Currently Browsing: Friends of the fork

“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...

Jimmy Stewart, cults, and a lot of broken glass: Remembering Straus Family Creamery’s opening day

By Michael Straus Pictures from opening night at Straus Family Creamery, February 4, 1994. (That's me with the goatee.) Straus Family Creamery recently turned 17, and I started thinking back to those crazy times. In 1989, my older brother Albert, who’d been managing the farm and doing some pretty innovative...

Q&A with Michele Simon — activist, attorney, badass

It"s always fun to talk with someone who has such a sense of purpose that she doesn"t feel the need to make nice. Michele Simon is one of those people. Let me be clear: Simon, a public health attorney for the Marin Institute, and author of Appetite for Profit: How the Food Industry Undermines Our Health and...

Grow vacancies: Gene Fredericks is thinking inside the city’s big box

They're the bane of urban and suburban areas alike: the vacant, boarded-up K-Marts and Home Depot Expos, squatting like concrete cowpies amidst a landscape of weedy parking lots. But where most people see blight and a waste of space, San Francisco Bay Area entrepreneur Gene Fredericks sees opportunity: to...

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...

Q&A with John Scharffenberger: First wine, then chocolate, and now … tofu?

Before founding the chocolate company for which he became famous, John Scharffenberger made California sparkling wine. In both cases, he was one of the first Americans to find success in what had been a European-dominated market niche. (Fun fact: Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev used his bubbly to toast...

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...

Scorched pastures and lost birds at Soul Food Farm

The Bay Area's well-known, much-loved Soul Food Farm was devastated by a fire last night, I learned this morning from a heartbreaking email sent to friends by Soul Food's Alexis Koefoed. Alexis and I were in the middle of setting up a Community Supported Agriculture program for Soul Food's pastured chickens...

New book about high cost of a bargain, “Cheap,” lauds Wegmans

And what about those Swedish meatballs?: This provocatively titled review ("Why Ikea is as bad as Wal-Mart") of Ellen Ruppel Shell's new book, "Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture," isn't really about food, although one could argue that cheap food is the most obvious symptom of a toxic cycle of...

Fujimotos’ departure from Monterey Market a tough blow to local food chain

By Carol Ness Calling Bill and Judy Fujimoto's forced departure on Wednesday from Berkeley's Monterey Market — after two years of family dissension over their vision for the business — a tragedy isn't a stretch. For those who don't know it, Monterey Market is one of the pillars of the Bay Area food scene, a...

BAMCO backs Florida tomato pickers in fight for fair labor standards

Jane Black reports in the Washington Post that the gigantic U.S. food-service company Bon Appetit Management Company has partnered with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to take on Florida's shamelessly, and infamously abusive tomato growers in what we hope will be a very effective...

Digest – Features: Urban farmer, Brody on HFCS, swill shill

"If your goat is giving birth, it’s not like you can go to work": Friend o'Ethicurean Twilight Greenaway interviews Novella Carpenter, Oakland's most fearless backyard farmer and soon-to-be-author. (Culinate.com) E tu, Brody?: Well-known nutritionist Jane Brody writes about the difference between...

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