Sunday, March 28, 2010

Broadway Brewery/Slow Food Beer Dinner April 18

Sunday early evening, April 18---—Save the date!

Slow Food Katy Trail and Broadway Brewery will celebrate the season with a Local Spring Food and Beer Dinner at the brewery.

Walker Claridge and his crew will cook up some delectable fresh greens, local meats and eggs to showcase all the wonderful food available to mid-Missourians in early spring. We'll also get a tour of the brewery and learn how beer is made "down under" Broadway.

Mark your calendars now. A menu and details for ordering tickets will be posted SOON!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Fed up with school lunch

Follow a Chicago teacher as she (he?) goes underground to eat, blog and photograph school lunch each day of 2010:

A few quotes from her (his?) profile:

What exactly is your school lunch project?
I'm eating school lunch just like the kids every day in 2010 to raise awareness about what students eat every day. My hope is that the US becomes more reflective about how the food children eat affects their well-being and success in school. I certainly do not speak for all school lunch programs, but from the comments I have been receiving, what I eat is fairly typical of what most students eat in our country.

What inspired you to do this?
I was disheartened by what I saw the kids eating at school. As I continue with the project and physically consume the lunches myself, I get even more upset.

Is this a publicity stunt?
I have nothing to gain from doing this project personally. I am just a regular person and I'm certainly not sophisticated enough to design some kind of "stunt."

Why are you anonymous? Don't you stand by your ideals?
I am anonymous because I want to protect my job and my identity. I like that I'm "un-googleable." Although I feel passionate about child nutrition, I believe that being anonymous is the best thing for my professional career. I really want to reveal more, but it's not safe for me personally.

Why is this important now?
The Child Nutrition Act is being debated in congress. It's important that people realize that funding for school lunches is vital to children's success in school and in life.

What's up with all the packaging?
The meals brought in frozen and heated up in large ovens. The containers are paper with plastic over the top. Microwaving is not allowed forschool lunch (from what I understand). There are no real dishes or cutlery. Ninety-five percent of food delivered to schools is frozen.

Where is the food made? Are there microwaves at the school?
I don't know where the food is made. I'm not going to name the company, but it's a very common school food vendor. There are no microwaves in the school's kitchen only large ovens. Microwaves are available to the staff in the teachers' lunchroom/staff lounge, but students do not have access to that space.

Do the children actually eat this food?
The kids only eat bits and pieces of the food offered to them. Sometimes the kids only eat the fruit or the hot dog or occasionally they don't eat any of it.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Order Your Patchwork Family Farms Easter Hams Today!!

By purchasing your holiday ham from Patchwork Family Farms, you will be supporting independent farm families whose livelihoods support their rural communities, who raise their hogs with great care and plenty of access to fresh air and sunshine and without the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics.

Your support of Patchwork Family farms also helps the Missouri Rural Crisis Center (MRCC), a committed and successful family farm organization that fights every day for policies that support America’s farm families, rural communities and a healthy environment.

Here are the ordering details from Patchwork:

Bone-In Holiday Ham
Our succulent, sugar-cured smoked hams sold on-the-bone in generous 15-18 lb portions. We pride ourselves in producing a gourmet ham that is lean and tender, using only the highest quality products and slow curing method.
PRICE: $75

Boneless Holiday Ham
If you love a juicy, easy to prepare ham with a sweet flavor and delicious smoked accent, choose our farm-fresh boneless ham. Each boneless ham is fully cooked and smoked, and weighs between 10-14 pounds.
PRICE: $65

Call Patchwork's office at 573.449.1336 by noon on Monday, March 29 with your order and we can deliver your ham anywhere in the U.S.

Or come on in to pick up your order and choose from a large selection of additional Patchwork products for your own holiday meal.

Please call ahead to have your order ready for pick-up or just stop by!

Orders can be picked up at our office between 9am and 5pm, Monday, March 29th-Thursday, April 1st or call to make other arrangements.

* Prices do not include Shipping and Handling (Shipping ranges between $15 and $20)

Patchwork prohibits the use of growth hormones, and hogs are not fed subtherapeutic antibiotics. Animals are raised in the open, having plenty of access to fresh air and sunshine. Producers use environmental responsibility with their growing practices.Every time you buy Patchwork products you directly support independent Missouri family farmers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

"Vegan Soul Kitchen" inspires Slow Food cook

I bought fresh mustard greens at Pierpont Farms over the weekend and wanted to do them justice while they were still fresh from the ground.

I'd been wanting to try a recipe I'd seen in Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen, which I added to my cookbook collection after I met the author in Milwaukee last fall. I was attending Will Allen's "Growing Food and Justice Conference" there, where Terry was one of the inspiring speakers. He also supervised the conference kitchen staff in cooking a dinner from his cookbook for conference attendees. Everything was delicious, and a real stunner was "Uncle Don's Double Mustard Greens and Roasted Yam Soup." I made it tonight and it was as delicious as I had remembered. A skillet of cornbread made from coarsely ground corn complemented perfectly.

Other recipes include:
Black-eyed pea fritters with hot pepper sauce, BBQ tempeh sandwich with carrot-cayenne coleslaw, Jamaican patties with sweet coconut-ginger creamed corn and Soul-on-ice pops.

If you're wanting to venture into vegan foods, but have been avoiding them because of perceived blandness, I heartily recommend this cookbook. Terry retains the heart and spirit of soul food, without forsaking flavor and fun. Each recipe is preceded by a song and/or film or book recommendation, as well.

Another bonus is that Terry is an eco chef and food-justice activist. He is a fellow of the Food and Society Policy Fellows Program, a national project of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
For the past 10 years he has worked to build a more just and sustainable food system and has used cooking as a tool to illuminate the intersections between poverty, structural racism, and food insecurity. His interest in cooking, farming, and community health stems from his childhood in Memphis, Tennessee, where his grandparents inspired him to grow, prepare and appreciate good food.

Did I mention he is also very easy on the eyes!

To learn more, visit:


New Obama program to bring healthy choices to food deserts

“We can create the best nutrition education and physical education programs in the world, but if dinner is something off of the shelf of a local gas station or convenience store, because there’s no grocery store nearby, all our best efforts are going to go to waste,” the First Lady said during a speech at Philadelphia’s Fairhill School on Feb. 19 to launch the Obama Administration’s new Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI).

Currently, the USDA estimates that 23.5 million Americans, including 6.5 million children live in “food deserts,” or economically distressed areas that are typically served by fast food restaurants and convenience stores offering little or no fresh produce.

“Food deserts,” which can now be identified using USDA’s new Food Environment Atlas, are one of the many results of the nation’s broken food system preventing individuals from making better choices and denying them the ability to vote with their forks. When an area lacks healthy, affordable food options, its inhabitants are prone to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

In order to achieve the Obama Administration’s goal of eliminating “food deserts” nationwide in the next seven years, the HFFI will fund a movement of bringing grocery stores and other healthy food retailers to underserved urban and rural communities across America. The effort will also include providing grocery stores on wheels for less densely populated areas, said Deputy Secretary of Agriculture Kathleen Merrigan during her “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” presentation at The New School Feb. 25.

The $400 million initiative, which will use a mix of federal tax credits, below-market rate loans, loan guarantees, and grants aimed to attract private sector capital, is being made possible through a partnership between the departments of Treasury, Agriculture and Health and Human Services.

Modeled after the Pennsylvania Fresh Food Financing Initiative (FFFI), the HFFI will ideally not only provide access to healthy food, but will also invest in communities by removing financing obstacles and operating barriers, as well as by creating living wage jobs and qualified work forces.

The Food Trust can perhaps be credited for inspiring the new national initiative. The Philadelphia-based nutrition education nonprofit, in conjunction with The Reinvestment Fund and the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, set out a decade ago to increase the number of food stores in underserved areas across the state through the FFFI. The effort was launched after a national study determined Philadelphia had the second lowest number of markets per capita out of all major cities in the country. Food Trust’s Web site states FFFI has helped finance 83 supermarket projects in 27 Pennsylvania counties since December 2009. The projects are expected to create or retain 5,000 jobs and more than 1.6 million square feet of food retail.

First Lady Michelle Obama praised the city and state in her remarks to the Fairhill crowd. “What you’ve clearly demonstrated here,” she said, “is that we can do what’s good for our businesses and our economy while doing what’s good for our kids and our families and our neighborhoods at the same time. We can do it all.