Monday, July 31, 2006

Home Again, Home Again

Came home last night to a stack of mail, including two issues of the Edible Communities magazines -- one from Edible East End and one from the home turf, here, of Edible Brooklyn. If you haven't seen these publications yet, they're springing up all over as a celebration of local efforts knitted together with national support of local, sustainable, fair food. (You know, Grub.) Published for each season, these summer issues contain an article I wrote about efforts across the country to connect folks with their food -- around the table.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Tasty Milwaukee

My prior associations with this town -- as befits someone of a certain age -- is Laverne and Shirley skipping its streets singing, "One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, Schlimiel, schlimazel, hasenpfeffer, incorporated." But now, I'll add a few more images to the Milwaukee file in the brain, including delicious food, innovative city leaders, and a bustling public market with local purveyors selling everything from cut flowers to pickled okra (great for Bloody Mary's). The night before this pic was taken, we had a Grub party of sorts, an intimate local foods dinner, with city leaders greening the city and connecting urban folks with farmers.
Me with Mayor Tom Barrett and his family at the Brady Street Artisan Food Festival. Far right: Jim Slama from Chicago's Sustain and third from right: Ron Doetch from Michael Fields Agriculture Institute

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Ignore my Hair, Read the Article

Gourmet Magazine has a piece about us, the food justice movement, and just what a Grub party is, in this month's issue. As Francis Lam writes in "Spreading the Gospel of Grub:" "There's a lot of talk about eating healthful, ethically grown food. Two activists have ideas about how to turn talk into action." I met Ruth Reichl (editor of Gourmet) when we were on The Leonard Lopate Show together a few weeks back. I was so impressed by her knowledge of the issues and her passion. And ever since, I've been reading Gourmet with whole new eyes, discovering the incredible articles in it every month. (Oh, and about that hair: What can I say? Sometimes bad hair days are caught on film.)

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gualala: Homegrown Grub Party

Made my way back down the coast to my family's town of booming Gualala, California.
After a book reading at the local, independent bookstore (keeping to our word, of course, of only visiting indies), my family through a Grub party for our community at the house, with local fruits and vegetables from the CSA Oz Farm and yummy local cheeses.

Local winemakers even mixed us up a batch of "VIN GRUB" red wine. The verdict: Organic wine not only tastes great, but also leaves you hangover free. Below, my sister, Gina, arranges fresh-cut flowers.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Fort Bragg: The North Coast is Hopping

The Alliance for Democracy, CELL (Coast Economic Localization Link), and a gaggle of other groups drew more than 125 people for a Grub talk tonight, which included announcements from various fronts about the food justice efforts coming out of this coastal community a few hours North of San Francisco. Local producers brought delicious food and material about all of the cool projects happening here, from the work of the local Food Bank, to Noyo Food Forest, to a new group called "C'mon Home to Eat" planning its second annual month-long local food pledge. Despite a long and windy drive and Friday escape-from-the-city traffic, I had a great time!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Google + Grub

It's a long story, that began on a flight to LAX that was stuck on a JFK runway for four hours and with a guy named Skip, and ended with Bryant and me addressing a roomful of Google employees for the authors@google series. See, Skip has a friend who works at Google... and well, one thing led to another and we were invited to speak.

But it's not really such an odd match, because Google has been pushing itself to be a leader in sustainability, and has been making some big strides when it comes to food. It has its work cut out for it: Every day the company serves its thousands of employees--no one would give us a specific figure--complementary breakfast, lunch, and dinners, and as far as we could tell unlimited access to snacks and drinks. (Say the cynical friends: A great way to keep employees at work!).

We got a tour of some of their dining spots with one of the head chefs and their staff nutritionist and were impressed with how deep their sustainability convictions seem to run. Take Cafe 150: All the food at this Google spot is sourced from 150 miles.

Of all the cool things they're doing, which include providing some of the "greenest" take away cutlery and plates, I was most impressed with their "It's It." When I left home (that would be Oakland, California) for college (that would be Providence, Rhode Island) one of the things I missed most was an ice cream sandwich called an It's It. If you've had one, you know why this was such a big deal. If you've tried to find them on the East Coast, you'd know you can't. Today at Google, I not only got to devour one of my favorite treats, but got to do so without ingesting high-fructose corn syrup. See, Google got the company to make a special edition It's It with an alternative sweetener, and the results are delicious. Now, It's It, what about the rest of us?

P.S. To figure out how to get to Google this morning, I Google-Mapped Google. In case you're wondering, the directions were accurate.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Welcome Abhaya!

We just brought on a wonderful tour coordinator who will help us with all things event-related. If you have questions about events, suggestions for events, would like to book an event (you get the idea), Abhaya is your gal. Reach her at abhaya[at]

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Grub Party Park Slope Food Coop Style

We had a wonderful, hot and sweaty, time on Tuesday night at a beautiful loft space in Brooklyn for a Grub party with the Park Slope Food Coop Safe Food Squad. See pictures here.

What do Marion Nestle, Michael Pollan, and Eric Schlosser Have in Common?

Read my review of their three books in The New Scientist to find out.

Gotta wear shades

My friend Karen Hurley makes some great points about re-imagining our future on Grist. Join the lively online discussion on the site, too.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Eat Your Way Through Central Park

After Sunday, I'll never walk through Central Park the same way again. I'll want to stop, pick, and eat everything I see. Yup, I did say "eat."

I spent the day on an edible wilds tour of the Park with un-stumpable ethnobotanist Nat Bletter (that's Nat in the blue shirt, smiling).

By the end of the tour, he'd identified over a dozen different plants (including high-enders like a Gingko tree and Burdock root) and gave us samplings of various concoctions he'd made from the same-stuff found edibles, including sassafrass root beer and sauteed mulberry leaves he'd collected from a patch at Driggs and North 7th in Williamsburg.

For lunch, we perched on a rocks above The Boathouse restaurant where diners clinked silverwear and crystal glasses, while we dug into a salad made from freshly picked garlic mustard.


Friday, July 07, 2006

Two Angry Moms Make a Movie

Check out the work in progress on a film about school lunch.

We Weigh In on What Eating Well Really Means

Jane Black from Food & Wine picks the brains of a handful of us food thinkers, talkers, and eaters about what eating well means.


Hey everyone,
I put up some pictures from our tour here. We met wonderful people on the road, and this is just a small smattering of them.