Reclaiming Our Food Blog

I straddle two worlds – the academic world where people are trying to build understanding about our food system, and the grassroots world where people are doing something concrete in their own community to improve their food.

As I conducted research for my book, Reclaiming Our Food, I was amazed at how many people are hungry for both kinds of information – the big picture and the practical. People I sat next to on planes, people I met in airports, or in stores, without fail everyone had a personal story to tell about food. And equally without fail, everyone also had a personal concern about the impact of food – on a parent, sibling, child, or even on their own health.

With this BLOG, I want to help people learn about both the big picture and the practical, to help us all spiral toward a better future.

I welcome your feedback, as well as your ideas for noteworthy projects! (For more on the purpose of this BLOG, see my May 1, 2011 post).

 

Glean Times

At the earliest possible age my brothers and I were inducted into the Clean Plate Club. My compassionate mother would admonish us to remember the starving children in Biafra. My stern father would tell us about his narrow escape into the Carpathian Mountains in the harsh Yugoslavian winter of 1944, where he and his mother nearly starved. Read the column

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Super Garden

I confess that my first attempt to grow something edible was a miserable failure. Just 15 years old, I patted a short row of tiny carrot seeds into a spot in our backyard behind a hedge. Come the end of summer, I hoped to surprise my mother with beautiful carrots. …   Read my column here

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Let’s Eat In

To cook or not to cook? That is the question.  Such a simple question, too. It’s one that food activist and author Michael Pollan answered in his latest book Cooked with a resounding yes. Yet it’s a disquieting question for us humans to ask – and historically unprecedented. Read more in my Edible Blue Ridge Winter 2014 column.

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A Lighter Load

In a strange twist of fate, obesity may be the tipping the scales towards local foods. With the dubious distinction of becoming the fattest nation in the world in 2012, U.S. leaders are galvanizing action at all levels to address obesity…. A  2012 Cornell study reports that obesity now accounts for a whopping 21 percent of U.S. health-care costs, estimated at $190 billion per year….   A growing body of evidence even suggests that a host of everyday products are also culpable.  Read more in my Edible Blue Ridge Fall 2013 column

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Food Justice For All

Read my column in Edible Blue Ridge, Summer 2013: Access to fresh, wholesome food is not a privilege. …. If food security is about ensuring that people don’t go hungry, then surely food justice is about helping people become whole, with dignity and choice. MORE

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Delicious, Delicious History

Read Edible Blue Ridge, Spring 2013, see P14   “Imagine this: You are eagerly anticipating a heritage food festival that lasts an entire month. Friends are buzzing. Out of-state relatives are descending on your guest room. Festival banners are flapping on main streets from Scottsville to Staunton, Louisa to Lexington. he region is about to welcome several hundred thousand foodies, who, by spending two and a half times more than the average tourist, will boost the region’s economy by nearly $300 million. Another year of Central Virginia’s ViTTLE Fest (Virginia Tasting the Terroir of Local Edibles Festival) is underway, and our region is held up as an enviable … Read More

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On the Huffington Post: Organic Food Not Just for Snobs, Dr. Oz

“… finally, we would get the straight dope on how we can eat well without breaking the bank…” Huffington Post op-ed featured here: Organic Food Is Not Just For Snobs, Dr. Oz.

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“Local-Washing:” A Dirty Business

“Local-washing” was probably only a matter of time. Call me naïve, call me hopeful, or call me trusting. Whatever I was, I no longer am. My understanding of the local food movement was turned upside down last week, when I visited a small bucolic farm Earn 50% Commission – Sign Estimating Calculator For Sign Shops off a dirt road leading down to the James River. There, a premier artisan cheese maker turned my head when she asked, “You’ve heard of local-washing, haven’t you?” Local-washing is a simple concept, and amazingly easy to execute. Steal the name of one or more … Read More

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