Cooking Up a Story has a 6-min video interview with Dan Imhoff (who wrote Food Fight, a book Slow Food USA is promoting around this issue) outlining the important connections between the modern Farm Bill and our food system at large.
For those of you who are familiar with Michael Pollan’s work, you will agree that he has truly insightful perspective on how humans have come to affect the food system we are a part of, for better or for worse. In the United States, one of the most powerful influences is the National Farm Bill, which is up for renewal this year. Slow Food USA has joined with other progressive groups to educate the public and ask citizens to put pressure on Congress to change the way farm subsidies are distributed. They have complied some excellent information on their website, including a sample letter to your senators and representatives, and encourage everyone to get involved…. Now back to Michael Pollen who has written a wonderful article summarizing how the Farm Bill has gotten so out of balance. This can be viewed on his website at michaelpollan.com. Check it out and if you haven’t read any of his books, you may decide to take a trip to you local bookstore for a copy of The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his most recent work.
Concerned about food in the schools and how kids learn to eat? Check out Chef Ann Cooper’s website Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children. This doesn’t look like the school lunch menu I remember, but if Cooper is successful, more school dining programs will feature delicious, healthy lunches and snacks made from whole foods. A former fine-dining chef, Cooper has worked in many school kitchens and is now trying to transform the food in the Berkeley (CA) Central School District. She is the author of several books on food and cooking. From her bio:
Chef Ann did not always serve food in a cafeteria line; she is the former executive chef of the Putney Inn in Vermont. But her commitment to healthy, fresh food drove her to work with school administrators, politicians and parents – the people with the power over school food – to guarantee that wholesome food choices are available to kids today and kids tomorrow. Chef Ann’s definition of a healthy school lunch extends beyond the French fries, processed chicken nuggets and syrupy fruit salad found on the average commodity-driven lunch menu approved by the National School Lunch Program. According to Chef Ann, we won’t have much hope for future generations of healthy kids unless we begin teaching them what good food really is – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that 35 percent of our children are overweight, which statistically predicts that children born in the year 2000 will be the first in our nation’s history to die at a younger age than their parents.
Blue Moon Market and Cafe at 8 Clifford St., Exeter, will celebrate 12 years in downtown Exeter as well as celebrate Earth Day, with a 12 percent discount on selected local, organic, and Earth-friendly products on Sunday, April 22. Slow Food will be there along with Seacoast Eat Local and other area sustainability groups. Drop by and say hi, and learn about the other special events are in the works, including a community clean-up, a new series of cooking classes, and something for the kids also. Visit: www.bluemoonmarket.net.
Our friends at Flag Hill Winery are presenting a delectable spring menu of Greek-inspired Easter dishes as part of their New England Regional Cuisine series! Chef Ted McCormack, a SFSeacoast member, says “After 40 days of fasting we’ll feed your hunger with a wine tasting, tour and a traditional Greek menu.”
Diners make reservations in advance and choose their favorite options for each course from a carefully composed menu including many locally and regionally sourced ingredients. This months’ starters include Avgolemono Soup (Chicken and rice flavored with lemon, egg and parsley), an
Appetizer Sampler of rice-stuffed grape leaves, lamb-stuffed zucchini, Kale-akopitapa and three-cheese pie; a Greek Salad of cucumbers, red onions, Kalamata olives, Maine grown tomatoes and Seal Cove Feta in garlic and herb vinaigrette. For entrees, choose from Spit Roasted Leg of Riverslea Farm Lamb (marinated in yogurt and herbs and cooked slowly over a charcoal open pit fire with roasted baby potatoes and grilled vegetables) Chicken Lemonato (chicken breast baked with lemon garlic sauce with carrots and leeks over rice pilaf), Sea Bass Spetsae (Atlantic Sea Bass baked with a fresh herb and garlic tomato sauce over olive and feta orzo), or Vegetable Moussaka (layered zucchini, eggplant, potatoes and spinach baked with garlic béchamel sauce)