Tag Archives: farm to table
Animals will no doubt be affected, but what will undoubtedly change that will affect humans? Besides our fashion and our weekend plans, our food will change. Yes, crops and vegetation will need to adapt, and if it doesn’t then we may lose some of our favorite foods. Fruit and vegetables will have a difficult time growing. And specialty items like chocolate, coffee, beer, and wine will be affected. Could you imagine a morning without your daily coffee? Or dessert without chocolate?
Other foods that will be affected? Strangely we can expect problems with foods like peanut butter, rice, maple syrup, honey, pasta. And of course, animals and fish will be affected and that may be the biggest affect on our daily diets.
We may not be able to agree on what is causing the climate change, but we should all agree we need to do something about it and prepare appropriately for our future.
Disney is the first major entertainment company to take a stand against child obesity and ban ads for unhealthy foods. In a blockbuster announcement this week, Disney has announced certain guidelines it will uphold for all commercials within their programming on all their TV networks and radio stations directed towards kids. Beginning in 2015, ads that promote products with high sugar, calorie, or sodium counts will no longer appear within Disney related programs. Companies can’t just change one product receive Disney’s approval, they must also offer a line of healthy choices for children.
Advertising continues to be one of the biggest sources of revenue for entertainment, so the fact that Disney, one of the biggest major media corporations in the world, is showing this corporate responsibility is a huge step. Hopefully, other children’s outlets such as Nickelodeon will follow in step. And hopefully, all entertainment companies will start monitoring their ads more closely for kids AND adults.
As the food revolution continues, it’s great that kids will now be less influenced to purchase unhealthy foods. We remember seeing ads for new foods and immediately asking our parents for them. Fortunately, our parents were great at policing our food. And our parents also had a garden and cooked regularly using products from the garden. Not every child is raised this way. For those who have the freedom to convince their parents to buy them every treat advertised, now they will be begging for much healthier options.
Photo credit: Babble.com
We spent last summer in Austin for work and couldn’t have had a better time. This forward thinking town is all about rethinking traditional models of living. We all know of Austin because it’s the music capital of the world, it has fantastic barbecue, it’s home to the University of Texas Austin, and it is home to the annual South by Southwest conference. Yet not everyone knows the daily life in Austin consists of living an efficient, natural, and enriching life.
One of the overall themes in the town is all about reusing what you have. Venture down North or South Congress Ave and you will see many of the much hyped trailers which have been turned into mobile restaurants serving some of the city’s most exciting foods. Go down Rainey Street and you will see former run down houses turned into fun and exciting bars. Even some of the more popular restaurants like Justine’s, are located in former houses. The kitchen is the kitchen, the living room and dining room are seating, and outside? Well, there is more outdoor seating. East Side Showroom is decorated with reused materials such as metals now welded to create the tables, chairs, bar and decorations. Finding new uses for run down buildings, houses, and trailers is part of this cities mentality.
Austin is one of the most exciting food towns in the US. The restaurants are very farm to table and sustainable centric, with many restaurants sourcing their ingredients from local farmers or even the chefs’ own backyards. Every Sunday there is a farmer’s market in Republic Square Park with butchers and farmers from around the city offering local and organic products.
Even moving around the town is very easy. Rather than cabs (although there are some), Austin is a very bike friendly town with pedicabs being the predominant mode of transportation around the Sixth Street bars. It is also a very walkable city. You can car pool with friends down to the Sixth Street area, park, and then walk along the street to some of the best bars Austin has to offer. Austin also has a very active public transportation system in place with buses and a train line.
Perhaps one of the best parts about Austin is the natural resources in the vicinity. Lake Travis is absolutely beautiful and only a short drive away. Many people run along the Colorado River, canoe (in big swan shaped canoes), and swim in it. Barton Springs, not far from South Congress Avenue, is one of the popular local swim areas which is a natural swimming pool. Also a great place for swimming is Hamilton Pool Nature Preserve, a short drive away from Austin. It is estimated that Austin has over 50 public swimming pools and lakes within the area.
The only non green aspect to Austin that we could think of was due to the unbearable Texas heat, many buildings blast their air conditioning on high. However to offset this the city is pushing to have every municipal building, numbering up to 300, powered by wind power sourced from West Texas wind farms.
We highly recommend you get to Austin not only for great food, great bars, and great music but also for a great green experience.
As the twenty-first century continues on, the concept of working backwards has become increasingly popular. Especially in my industry, the food industry. Backwards as in back to the land, decreasing the distance from farm to fork. The farm to table movement is rather misunderstood and the term itself has been overused and exhausted. Almost as much as the term molecular gastronomy, but that’s a story for another day. I myself have tried to close the gap even further between farm and table.
I am a cooker in Nantucket, MA for six months out of the year. Our restaurant, Straight Wharf Restaurant, features bounties from all over the island. We source plenty of local ingredients including produce, seafood, honey and even pigs. This spring I have found myself along side my girlfriend Caroline, building a closer relationship with the earth. We are working with a local gardener, building our own garden and tending to a colony of bees, in the meantime awaiting the start of our restaurant’s busy season.
After spending mornings under the guidance of Patty Myers, Caroline and I have been tending to a space owned by my executive chef. Applying those morning lessons to our own garden. Patty has been growing produce for Straight Wharf for some time and her lettuces alone have become a permanent fixture on our ever changing menu, and the rest is featured throughout. Having her as a reference has been helpful to say the least. Friday we built our first raised bed and added organic material to it in hopes to seed soon. It has been a long journey to get that garden from its original state to be ready to plant in it.
I am fortunate to see things go through the process of seed to table, planting, transplanting, growth, harvest, cleaning, preparation, execution and plate. Our friends here at Lydony have been kind enough to allow me to share my adventures in eating backwards as the season progresses. I will share photos and stories with you pertaining to what’s going on, including the great food from the restaurant to adventures in gardening to harvesting our own honey.
Wednesday is our typical Pick of the Week day, and with that our coastal road trip is not an exception. This week’s pick goes to the amazing CA coastal city of Santa Barbara.
There are so many things to say about Santa Barbara, and to be completely honest we are slightly biased because it is our home town. That aside, visitors to Santa Barbara can find that green culture surrounds them at every turn.
Running down the south end of State Street to the Pacific Ocean is the local MTA Pier Shuttle that is all electric and only .25 cents to ride. In fact the Santa Barbara MTA is North America’s largest fleet of electric vehicles. If you are visiting the city and plan on staying in the historic downtown area, you can get just about anywhere without a car. Along with that, the city of Santa Barbara is a large cycling community hosting such organizations as the National MS Society, which we are proud to say we have participated in.
Known as the American Rivera, Santa Barbara’s climate creates an ideal home for dozens of parks and nature preserves such as the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. The University of California, Santa Barbara (our alma mater) also does its part in contributing to supporting an eco-friendly lifestyle. Home of one of the oldest Environmental Studies programs, UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management is the U.S.’s first building to earn two LEED Platinum certifications, made of recycled materials and has solar roof panels to help power the building. The university is also among the college campuses that focuses heavily on recycling and part of the Plastic Free Campus program.
Going to be in Santa Barbara this Spring Break? April is Ecotopia Month in Santa Barbara and is filled with activities all around the city. Home to one of Earth Day’s first celebrations in 1970, the city celebrates the holiday with the National Earth Day Festival. At the event you can be inspired by the Green Shorts Film Festival, the Green Car Show, and a visit to any of the local food exhibitors and sustainable restaurants offering organic and farm-to-table delicacies.
Next up, San Luis Obispo…
Despite the vast overpopulation and pollution problems that plague the city of New York, the locals continually find innovative urban green practices. We want to single out two restaurants, that are pushing the envelope when it comes to green practices in New York.
Farm to table is the latest “culinary trend” sweeping the nation. There are numerous restaurants in NYC that rely on the Union Square Market so they can claim farm to table status. This is an amazing and a great effort by the local food industry to adopt great practices. Restaurants that have gone above and beyond such as ABC Kitchen that source ingredients from amazing local purveyors and Blue Hill, a restaurant that notoriously owns a farm in Upstate New York where it sources its meats and produce are pioneers.
We want to put the spotlight on Roberta’s in Brooklyn and Riverpark in Manhattan. Both restaurants have gardens on their premises that regularly supply ingredients incorporated into each restaurant’s dishes on a daily basis. This may not sound like a big deal to those outside of NYC, but in a city where the average price for a tiny studio apartment costs $2000 a month, seeing space devoted to a garden is an incredible commitment and statement by the restaurant.
Having access to ingredients on hand immediately cuts back on the need for a weekly delivery truck. This includes fuel saved and unnecessary pollution avoided. Also, the gardens have a beneficial impact on the air and environment of the restaurant.
We have frequented both restaurants, and the food really stands out. Please make a visit to these restaurants to show support for their efforts.
If you know of any other restaurants (these places get little to no attention for their gardens), please let us know as we’d love to make a visit!