New Secretary of Agriculture?

November 18, 2008

As President-elect Barack Obama is steadily picking and choosing his cabinet members, nearly 1900 have signed a petition to appoint Michael Pollen as Secretary of Agriculture.

“…research has provided him a unique understanding of the history, development, and contemporary practices of U.S. Agriculture and its relationship to the health of the citizens of The United States….”

“It is our belief that this scholarly approach coupled with his unique ability to synergize and coherently communicate to a wide audience makes Mr. Pollan the best choice for Secretary of Agriculture in an administration whose stated goals include affordable health and healthcare for the citizens of this nation and wholesale change from the practices of the Bush administration.”

Click HERE to see/sign petition in its entirely.

For more on Michael Pollen:

MichaelPollen.Com

Pollen on the Brian Lehrer Show, November 17, 2008

NYT article, “Farmer In-Chief”

~Nicolette Miller-Ka


Guerilla Dining: November 1

October 21, 2008

Join Supplement on Saturday, November 1st at 6:00 pm for our first ever Supplement potluck dinner.

We will supply the location, tables, tablecloths, chairs, plates, hockey rink, glasses, eating implements, and napkins. You bring the food and drinks.

Cost: $0

How: RSVP to supplementws@gmail.com
You will receive an email with directions to the dinner once we have received your RSVP.

Join us on All Hallows Day 2008 for food, drink, revelry, political discourse, and general mirth. We’re putting the luck back into potluck!
Hurry! There is only room for 43 people.


Eat Local Challenge

October 12, 2008

The folks at eatlocalchallenge.com are based out of San Francisco and have committed to challenging themselves to eat mainly local food during a specific period of time during the year.  Currently, the month of October is that specific part of the year. Nearly half of October is finished, but that doesn’t mean you and your family can’t join in on the fun.

Why should you eat local food? Click here.

“Local” is traditionally within a 150-mile radius of your home. It can be simplified even further to mean your county, state, or region. As we’ve seen in recent days, there are disputes and differences over this arbitrary word.

Nevertheless, sign up at the Eat Local Challenge Web site or keep tabs at home about your local food consumption.

Need help on how to find local food?

Slow Food Piedmont Triad Local Food Guide

National directory of local farms, CSAs, and farmer’s markets

Eat Well Guide
~Nicolette Miller-Ka


World Food Day 2008

October 10, 2008

World Food Day 2008

World Food Day takes place on October 16, this year. The theme is World Food Security: the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy.

World Food Day provides an occasion to once again highlight the plight of 923 million undernourished people in the world. Most of them live in rural areas where their main source of income is the agricultural sector. Global warming and the biofuel boom are now threatening to push the number of hungry even higher in the decades to come.–/www.fao.org

For more information, click here.

To check out how to get involved globally, click here.

To participate in a food blogging event highlighting World Food Day’s mission, click here.

~Nicolette Miller-Ka


Guerilla Dining: October 18

October 3, 2008

SUPPLEMENT #5-Bourbon, Beer, and Barbecue

Join Supplement on Saturday October 18th at 7pm for a Fall Harvest/Low Country dinner. We will have a choice selection of small batch bourbons and microbrewed beers available for the “cocktail hour” and serve dinner promptly at 8pm. For dinner we will be showcasing local foods from the area and pork from Moore Farms in Liberty, NC. Brad Moore raises pastured pork on his farm and will join us for dinner to talk about his passion for local and sustainable foods.

From Brad’s website:

I am a part time farmer working on my family farm near Liberty. I sell delicious pork from hogs raised on pasture. They are free to roam, root and play in the sunshine without added hormones or antibiotics. Also, I grow on farm many of the grains fed to the hogs. I sell sausage, ribs, chops, tenderloin and fat back at the Piedmont Triad Farmers Market and from the farm by appointment.


Cost: $35 donation

Where: You will receive an email with directions once you have sent your RSVP to supplementws@gmail.com

*Really good vegetarian options will be available.

Hurry! Seats fill up fast.

http://supplementws.blogspot.com – for more info, videos, etc.

~Nicolette Miller-Ka


Close the COOL Loophole

September 18, 2008

CLOSE THE COOL LOOPHOLE
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 Times Fall 2007

October 10, 2007

Slow Food Piedmont Triad News
Fall 2007

Announcements

Informal Book Discussion Group

Slow Food members Stephanie Reck and Laura Frazier are reading the new book by Nina Planck, Real Food: What to Eat and Why. A book discussion over coffee is being organized for late October. Stay tuned! An email announcement will be made about the meeting place and date.


Events

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Tuesday Gardening Series: “Slow Food – Break the Fast!”
Reynolda Gardens Greenhouse, Wake Forest University
100 Reynolda Village, Winston-Salem, NC
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Free admission

Jim Toole will speak about Slow Food at the education wing of the greenhouse at Reynolda Gardens, a preserve of woodlands, fields, wetlands and formal gardens originally part of the Reynolda estate. Learn more about how you can make a difference – one delicious mouthful at a time! For directions and more information about Reynolda Gardens, please visit www.reynoldagardens.org.

Bettini Farm produceSlow Food snail logo

Saturday, October 27, 2007
Workday and Potluck at Bettini Farm
2830 Lees Chapel Road, Greensboro
Begins at 10 am, lunch begins around 12:30
Please RSVP to Laurie at lponeill@slowfoodpiedmont.org by Oct. 24.
www.bettinifarm.com

Come out to the Bettini Farm on the skirts of Greensboro and participate in planting a sustainable muscadine grape vineyard. Help is needed in constructing the trellises (holes will be pre-dug!) and planting the vines that the Bettinis are now rooting from heirloom stock found on their family farm. Information will be provided on the process, and Deb and Randy will be happy to show you around the other parts of their farm. The persimmons may be ripe!

Not able or willing to get your hands in the dirt? Bring food to the potluck lunch, kick back, watch the trains, and socialize with other Slow Food Piedmont Triad members at the farmstand!

Please bring work gloves, a shovel or rake if you plan to participate in the work, and a lawn chair and a dish of slow food and a beverage for the potluck. The Bettinis will provide cutlery, plates, cups, ice and tea.

Agenda:

10:00a: Meet at Bettini Farm, 2830 Lee’s Chapel Road. Park in the driveway, additional parking is at the roadside produce stand.

10:15a: Welcome and intro to Bettini Farm – We will go over logistics, and what we are going to be doing.

10:30a: Overview of the softwood cuttings and layering method of rooting Muscadine plants. A handout of the rooting steps to prepare for next Spring’s planting will provided.

11:00a: Walk over to the vineyard site, discuss row placement, soil preparation, then break into teams and begin installation of posts and trellis system into the pre-dug holes.

12:30p – until: Lunch will be served at the produce stand, which will give us an opportunity for questions and answers, or just be railfans and watch the trains go by.

Goat at Goat Lady DairySlow Food snail logo

Sunday, October 28, 2007
Fall Open House at Goat Lady Dairy
3515 Jess Hackett Rd., Climax NC
1 to 5 pm
Free Admission – no pets please!
336-824-2163 www.goatladydairy.com

  • goats, chickens, pigs, cows
  • organic gardens, dairy barn, cheese-room
  • award winning cheese
  • local potter & woodcarver
  • art exhibit
  • local, pasture raised chicken, pork, beef, lamb, goat & ostrich for sale

Come out for a family afternoon on the farm. Get up close and personal with our goats, chickens, pigs and cows. Tour the organic gardens, dairy barn and cheese-room. Learn about sustainable agriculture. Taste our handmade, award winning cheeses (and buy some to take home!) Make a pot with local potter, Odell Routh. Watch our local woodcarver, Chris Corbett. Enjoy a special art exhibit of farm and animal paintings by the Piedmont Outdoor Painting Society. SPECIAL EVENT: Our local chapter of SLOW FOOD is sponsoring several local farmers who will bring their clean and humanely raised meats for sale. They will be on hand to tell how they produce local chicken, pork, beef, lamb, goat and ostrich. We will have samples for you to taste the flavor difference in local, clean raised meats. We look forward to your visit! For directions visit www.goatladydairy.com

See you on Oct. 28th – RAIN (we hope!) OR SHINE.

Friday, November 2, 2007
RAFT Picnic – Saving Authentic American Foods
The Inn at Celebrity Dairy
144 Celebrity Dairy Way, Siler City, NC
Space limited. $50 per person. Advance tickets required.

This event is the fourth of the five national RAFT picnics sponsored this year by The Renewing America’s Food Traditions Project. RAFT is a coalition of seven of the most prominent non-profit food, agriculture, conservation, and educational organizations dedicated to rescuing America’s diverse foods and food traditions. These organizations include: American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, Center for Sustainable Environments at Northern Arizona University, Chefs Collaborative, Cultural Conservancy, Native Seed/SEARCH, Seed Savers Exchange, and Slow Food USA. The coalition was formalized between January and March of 2004 to support a synergy between these partners and local, tribal, or regional groups of producers in their on-going work of safeguarding and revitalizing authentically American foods.

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (ALBC) will host its 30-year Anniversary Conference Reception on Friday, November 2nd, 2007 at The Inn at Celebrity Dairy. This year ALBC will also be celebrating their role as a partner in Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) by featuring rare breed meat, fruits, and vegetables from ALBC’s Conservation Priority List and the RAFT “Red List.” This will be a rare opportunity to sample endangered foods unique to the North American continent while celebrating ALBC’s 30 years of conservation of livestock and poultry breeds.

Come feast on an aromatic Armenian stew prepared with Tennessee Fainting goat, topped with organic tomatoes and nestled in a bed of Carolina Gold Rice. Sample Buckeye and Java chicken prepared in a lovely cream sauce that compliments their hearty and satisfying flavor. Enjoy warm apple crisp made from Stayman apples topped off with Celebrity Dairy’s own famous goat milk ice-cream—and much, much, more!

The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, founded in 1977 and headquartered in Pittsboro, North Carolina, is dedicated to conservation and promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry. ALBC monitors breed populations of eleven traditional agricultural species in the US, identifies endangered breeds, documents breed performance, and promotes their use. The preeminent source for information on genetic conservation of livestock and poultry in the US, ALBC has long recognized that sustainable agriculture is the ideal habitat for many of breeds that are regionally adapted and selected for self-sufficiency.

As with any great feast, space is limited. All tickets are advanced sale. Tickets are $50 each, and can be purchased through the ALBC website at http://albc-usa.org/conference2007/RAFTpicnic2007.html, or by phone at (919) 542-5704.

More information about the conference can be found at http://albc-usa.org/conference2007/conf2007.html

More information about RAFT can be found at Slow Food USA.

Directions and more information about Celebrity Dairy can be found at www.celebritydairy.com/inn/inn_directions.htm.

Friday-Sunday, November 9-11, 2007
22nd Annual CFSA Sustainable Agriculture Conference
Durham, NC

Registration and more details at www.carolinafarmstewards.org. Keynote speakers: Friday night, Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm. Saturday night: Michael Ableman. Workshops, farm tours, meals, and socializing.