individuals research the bill, then contact their legislators to tell them how food safety proposals will impact the conservation, organic, and sustainable practices that make diversified, organic, and direct market producers different from agribusiness. However, Slow Food USA recommends that we resist the use of scare-mongering language regarding the bill.

Here are some resources to help learn more about the bill:

Food and Water Watch: a balanced review of the bill.

The bill is posted to the Library of Congress website and may be read in its entirety here.

http://capwiz.com/grassrootsnetroots/issues/bills/?bill=12878051

http://www.ccof.org/foodsafety.php

To contact your Congressperson, visit this website.

To contact your Senators, visit this website.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Winningstadt Cabbage

Having just had some boiled dinner for Saint Patrick's Day, cabbage should still be top of mind, right? Certainly if you'd like to plant some Winningstadt Cabbage, one of the Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT) Grow-out vegetables, now is a good time to order those seeds.

According to the Seed Savers Exchange website, the Winningstadt Cabbage was first listed in America by J. J. H. Gregory (do not miss Mr. Gregory's biography - it is fascinating.) & Sons of Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1866.

It is an upright and compact plant with a spread of 28-30". Thick firm leaves are dark bluish-green and distinctively waved. Extremely hard, pointed heads are 7-9" tall and 6-7" in diameter.

The Winningstadt Cabbage has a mild flavor and is an excellent keeper, so perhaps you can store it in your root cellar well enough that you can enjoy it in next year's Saint Patrick's Day boiled dinner. Or, perhaps you'd prefer it sauteed, or in coleslaw, or stuffed. However you like it, be sure to be on the lookout for it at farmers markets and Rhode Island Grow-out restaurants at harvest time.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Provenance Pathway

This idea from Australian condiment-maker Beerenberg deserves a quick mention - perhaps the concept will spread to the U.S., helping us track the path that our food travels.

Beerenberg has added a feature to their website whereby consumers can enter the bar code on the product they have purchased and trace its origins from "soil to shelf", complete with photos of the people who made the product, a product overview, and Google mapping to locate the farm where the primary ingredients originated.

For the full article, please visit Springwise's website.