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For Labor Day: Farmworkers’ Rights Still in the Toilet

Cross-posted from the TEDxFruitvale blog. (Why? Read this.) Today is Labor Day, a time when most Americans think of barbecues and Mondays off, not so much the people who picked the potatoes in that salad and the peaches in the cobbler, or who slaughtered and processed the steer that became that hamburger....

“A beautiful bowl of glory”: Rancho Gordo’s Steve Sando on beans, trade, and the tortilla project

International trade can wreak havoc on small farmers and the global food culture: impoverishing peasants, destroying old ways of cooking, and reducing biodiversity.  Now and then, however, international trade can have the opposite effect, building up farmers instead of rolling over them, preserving heritage...

On the trademarking of ‘urban homesteading’: The Original Best Most Complete Post on the Subject™

By Mat Rogers, Director of Agrariana Language and terminology are an integral part of the food movement. Making distinctions between agricultural practices deemed vile and reprehensible, in favor of methods moral and healthful, is a critical organizing tool for activists. Thus the good-food lexicon is...

Life as a give-a-shit-atarian: On loving peas, beets, and Tom Robbins

Self-identification is one of those never-ending challenges that occupy humans. Even highly self-aware people seem to spend a lot of time defending and refining their self-definition. Last week, someone proposed that people who care about climate change be known as "climate hawks." There are the endless...

Cooking outside my comfort zone, Part 2: Fresh chickpeas

Last week, I vowed to escape my farmers market rut and cook outside my comfort zone in honor of National Farmers Market Week Aug 1-7. Farmers markets are spreading like (edible) weeds around the country. There were 5,279 as of 2009 by the USDA's count, up 13 percent from the previous year. The new figures...

Giving everyone a Grand (Opening, at Local Roots)

One year ago, the twelve of us who formed the steering committee of the Wooster Local Food Cooperative, Inc., held a public meeting at the Wayne County Public Library to share our ideas for a year-round local food market in downtown Wooster. Over the course of a very busy year, fraught with setbacks, mad...

Yes, we can… and we relish it!

Last Sunday, I started the day by catching up on email and blogs and stumbled through a link to a recent Slate article panning the art of canning. Deriding it as a "cultish hobby" loaded with "self-congratulation," author Sara Dickerman dismissed home food preservation (chiefly canning of gourmet preserves...

Ethicurean nominated for Treehugger Best of Green award!

The Ethicurean has been nominated for a TreeHugger.com Best of Green award, in the Food & Health category. The Best of Green Awards recognize "the people, companies and ideas doing the best in walking the sustainability walk within their respective fields," and the candidates are suggested by readers...

Saul’s got SOLE: The Jewish deli in Berkeley evolves

When it comes to comfort food — especially comfort food that is wrapped in "tradition" like the Jewish deli — change can cause a lot of discomfort. People want what they think will make them feel better. They want what they are used to eating, whether that means a chilled soup in the middle of winter,...

Cultivating community in Ohio: Local Roots crops get sweeter in winter

Three months have passed since my last update on Local Roots Market in Wooster, Ohio. Back then, were on the cusp of opening at last. What's happened in the meantime? A lot. Following the close of the Downtown Farmers Market at the end of October, Local Roots Market opened as an indoor farmers market on...

It takes a city to save a farm: How the Bay Area food and farming community helped Soul Food Farm recover from a devastating fire

I posted previously on Ethicurean (here and here) about the September fire at Soul Food Farm, a relatively new but well-known pillar of the Bay area food scene. The detailed account that follows will soon appear in Edible San Francisco, and while it recaps some of what I've written before, I post it here in...

Hatching plans to save Soul Food Farm

Thank you to everyone who's donated to the Soul Food Farm Fire Fund to date, and for all your supportive comments on my last post about the devastating blaze at the Vacaville chicken farm. Since I last wrote, I've gotten a blog installed and set up for the farm, and spoken to Alexis about what exactly the...

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