Friday Faves No. 170

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Grand Lake Farmers Market, Oakland, CA. Photo by Polished Brands.

Grand Lake Farmers Market, Oakland, CA. Photo by Polished Brands.

Investors urge food companies to shift from meat to plants "'The world's over reliance on factory farmed livestock to feed the growing global demand for protein is a recipe for a financial, social and environmental crisis,' said Jeremy Coller, founder of the FAIRR initiative and chief investment officer at private equity company Coller Capital." (Reuters)

Your phrase for the day "carbon confident" Greener pastures: the dairy farmers committed to sustainability. Biological farming, conservation planning and water recycling are part of a concerted push to make the milk industry more ‘carbon confident’ "The report says dairy farmers want to create “a carbon-confident industry” and various software has been created to help to calculate and reduce farm emissions. These include the dairy climate toolkit and the dairy greenhouse abatement strategies calculator." (Guardian)

A Dickensian headline on a situation that should not still be in 2016: Skipping Meals, Joining Gangs: How Teens Cope Without Enough Food At Home "Roughly 7 million children in the U.S. aged 10-17 struggle with hunger, according to one report, which examines teenage access to food. Dogged by hunger, teenagers may try a wide range of solutions, from asking friends for meals to bartering sex for food." (NPR/The Salt)

Is tech the answer to a streamlined restaurant experience, or just another distraction? Danny Meyer has found a use for the Apple Watch with his staff. "When Meyer’s 30-year-old Union Square Cafe reopens in Manhattan next month, every floor manager and sommelier will be wearing an Apple Watch. And when a VIP walks through the front door, someone orders a bottle of wine, a new table is seated, a guest waits too long to order her or his drink, or a menu item runs out, every manager will get an alert via the tiny computer attached to their wrist." (Eater)

Most concepts in food live or die by logistics. A peak behind the production to delivery curtain: How One Delivery-Only Service Makes Dinner Without a Restaurant  (Eater)

Friday Faves No. 168

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

image via Downeast Magazine

image via Downeast Magazine


In a central Maine warehouse, the fungus–loving partners of Cap N’ Stem are running Maine’s weirdest farm. And it's pretty cool. (Downeast)

We know about the terrible conditions that farmworkers can be subjected to, but did you know labor and human rights abuses are happening on fishing boats based out of US ports? "For many boat owners, the fishermen are a bargain: Bait and ice can cost more than crew salaries. Some of the men in Hawaii earn less than $5,000 for a full year. By contrast, the average pay for an American deckhand nationwide last year was $28,000, sometimes for jobs that last just a few months, according to government statistics. Experienced American crew members working in Alaska can make up to $80,000 a year." (Star Advertiser)

*By week's end Whole Foods had dropped fish from Hawaii. (Undercurrent)

'Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman': Conservation In America's Heartland A full radio hour on the challenges: the rancher, farmer, fisherman view of conserving our environmental future. (On Point)

Cultural appropriation, again. Why You Should Care About the Bon Appetit Pho Uproar "I think eating a delicious pho that satisfies you is more important than eating an authentic pho....But in addition to the quest for delicious, some other things matter too — like history and culture. Context matters, and sensitivity matters. When you’re talking about (and eating, and making) food, you’re dealing with the lifeblood of people. A lot of times, just giving credit — and if possible, some monetary sharing — to people you learned from is helpful." (Paste)

Cleaning the bay, oyster style:  NYC’s newest oyster bed is 50,000 mollusks and 5,000 old public school toilets. (Washington Post)

Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food The farm-to-institution market holds more power to benefit farmers and fisherman than any other local food market. (Civil Eats)

Making the old new again is always eco: How to refurbish a vintage cast iron skillet (Gear Patrol)

Friday Faves No. 166

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

image via the Guardian

image via the Guardian

Eyes are on Rio and all thing Olympics this week, including food coverage. 

Food trucks rescue shortfall of Olympic vendors, a sign of Rio scene on the rise "This embarrassment for the organizers has been welcomed as an opportunity by food truck owners, who have been conscripted to provide emergency reinforcement for the fixed kiosks at the Olympic Park." (Guardian)

You can cook your own Brazilian snacks, no waiting in line. Become an Expert on Brazilian Cuisine Right Now (Eater) and Seven Brazilian Foods to Know if You're Going to the Olympics (National Geographic, The Plate)

Chefs Serve Olympic Village's Surplus Food to Rio's Hungry Population "RefettoRio Gastromotiva, the project co-founded by Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Brazilian chef David Hertz, aims to 'offer food and dignity to people in situations of social vulnerability,' according to a statement released by the City of Rio, which is supporting the initiative by providing a building for the group to use in the city center." (ABC News)

Newsflash of 2016 — women can be real athletes, and farmers. The Female Farmer Project puts a bright face (and some great interviews) on the new demographics of farming. Women have always been there doing the hard work of raising our food, but now they're out front and getting credit too.

A great long read on the struggles of surviving in limbo. Inside the women-owned restaurants of Yida, South Sudan’s largest — and most tenuous — refugee settlement. (Eater)

Is That Real Tuna in Your Sushi? Now, a Way to Track That Fish Traceability software has been on the edges of the seafood industry for a while, so it's great to see it get more coverage. (New York Times)

Another app for seafood is restaurant driven. Pearl shows users detailed info on seafood being served in nearby restaurants. "Do you know what you're getting when you order, say, clams casino? Pearl demystifies the process, providing information and education on the taste, texture, nutrition facts, and sustainability of your seafood." (Crave)

Food tech might not be as hot as you thought. The meal delivery and grocery space is crowded, and investment is looking further back in the chain. "Soil and crop technology turned out to be the dark horse in the sector, nabbing $161 million in investment this year compared to just $41 million last year." (SF Biz Journal)

Friday Faves No. 142

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

An uni habit can make you more than broke — it can get you high. At least that's what we read on Munchies, along with this great photo, above. (Munchies)

Drought-Stricken California Farmers Look To Tap Urban Wastewater. California could be using two to three times more wastwater. However, "It's not the single silver bullet solution for agriculture. Agriculture is going to have to do a lot of things to adapt to a future of less water availability." (NPR)

Organic farms don't have the tiny carbon footprint they like to tout. But they could. "If you look at the USDA standards for organically produced goods, you will find that the soil management practices necessary to promote carbon sequestration are encouraged, but not required. Instead, the USDA uses its seal to create a ceiling and a floor for organic practices, allowing organic to be a profitable industry. It no longer matters, at least within conventional grocery markets, if one farmer’s organic standards result in higher green house gas emissions than another because, in the eyes of the consumer at, say, Whole Foods, they are the same. But the Earth’s climate will definitely know the difference." (Guardian)

A Renaissance painting reveals how breeding changed watermelons. If you're curious about the fruit and vegetables of the past, hit the art museum. (Vox)

Can Craft Beer Truly Express a Sense of Place? Many of the ingredients used in craft beer are produced at an industrial scale and traded as commodities, but "there are a number of experimental breweries that are gathering yeast from their region and isolating it for the purpose of creating beer that better reflects its place." (PUNCH)

The drive-thru grocery store is happening, thanks to Amazon. "The e-commerce giant is developing a new drive-up store concept in Silicon Valley that will allow consumers to order grocery items online, then schedule a pickup at a dedicated facility, according to industry sources familiar with Amazon’s plans. If confirmed, the project could signal a new distribution strategy for Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, while adding an additional threat to a grocery industry already in the throes of change." (Biz Journals via Specialty Food News)

Friday Faves No. 138

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

This Morbid Artist Serves Her Cake with a Side of Death (like above, and much more through the link made from chocolate) "The chocolate project came about as kind of a natural progression of having switched to an edible medium,” de Vetten explains. “I was reading Dr. Paul Koudounaris’ book Empire of Death and was marveling once again at the painted skulls displayed in the Ossuary of St. Michael in Halstatt, Austria, and it occurred to me that I could make myself one, in chocolate. I hadn’t really thought about if that would be something my customers would want or aimed at selling. It was just something I wanted to own and as I couldn’t have a real one I made one from chocolate."  (Munchies)

Astoundingly Realistic Candy Animals Skillfully Crafted Using the Traditional Japanese Art of Amezaiku gives a cuter version of sugar art. (Laughing Squid)

Why your next food porn will come from Ethiopia Really, it's about time. (CNN) 

The All-Stars of Stadium Snacks From the best pie in English football to Baltimore’s crab cakes, we serve up the tastiest game-day grub (Mr. Porter)

'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon with Barry Estabrook Good commentary, but not an easy listen. (NPR)

As if you didn't already know that kombucha was up to no good; it's now part of an LA cult bust. (Jezebel)

Is it aliens, or is your microwave talking to you? At one observatory in Australia they were. Rogue Microwave Ovens Are the Culprits Behind Mysterious Radio Signals (National Geographic)

Decaying City Just Wants To Skip To Part Where It Gets Revitalized Restaurant Scene “Sure, we’ll eventually see lobster roll stands and high-end noodle bars popping up on every corner, but that could take years or even decades. Let’s just skim over all the gang turf disputes and burnt-out streetlights and go straight to blocks lined with stores specializing in key lime pies, locally sourced butcher shops, and gourmet empanada places. That honestly seems like the way to go.” (The Onion)

Friday Faves No. 115

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun Those suckers would make some serious golabki, aka Polish cabbage rolls. (NPR)

We've been fans of Scotland for a while, so it's great to see the country's food scene getting some attention from US media. You can check out foodie Scotland in the 36 hrs in Glasgow  with video and a review of the Raeburn in Edinburgh and its "modern Scottish locavore cuisine."  (New York Times) And of course there was this great article, Haggis Redux, that argues that "a new generation of chefs is taking the stodge out of Scottish cuisine, while paying proper respect to tradition." (Food Arts)

US-produced camel milk is hitting the mainstream. It's now on sale at Whole Foods. "Camel milk advocates reference studies demonstrating that the anti-inflammatory beverage will soothe symptoms of Crohn’s disease, IBS and diabetes thanks to its low sugar content and high levels of protein and vitamin C."  (Modern Farmer)

As the value of the world’s top fine wines continues to decline, investors are increasingly turning to rare single malt Scotch and Japanese whisky instead. (Drinks Business)

Musical farming: As we approach the end of summer, even cattle like a free outdoor concert, like in this video of unconventional herding.

Friday Faves No. 113

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Fast Love: You wanna super-size that? In Hong Kong, McDonald's is now a wedding venue. They will even make you a dress out of either red or white balloons. Other optional swag includes a crystal McDonald's replica. A quick Google search reveals that this is actually a thing that goes beyond Hong Kong.

In a major quality of life step, a French Hospital Opens a Wine Bar for Dying Patients (Jezebel)

Beyond basic wine pairing, Krug Champagne called on artists to pair songs with their wines.  (Luxury Daily)

Please don't market your food products like this China, peaches and underwear go horribly wrong... (Jezebel)

In other fast food news, McDonald’s Canada expands seafood offerings to include an Asian Crispy Shrimp Signature McWrap. Why not an Asian Carp McWrap that would help clean out our Midwestern waterways? The chain is legend for getting people to eat "underutilized protein sources." Just look inside a chicken nugget if you doubt that. (Seafood Source)

From Boulder, Colorado to Ho Chi Minh city, the revolution will be brewed “There’s the potential in that part of the world to introduce them to craft beer. We go over there and we’re not just selling our brand, we have to sell an entire style of beer. There will be a lot of focus on education, promoting craft beer in general, the use of higher-quality ingredients and traditional processes.” (Drinks Business)

Raising Sustainable, Grass-Fed Beef? There Is, Of Course, Even An App For That (Fast Company)

All parents want to instill good values in their children. Some are even concerned about their future lives as gourmandes. Writes Maurice Dimarino on his wine blog: "I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I did, getting drunk from Coors and Mickey’s Big Mouth. I want them to have class and drink something they will enjoy and not get wasted. Parenting is difficult and I must commend myself for being forward thinking and watching out for the things most parents don’t think about or try to ignore." It's never too early to start talking to your kids about Riesling.

Friday Faves No. 103

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Literature for lunch: Chipotle Cups Will Now Feature Stories by Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, and other Authors. Literati are in a bunge, but who says art can't be accessible? The Poetry in Motion subway series delighted commuters for years.(Vanity Fair)

Webster added 3 new food words to the dictionary. New culinary terms include pho ("a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles"), turducken ("a boneless chicken stuffed into a boneless duck stuffed into a boneless turkey"), and the Canadian favorite poutine ("a dish of French fries covered with brown gravy and cheese curds").

Chef Dan Barber covers What Farm to Table Got Wrong: eat your beans and grains. "In celebrating the All-Stars of the farmers’ market — asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, emmer wheat — farm-to-table advocates are often guilty of ignoring a whole class of humbler crops that are required to produce the most delicious food." (New York Times)

You can get this message, plus a longer conversation with Dan Barber in this radio interview. (WNYC/ Leonard Lopate Show)

The terrifying new McDonald's mascot – and other creepy corporate monsters (Guardian)

Again, science proves what we all know is true: ‘beer goggles’ exist. (Drinks Business)

Help Wanted: S.F. Restaurants Using New Incentives to Attract Kitchen Talent "Simply put: Fewer people want to start at the bottom, so they're getting into the business with a food truck or pop-up and bypassing the restaurant hierarchy." (SF Weekly)

A portrait of the rare and dangerous in Spain: Scraping for Sea Delicacy, and a Meager Living  (New York Times)

Friday Faves No. 98

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Supermarket by Karl Lagerfeld: Chanel's Fall-Winter Show Took Place in a High-Fashion Supermarket where even the baskets and mayonnaise jars were redesigned. (The Coveteur)

Chanel supermarket.png

US supermarkets say ‘no’ to GM salmon "According to Friend of the Earth, the total number of companies committed to not sell genetically engineered salmon now stands at more than 60 retailers, including Target, Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Aldi, H-E-B, Meijer, Hy-Vee, Marsh, Giant Eagle, and now Safeway and Kroger, representing more than 9,000 grocery stores across the country." (Seafood Source)

What the new US serving sizes really mean – in pictures  (Guardian)

Coming Soon To A Wine Near You: Ancient Amphorae Oregon potters turned winemakers are experimenting with the ancient technique (Forbes)

Is Wall Street Eyeing America’s Farmland? And should we be concerned about that?  (Modern Farmer)

Frank Zappa give wine pimples:Grapevine bacteria named after Frank Zappa “This is the first time it’s been found that a microorganism can switch from a human to a plant.” (Drinks Business)

They disappear fast enough from our cabinets, but if you find yourself with a surplus, here's 13 ways to use all those Girl Scout Cookies (LA Times)

Friday Faves No. 95

our favorite finds from the front lines of food


Camel Milk Cheese? Why not. ''We have a rich culture of [consuming] fresh camel milk so the cheese could be a way of adding value to the product and valorizing pastoral cultures.'' (Fine Dining Lovers)

The Seeds of a New Generation  Some Midwestern farmers who have been growing feed corn exclusively are switching over acreage to fruit and vegetables, and increased demand for local produce is making it possible. "While an acre of corn is projected to net average farmers $284 this year after expenses, and just $34 if they rent the land, as is common, an apple orchard on that same acre will make $2,000 or more, according to crop analysts. A sophisticated vegetable operation using the popular plastic covers called high tunnels, which increase yields and extend the growing season, can push that figure as high as $100,000. Until recently, farmers in the nation’s heartland could only dream about such profits because there were so few ways to sell their produce locally." And did you know the Department of Defense is helping with DoD Fresh?  We sure didn't. (New York Times)

Georgian chocolate-making kitchen uncovered at Hampton Court Palace "Chocolate was an expensive luxury. Having your own chocolate maker, chocolate kitchen and chocolate room filled with precious porcelain and silver – all this, just for chocolate  – was the last word in elegance and decadence." (History Extra, BBC)

Tweet For Your Supper—And Handbag: Brands, Customers, And The New "Social Currency" What is the value of a tweet? And will kick backs devalue that? (Fast company)

With lobsters in mind, legislator proposes ban on some pesticides “Too many Mainers’ livelihoods depend on having a healthy lobster population not to act.” (Bangor Daily News)

California Is So Dry, Some Diners Won't Get Water Unless They Ask  "The entire idea of 'auto-items' is a huge generator of waste in North American restaurants, and it is often associated with 'good service,' " (NPR)

Women chefs, not just a cute side dish: "They are chefs. Not sexy chefs. Not cool chefs. Just chefs. They should be respected for what they do, and the mass media should be challenged to diversify its coverage of the food industry and when it talks about women, do it in a way that honors their work not their looks." (Foodie Underground)

Friday Faves: notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 88

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 85

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • Singing the praises of masa, from pupusas (above, from a NYT slide show) to arepas and tortillas. "Without the tortilla, there is no taco. And, as the Mexican saying goes: Sin maíz, no hay país. Without corn, there is no country." (New York Times)
  •  An OpEd on how states can help Keep Farmland for Farmers by the founders of the National Young Farmers Coalition highlighted the difficulty faced by farmland turning into second homes for the wealthy. "Easements are intended to protect farmland, water, animal habitat, historic sites and scenic views, and so they are successful in keeping farms from becoming malls and subdivisions. But they don’t stop Wall Street bankers from turning them into private getaways, with price tags to of the land trusts that oversee these conservation easements have seen protected land go out of production. Why? A nonfarmer had bought it." (New York Times)
  • In Scotland two of our favorite industries are joining together to turn the byproduct of whisky into salmon feed. “Distillery effluent can be damaging, but also contains potentially valuable nutrients and micronutrients. The waste can also be used to produce a microbial biomass which has the potential to be a cheap and sustainable source of protein-rich feed." (Food Magazine)
  • Marcella Hazan, teacher, cookbook author and guide to Italian cooking for scores of Americans, died this week at 89. Her New York Times obituary quoted her husband on her notoriously strident style: "'A lot of people had encounters with her because she knew in her mind, in her heart, exactly how things were supposed to be,” Mr. Hazan said on Sunday. “That is what made her cooking great. Marcella wasn’t easy, but she was true. She made no compromises with herself with her work or with her people.'” (New York Times)
  • Ever want a taste of that cake you're bringing to a party later but can't think of a way to cover up where you snuck a taste? Of course you do. The solution to that dilemma has been found in the Nibble, a cake pan with a tiny sidecar for sampling. (Laughing Squid)


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 82

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • The New York Times is running a series of articles called Leaving the Land: Picking Death Over Eviction. The series looks at how "China’s government-driven effort to push the population to towns and cities is reshaping a nation that for millenniums has been defined by its rural life." (New York Times)
  • 2014 has been declaered the International Year of Family Farming by the United Nations. "Supporting the success of family farms—and increasing the incomes of family farmers—will significantly raise the overall standard of living. Research from Oxfam shows that investing in small farmers also creates a ‘multiplier’ effect that extends beyond the farming sector — farmers spend a big share of their income in other sectors, including construction, infrastructure, and manufacturing."(Dawn)
  • An exploration on whether we all, at least people living in rural areas, should take a look at eating roadkill as an ethical meet. "If the roadkill is fresh, perhaps hit on a cold day and ideally a large animal, it is as safe as any game. Plus, not eating roadkill is intensely wasteful: last year, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company estimated that some 1,232,000 deer were hit by cars in the United States. Now imagine that only a third of that meat could be salvaged. That’d be about 20 million pounds of free-range venison, perhaps not much compared to the 23 billion pounds of beef produced in the U.S. in 2011 but significant." (Modern Farmer)


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 79

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • We're so excited about this retail-focused photo shoot (above) we did for a client, that we had to share. The full gallery is on our site.
  • Sure, it's a bit gossipy, but Eater's Airing of Grievances, Parts One and Two is hard to resist. New York food writers dish on both the new and established, from David Chang, to Le Bernardin and Cronuts. Preach. (Eater)
  • Food columnist Mark Bittman braved locavore wrath by stepping out to say that Not All Industrial Food Is Evil, like canned tomatoes, for example. "The issue is paying enough for food so that everything involved in producing it — land, water, energy and labor — is treated well. And since sustainability is a journey, progress is essential. It would be foolish to assert that we’re anywhere near the destination, but there is progress — even in those areas appropriately called 'industrial.'” (New York Times)
  • It's hard to pass up a headline like Sommelier turns water into cash. The 43-page water tasting menu at Ray's and Stark Bar located in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art sounds a bit more like performance art than an epicurean experience, but it wouldn't be the fist wacky idea from LA (see avocado beer). And then there are great phrases, like how one comes to "drink water professionally" and the new branded water Beverly Hills 90H20. (CNN)

A Visit to Long Meadow Ranch

Long Meadow Ranch, an organic farm in the Napa Valley, graciously hosted us for an in-depth tour of the property and a great discussion of food and food systems in California and beyond. 

The world Long Meadow Ranch has created is an inspiration and a beautiful example of what can be done when dedication, ideals and resources are brought together. 

They maintain over 650 acres with a mix of gardens, orchards, vineyard, olive groves and pasture land for their herd of Highland cattle (the largest in North America). They make their own wines, press their own olive oil and run the restaurant Farmstead where you can taste everything they produce.

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 77

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • Sushi Cat Island (above, full video here), courtesy of Japan. Sometimes, it doesn't help to ask why. The world, and internet videos, are mysterious.
  • Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil "'When I learned about it, that style of grazing, the basis was everybody was producing more grass," said Andrews, a fifth-generation cattle rancher in eastern Colorado. "It's hard, as a producer, to argue with more grass. Because we never have enough grass.'" (NPR)
  • The trailer for A Year in Burgundy (a documentary film on Burgundy winemakers that Polish has done publicity and promotion for) has been viewed 11,000 times by people in 128 countries. Have you seen it yet?


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 71

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food


  • Food advertising jazz age-style (above) with a 1929 promotion for Runnymede eggs served aboard the Graf Zeppelin (found on the great vintage image site Retronaut).
  • Farm Free or Die!  Maine Towns Rebel AGainst Food Rules "Local food activists don't want to eliminate regulation; they just want to self-regulate at the community level among people who know and trust each other." Similar efforts are happening in the UK “Food and farming aren’t just about market economics and just getting people calories in their body; it’s got this huge social and cultural dimension to it.
  • Counterfeit Food More Widespread Than Suspected "Investigators have uncovered thousands of frauds, raising fresh questions about regulatory oversight as criminals offer bargain-hunting shoppers cheap versions of everyday products, including counterfeit chocolate and adulterated olive oil, Jacob’s Creek wine and even Bollinger Champagne. As the horse meat scandal showed, even legitimate companies can be overtaken by the murky world of food fraud."
  • Food Entrepreneur Is A New Breed Of Afghan Business Owner  "I'm very optimist for after 2014, because 10 years ago, woman were not able to work outside of home, especially during the Taliban regime. And right now, we can see lots of the women, that they have their own business. And also, we can see lots of change."


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 68

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food



  • Newcastle Libraries has posted a cache of UK historical images, like the fishing photos above, to Flickr. Pictured above: At left, a studio portrait of a Fisherman from Cullercoats taken c.1890. The man is wearing a waterproof coat souwester and cork life-jacket. At right, an 1897 studio portrait of Maggie Brown a Fishwife from Cullercoats. Maggie Brown is wearing her 'best' clothes which include a printed cotton or silk blouse with matching apron. A silk square is worn to fill the neckline of her blouse.
  • Some forgotten foods of the UK (from cookies to sheep) are making a come back with help from Slow Food UK's Chefs Alliance. Says Carina Contini, of Centotre in Edinburgh: “The special ingredient is always the story. Understanding where ingredients come from and how they got there allows us to connect with our environment and food chain and we love sharing this knowledge with our customers.” 
  • On U.S. farms, women are taking the reins says a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. Many are career-changers looking for a different kind of life and a way to make a difference. “We are seeing more beginning farmers coming in and I think the trend is going to continue. Women are [already] outnumbering men in owning smaller farms.”
  • Detroit's Urban Agriculture Ordinance that passed on April 15 has opened the city for urban aquaponics. Two new facilities are underway for tilapia, catfish and blue gill — although the finer points of regulation still have to be worked out. "The city is in the process of coming up with a process,” for approving fish farms, says Kathryn Underwood of the City Planning Commission. “We don't even have all of the forms quite in place yet for all of things that need to happen. We're riding a bike and building it at the same time.”


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 65

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food


  • Discover global cuisine through the kitchens of grandmothers with this excellent photojournalism project Delicatessen with love by Gabriele Galimberti. Each photo features a  grandmother with her signature dish as both ingredients and finished product. At right, grandmothers from Egypt, Haiti and Latvia.
  • The GM food debate gets even uglier as Monsanto threatens to sue the state of Vermont. "Lawmakers in Vermont are looking to regulate food labels so customers can know which products are made from genetically modified crops, but agricultural giants Monsanto say they will sue if the state follows through."
  • Luxury food producers take note and come up with ways that you can take advantage of this style. Jaeger-LeCoultre tempts female consumers with emotional marketing, and they do a great job of it. “'Jaeger-LeCoultre’s strategy behind this campaign is connecting with their target market’s emotions on various events and occurrences that happen throughout their life, and focusing on the positive perspective that they can continuously reinvent themselves,' Ms. Strum said." Notice that nothing is said about watches in the full two minutes.



Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 60

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • And just to prove that it doesn't have to be that way, The New Pork Gospel is a loving profile by Barry Estabrook of Russ Kremer, the pig farmer that inspired Chipotle's commercial in praise of small pork producers.
  • The Beastie Boys' Mike D Runs a Free Food Truck in the Rockaway neighborhood of New York City, helping out residents hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy.
  • For your weekend reading pleasure, we've found a new favorite food journal find in London-based The Gourmand. And it doesn't hurt that their logo looks a bit like the Pork Fairy.
  • We will leave you with a few words of wisdom from Chef Thomas Keller on why it's desire and not passion that make the best cooks. "It’s not about passion. Passion is something that we tend to overemphasize, that we certainly place too much importance on. Passion ebbs and flows. To me, it’s about desire. If you have constant, unwavering desire to be a cook, then you’ll be a great cook...(more)"