Tag: organic

Weekly Link Roundup: Eating Maps, Grass-Fed Beef, Aquaponics and More.

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week. Lots of good stuff.

Most Fast-Food Per Person and Other Food Facts [Daily Yonder] – some cool maps of eating habits across the U.S.

How Eating Grass-Fed Beef Could Help Fight Climate Change [TIME] – that’s as self-explanatory a title as you can get.

Behind the Organic Pasture Rule at the USDA [Chewswise]  – a blog by the author of Organic, Inc.

The Great Grocery Smackdown [The Atlantic] – on buying organic at…Walmart? Plus a blind cookoff between Walmart and Whole Foods. Some interesting results…

The Spotless Garden [New York Times]  – a great article about backyard and basement aquaponics systems and the ‘otherworldly yields’ from this type of growing.   ‘It is either a glimpse into the future of food growing or a very strange hobby — possibly both.’

More photos and cool stuff here. All credits to NYTimes.

chicken coops, award-winning bread, and buffalo milk at the organic food festival

saturday was a pretty eventful day.  chris and i got up at 6am, hopped a train to sunny bristol, ran a Go Game at igfest, then jumped out of a plane and parachuted straight into the organic food festival. okay, that last part is entirely untrue. but we got asked about 20 times if we had skydived directly to bristol, clad as we were in our unbelievably attractive trademark orange jumpsuits while wandering around the largest organic showcase in europe.

entering the organic food festival

it was one of those magical instances where the forces of nature align at the precise moment to allow for our attendance at the festival.  not only did it happen to be in the right city at the exact time we were already traveling there for work, but the massive marketplace of food activities was situated about 20 feet from our game location. ridiculous. thanks to the organic foodie gods smiling upon us, we got to tour the many stalls of farmers, bakers, ice cream makers, olive oil producers, brewers, and so much more.  most importantly, we got to eat lot of stuff. delicious stuff. stuff like this clown smile of cheese from the bath soft cheese company.

the bath soft cheese company

i am going to make my way to Bath (pronounced bawwth) just to eat more of this cheese.  sadly i don’t remember the name, but i think it might just be the fantastically named Wyfe of Bath, described on their website as ’succulent and bouncy.’  ahahaha. are they taking the piss? did chaucer write their copy?  hilarious.

Read the full article »

To Free-Range or Not to Free-Range? The Transatlantic Egg Comparison

things have been pretty busy lately (everyday i’m hustling) so here’s a post i wrote a while ago for the sustainable food blog  eat.drink.better. interesting, if you care about chicken welfare, where your eggs are coming from, and bad egg puns. and if you don’t, you should! cluck cluck.

How do you like your eggs? The answer to that question used to be sunny side up, scrambled, or over easy. Now, it’s cage-free and organic, thank you very much.  Since I moved to London recently, I’ve noticed a greater level of public awareness regarding egg production and chicken welfare as compared to the United States.  Most supermarkets and chain restaurants, and even some giant multinational corporations, sell or use exclusively free-range eggs and prominently advertise doing so.

It’s certainly a big change from the United States, where cage-free eggs are generally available but are not as widespread in popularity as in the United Kingdom. It appears to be a slowly growing movement back at home, and it’s great news that some states have begun to pass laws improving living conditions for chickens. Unfortunately, we’ve still got a long way to go before reaching the level of public demand and corporate response for the right kind of eggs that can be found here in the UK.

Here are a few of the differences I’ve noticed with regard to egg production and marketing in the UK and the States.

Read the full article »

Organic or Local? Eat Both with this Apple Blueberry Honey Yogurt Ginger Tart

since moving to London, it’s been a bit challenging finding time to cook and furnish a kitchen while also trying to launch a business, not get hit by buses driving on the lefthand side of the street, and calculate military time (you’d think i’d be decent at subtraction having made it through the second grade, but hey, we can’t all be perfect). i still don’t own any measuring cups or baking tins and it also took me about twenty minutes to figure out how to turn on the stove. however, to prove i do actually cook and hopefully have some marginally useful things to say here, i’ve re-posted an article i originally wrote for eat.drink.better, a blog about sustainable eating and food production. this tart is made of tasty organic and local ingredients and can also be made dairy-free. woohoo! enjoy.

*****

Grocery shopping can be complicated when you’re trying to make ethical choices. You’re faced with a lot of difficult questions: Is it better to buy the organically grown blueberries trucked across the country from California or the conventionally grown apples from a local farm in Western Massachusetts? In my case, the more vexing question is ‘Why did you freaking move away from the organic AND local food paradise of San Francisco in the first place? But I digress.

Read the full article »

grilled cheese inspirations and a super fast tomato-chipotle soup

inspired by saturday’s grilled cheese invitational, my coworkers and i decided to make our own grilled cheese masterpieces at our today’s morning go game meeting.  one quick supermarket trip and one go game amex later, we had all the fixin’s for killer grilled cheeses and an easy sort-of-homemade tomato soup.

ok, rant warning:  i keep wanting to use the phrase ’semi-homemade’ but that conjures unpleasant visions of food network star and stepford-wife-clone-with-a-disturbingly-immobile-forehead sandra lee.  check out her website for some frightening recipes like this one for macaroni and cheese, which is essentially ‘make sponsored processed food item. add two more processed food items.  enjoy the chemicals!’.  every single recipe includes ’specially selected food items’ and ‘ready-made product’ brand names, which explains why she is launching a magazine when amazing ones like domino are shutting their doors. it’s because she is clearly choosing ingredients based on the corporate food conglomerate sponsors rather than what is healthy or tastes good. i appreciate the fact that she encourages people to cook rather than buy fast food, and that she encourages shortcuts to make people’s lives easier, but there are better ways to cook quick, easy, and cheap meals that are healthier for eaters, animals, producers, and the environment.  i’m certainly not perfect in this regard (see bright orange awesomeness below), but i try to make good choices when confronted by certain purchasing decisions, like in making the tomato-chipotle soup. i’ll try to give suggestions throughout this blog for how to avoid highly processed packaged foods in favor of fresher, healthier options, and i’d love to hear anyone else’s suggestions as well. alright, rant over.

wooo, got sidetracked there. back to grilled cheeeeeeese. erin and i brainstormed on our walk to the supermarket and then picked up more ideas based on what we saw at the store. sliced portobello mushrooms, avocados, tomatoes, and fresh basil for greenery. boursin spreadable cheese (secret ingredient of my friend kellin’s kickass GC) and orange cheddar for classic GC steez. grace baking olive bread and sourdough with wheat germ.  and a shitton of butter. we’re lucky that the 23rd and south van ness DeLano’s market has a good selection of organic foods and artisanal bread and everything except the ginormous brick of orange cheese (which had no ingredient list but was super cheap and nostalgically neon) was preservative free. partial ingredient lineup here:

ingredient-lineup

mmm you can practically see the ‘yellow 5 natural coloring’ reflecting back lovingly into your five-year-old eyes. as for the accompanying soup,  i actually had a huge can of classic campbell’s tomato in my basket when i decided to avoid its high fructose corn syrupiness if at all possible. so instead i picked up organic vegetable broth in a carton, a can of organic diced tomatoes, a can of tomato paste (ingredients: tomatoes!) and my new best friend, a can of chipotles in adobo. yes, it was more expensive, but nice to make your own, and hey, office supplies are deductible, right lisa? i tossed in the ends of the sliced tomatoes for texture and some of the fresh basil and it turned out pretty tastilicious. the veggie-riffic version of the sandwich below.

tggrilledcheese

respect to all the GCI competitors from this weekend – i knew their job was hard but straddling the delicate melt-yo-cheese-but-don’t-burn-yo-bread line is tough under pressure. but still…can’t leave cheese unmelted. thanks to erin for co-shopping and sous-cheffing, alli for dishwashing, lisa for okaying the above purchases, and finn, zach, and ian for eating. yay office lunches!