'locavores' on Serious Eats

Locavore 2.0: A More Social iPhone Application for Local Food Shopping

Buster Benson of one-man company Enjoymentland launched his iPhone app Locavore 1.0 earlier this year and has already come out with a second version. In his own words, Locavore 1.0 "told you what’s in season, what’s coming into season soon, and where nearby farmers' markets are located,” while 2.0 “does all of that and also lets you be social about it.” As the app loads, the screen reads, “now rolling up to the market,” which I found pretty cute. The screen then fills with a more or less accurate list of fruits and veggies in season, accompanied by confusing but pretty rainbow-colored pie chart symbols. Then there's the tab that “lets you be social about it,” where you can read... More

In Videos: Michael Pollan on 'The Colbert Report'

Michael Pollan, author of In Defense of Food, was on The Colbert Report last night. Colbert welcomed him with Sierra Mist soda, which definitely doesn't make Pollan's five-ingredients-or-less rule for virtuous foods. But Pollan politely took a sip and argued that he can still be American while avoiding American cheese (and other synthetic foods). For example, he encourages all parents to go the breast milk route, except we learn, thanks to a Mrs. Pollan in the audience, that he was not breast fed himself! Scandal. The interview, after the jump.... More

Suburban KC-area Man Fights Neighbors Over Backyard Chicken Coop

Photograph from Carol Mitchell on Flickr I grew up in Kansas City, a city that some folks here in my current place of residence view as hicksville. (It's not.) So I love what Fat City blogger Owen Morris has to say about an Overland Park, Kansas, man whose neighbors are giving him (chicken)s**t about his chicken coop: "This means Kansas City is on the cutting edge, not stuck in the rural past."... More

Two Sides of the Same Coin

Photographs: Wikimedia Commons, Washington Post Two items out of Sustainorgania are making the rounds on the food sites today. The first, more attention-grabbing one, on The Atlantic Food Channel, has Bill and Nicolette Hahn Niman (of Niman Ranch fame) calling on the Obamas to become chicken farmers. "The idea may sound far fetched, but is it, really? At the dawn of the 20th century, chickens were literally everywhere." The Bay Area ranchers would like to see "a flock of egg-laying hens for the White House grounds." This comes, of course, on the heels of the news about the new White House vegetable garden. As Eater cleverly put it, "Give those locavores an inch and they'll take a mile.... Also... More

Alice Waters Proposes New School Lunch Program

Photograph from bookgrl on Flickr In November, locavore food activist Alice Waters wrote an open letter to the Obama family, urging them to chose a progressive White House chef that would prioritize health and environmentalism. She also slipped in a line about her continued dream of a White House veggie garden. Now, in a New York Times op-ed piece, she's asking the current administration to reassess the National School Lunch Program, launched in 1946: We need to scrap the current system and start from scratch. Washington needs to give schools enough money to cook and serve unprocessed foods that are produced without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. When possible, these foods should be locally grown.How much would it cost to... More

Sarah Palin: Locavore

"And if you look twice at the reasons why Palin hunts, they resemble an ideal cherished by city-dwelling, New York Times-reading folks. Sarah Palin is a locavore, harvesting meat from her local 'foodshed.'" [Slate, via Eater L.A.]... More

Is Locavorism Practical Where You Live? Freaknomics States the Obvious

The Freakonomics folks are stirring up the anti-locavore pot once again, this time with a guest post by James McWilliams, a historian and the author of the forthcoming book Just Food. The thrust of McWilliams' argument is this: In many regions of the country it makes no economic, environmental, or eating sense to adopt a locavore diet, because the climate or the land itself doesn't lend itself to locavore practices. There is no news here. Locavorism taken to its illogical extreme in places with short growing seasons (like New York and the entire northeastern U.S.) is neither practical nor desirable unless: 1. We are willing to eat only canned, preserved, and frozen vegetables eight months of the year 2. We... More

Eating Locally Without the Labor

MyFarm brings the dirt (and locally grown food) to you! Photograph from MyFarm's Picasa gallery Want to grow food in your backyard without getting your hands dirty? Just hire someone else to do it for you! The New York Times covers services catering to "lazy locavores," including personal vegetable gardening from MyFarm in San Francisco, locally grown mail-order meals from Three Stone Hearth in Berkeley, and locally grown fruit deliveries to your office from The Fruitguys. If you do like getting your hands dirty by gardening or cooking, maybe this is your chance to start a new locavore-friendly business. Related Food Words for Thought: 'Locavore' as 2007's Word of the Year I Took the Locavore Challenge (Sort of)... More

Do We Really Need a Few Billion More Locavores?

In a typically provocative and thoughtful post, New York Times' Freakonomics blog contributor Stephen Dubner poses the above-mentioned question after he finishes making "three scoops of orange sherbet" at a cost of $12 to X-many hours. He tries to fathom whether it really is more environmentally sound for the whole world to grow our own food or eat only locally grown and raised food. To find the answer, he seeks out locavore guru Michael Pollan, but to no avail. Dubner persists and arrives at a surprising and ultimately flawed conclusion.... More

Seasonal Ingredient Map

Epicurious has created a handy, interactive map of seasonal produce by state. Select a month, hover over a state, and a list of in-season ingredients is displayed with links to the ingredient descriptions and recipes.... More

Food Words for Thought: 'Locavore' as 2007's Word of the Year

Brian Halweil of Edible Communities and editor of Edible East End checks with ... a word or two. Local squash at New York City's Union Square Greenmarket. You may not have heard that "locavore"—a person who feeds mostly on food grown or caught or gathered nearby—was named word of 2007 by the good people at the New Oxford American Dictionary. But at a time when many Americans have already capitulated on diet-related resolutions—both Weight Watchers and Special K retained major billboards in Times Square as the ball dropped—there is no doubt that our eating habits have turned a corner. It was just three years ago that Jessica Prentice, a San Francisco woman, decided to eat only food originating within 100... More

Hunters Were the First Locavores

Image from iStockphoto.com A terrific, provocative op-ed piece in the New York Times today argues that hunters were locavores before anyone had coined the term. Writer Steven Rinella, author of The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine, is an avid hunter and, apparently, a serious environmentalist as well: While many people will never give up their opposition to killing Bambi, others may change their minds when they realize that destroying a deer's reproductive abilities or relying on the automobile for population control is really no less wasteful than tossing fresh produce into a landfill....Hunters need to push a new public image based on deeper traditions: we are stewards of the land, hunting on ground that we know and love, collecting... More

Sunday Reading

I had to laugh when I saw the piece in the business section of the New York Times about retired cop turned pitmaster Lou Elrose (Big Lou to his friends) because the writer was actually talking about pitmaster in New York being a legitimate profession in Gotham with unlimited growth opportunities. Lou was the associate pitmaster at Hill Country, and he is now going to be the pitmaster for Steve Hanson's new barbecue joint Wildwood Barbecue, opening on Park Avenue South in New York this coming March. A few years ago we would never have seen pitmaster, New York, and profession in the same article. What are we going to see next, NYU offering a doctorate in barbeculogy?... More

The Language of 'Local'

If you're a stickler for grammar, the phrases "eat local," "buy local," "shop local," etc., no doubt grate on your ears. They should, of course, use the adverb "locally." Language Log takes a look at these neologisms and makes a case for their use.... More

Barbara Kingsolver on the Blessings of Dirty Work

Yesterday the Washington Post ran an interesting article by Barbara Kingsolver, author of this year's locavore manifesto Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, about some of the hidden costs of industrial, centralized agriculture. The Blessings of Dirt takes to task the claim that technological breakthroughs in farming allow for the possibility that "one farmer with the right tools and chemicals could feed hundreds, freeing the rest of us for cleaner work."... More

Local Yokel?

You may have seen it in New York magazine or linked to on other sites—that guy in Brooklyn who built a "farm" in his backyard in an attempt to eat only what he raised for the month of August. Blogger Cathy Erway certainly did and has an insightful take on Manny Howard's "eating local" experiment. She worries that it does more harm than good for the locavore movement.... More

I Took the Locavore Challenge (Sort of)

Move over, Barbara Kingsolver, she of the best-selling book about eating local for a year. This weekend I took the local challenge, at least for one dinner. But I may have screwed up, so I need a collective ruling from the Serious Eats community. Have mercy, and please show some compassion. On Saturday, I cooked my wife what I thought was a locavore's delight: great, bicolor corn from Locust Grove Farm in the Hudson River Valley that was sweet and corny rather than just stabbingly sweet; red heirloom tomatoes from Locust Grove, alternating on the plate with stunning yellow tomatoes from Yuno Farm in Bordentown, New Jersey; and excellent sweet Italian turkey sausage from DiPaola Poultry Farm, from the southern... More

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