Dining from the outside-in

September 27, 2008

Do you remember drive-in movie theaters?

The lure of going out on Saturday night, paying one price and seeing up to three movies? The snack bar called to you with words like “popcorn”, “hot dog”, “french fries”, and “candy” didn’t it? You’d turn your radio to a frequency or put the speaker inside the car window for the surround sound effect.

Well, have you ever heard of an Eat-In?

According to the Web site, Eat-Ins.org was launched after 250 students and young farmers, cooks, artisans and activists gathered for an Eat-In in San Francisco’s Dolores Park during the inaugural Slow Food Nation.

Do you know of any local Eat-Ins? Would you like to start one?

Let us know. Post a comment here or a link.

If you would like more information or would like Eat-Ins.org to post an announcement for or summary of your Eat-In, please write gordon [at] slowfoodnation.org.

~Nicolette Miller-Ka


Have you seen it?

September 27, 2008

Young people are the future. Personally, I am only 27 years old and I still feel like I am part of the future of America…the world, even. The decisions I make now will affect my future children and their children, too.

That being said, young adults in the college-age and young adult brackets have much come-uppance as of late. Baby boomers are impressed and intrigued by us. We intrigue ourselves.

The Greenhorns is a documentary film that debuted last year. It explores the lives of America’s young farming community—its spirit, practices, and needs. As the nation experiences a groundswell of interest in sustainable lifestyles, we see the promising beginnings of an agricultural revival. Young farmers’ efforts feed us safe food, conserve valuable land, and reconstitute communities split apart by strip malls. It is the filmmakers’s hope that by broadcasting the stories and voices of these young farmers, we can inspire another generation of optimistic agrarians.

According to Kerry Trueman, “…with dwindling resources, global food shortages, climate change, and the triple threats of peak oil, peak soil, and peak water nipping at our heedless heels, industrial agriculture is becoming a “luxury” we can’t afford…”

~Nicolette Miller-Ka

Close the COOL Loophole

September 18, 2008

Comments due by September 30, 2008

   The 2002 and the 2008 Farm Bills require retailers to disclose the country of origin of beef, lamb, pork, chicken, wild and farm raised fish and shellfish,  perishable fruits and vegetables, peanuts and other commodities on their labels.  USDA has issued an interim final rule implementing Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), available here: http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=STELPRDC5070926. The rule will become effective on September 30, 2008 which is also the deadline for comments.

     COOL is an important tool for consumers. It allows consumers to choose U.S. produced meats, produce and nuts.  The COOL rule, however, provides a vast loophole.  It specifically exempts covered commodities found in “processed” food items. The processing loophole is available for foods that have been cooked or marinated or cured or simply when they have been combined with other covered commodities. Excluded, for example, are roasted peanuts, marinated pork loin, salad mixes, fresh fruit cups, dried fruits and
vegetables, smoked or cured ham and bacon.

     This exemption excludes a significant portion of the foods consumers bring home from their grocery stores on a daily basis and it compromises a consumer’s right to know the origin of the foods
they are buying and consuming.

Tell USDA to close the COOL loophole.

There are several ways to submit your comment:

*         You can submit your comment directly from the Food and
Water Watch website:
http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=25598,  or

*         You can submit your comment directly to USDA at their
website: http://www.regulations.gov/search/index.jsp
(Check the box: “Select to find documents accepting comments or
submissions” and search for “country of origin labeling”, or

*         You can fax your comment to USDA at (202)354-4693, or

*         You can mail your comment to the address below.

Comments should be addressed to:

Country of Origin Labeling Program
Room 2607-S
Agricultural Marketing Service, USDA
Stop 024
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Washington, DC 20250-0254

(Received via the Slow Food DC listserv, a highly informative source of food news!)

~Laurie O’Neill

Slow Food In The News

September 16, 2008

North Carolina is making Slow News as well as Slow Food shine in the media this month.

Featured in the October issue of Bon Appetit magazine, the Durham-Chapel Hill area has been recognized as America’s Foodiest Small Town. The article begins with Alice and Stuart White of Bluebird Meadows, a sustainable farm in Hurdle Mills, NC. It travels down a short, but familiar road to focus on other local farmers, favorite restaurants, and the reality of widespread sustainability.

It makes this self-proclaimed foodie excited and happy to see our state in the limelight. Is it possible to “make a way for ducklings” and make the other triangular shaped region of the state excited and fired up about sustainable food and its practices?

Our neighbors to the west and eastern coastal region have caught the eye of Slow Food USA. Two articles about guest workers in the Asheville area and shrimp from our coast are important enough to turn an eye to this way.

Are we on our best behavior? Do we have refreshments available for our criticizers guests? As we invite the world to view our efforts to promote good clean, fair food, what are we doing in the Piedmont?

Slow Food really means Go Food, in my mind. It means go out and be active to see what you’re eating and how it gets to your table. It means being knowledgeable.

What are you doing at home, work, or school to this effect? Let us know. We want to hear from you, too.

~Nicolette Miller-Ka

A Taste of Slow Food Nation

September 6, 2008

Photos are from the “Come to the Table” dinner at the Civic Center Plaza in San Francisco on Thursday, August 28.

Slow Food Nation

Slow Food Nation

Columbus Salame

Slow Food Nation dinner

"Come to the Table" Slow Food Nation

pluots and fig branch

debris from "Come to the Table" Dinner

~ Laurie O’Neill

Slow Times September 2008

September 6, 2008

Slow Food Piedmont Triad News
Come enjoy some local food and meet the current Slow Food Board members and find out more about what is coming up this year. We will have a Sept 14 Social Event at Sweet Basil’s in Greensboro from 6 – 8 pm. Ticket prices include an assortment of local appetizers and one complimentary glass of wine. (A cash bar will be set up for additional beverages of choice.) This is a Slow Food Piedmont Triad sponsored event with proceeds going to SFPT.

Current Slow Food members who RSVP to info@slowfoodpiedmont.org by Sept 11, the price of admission is $20.

For nonmembers who RSVP to info@slowfoodpiedmont.org by Sept 11, the price of admission is $25

And for member or nonmembers who walk-in that evening, the price will be $35. RSVP confirmations and tickets will be purchased at the door of the event.
Laurie O’Neill and Deb Bettini will have reports and photos from Slow Food Nation in San Francisco, and we’ll discuss the upcoming structure changes passed by the Slow Food National Congress and how they will affect our convivium, uh, chapter.
Please email info@slowfoodpiedmont.org with suggestions for our board’s agenda and nominations, including yourself, for board positions. (Let us know what you are interested in.) The board meeting will take place before the social.
We hope to see many of you there!
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Sixth Annual FARM FEST at Rising Meadow Farm
Between Liberty and Climax, NC
See www.risingmeadow.com for details and directions
Admission- $5 – age two and older. NO PETS PLEASE!
A celebration of local fiber and food. Bring your lawn chairs or blankets and plan to have a great time! Many fiber animals, local food and fiber vendors, and great music on a beautiful farm.

Sweet Basil’s is hosting An Evening of Slow Food Dinner with their chef, Tad Engstrom, on the evening of September 22, from 6:30 – 8:30 pm. in association with UNCG’s CALL program.  Reservations and tickets can be purchased through the UNCG Division of Continual Learning before Sept 15. Tickets are $55 per person. This is not a SFPT event, but we encourage anyone interested in learning more about Slow Food to attend.
There’s a movement among some Winston-Salem area folks called Guerilla Dining.   See the blog for more info and links: 

SUPPLEMENT BLOG <http://supplementws.blogspot.com/>

The following is a request from a UNCG student:
To Whom It May Concern:
My name is Courtney Atkins and I am the Vice President of Nutrition Club at UNCG. I am looking for fellow food and nutrition professionals in the community to come in and speak to our club about career opportunities related to foods or nutrition. We would love to hear from individuals or organizations in the local area, dietitians, chefs or anyone working in healthcare related to wellness, exercise or nutrition. We would appreciate not being solicited to by sales organizations, we are more interested in career professionals sharing their personal stories about how you got where you are today. We just want to know what options are available for us and how to get there. Our meetings are every Wednesday from 1-2 pm and we can provide free parking near the Stone building where you would be speaking. If you are interested in educating the members of UNCG’s Nutrition Club, please contact me at cmatkin2@uncg.edu or on my cell 919-274-4632.
Thank you for your consideration,
Courtney Atkins

~Laurie O’Neill