What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Fri, June 27, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
For the first time since Slow Food USA was founded in 2000, we are restructuring our membership rates. But we can't do it alone, so we are asking our trusted members to give us feedback on their experience with Slow Food.
Please take part in our 2008 Membership Survey. Why, you ask? Well…
And if those aren't good enough reasons, we will do a drawing and select two lucky participants to receive a special gift that includes a copy of Slow Food Nation by Carlo Petrini, foods from the Ark of Taste, and you're very own Slow Food USA t-shirt!
The survey will be open for 1 week, so click here by Wednesday, July 2nd for the opportunity to share your thoughts.
You'll be happy you did.
Posted on Thu, June 26, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Last December we interviewed Robert LaValva about his efforts to keep NYC's former Fulton Fish Market a public market for New Yorkers. Decembers' market went off without a hitch; despite snow and sleet and toe-chilling temperatures, New Yorkers came out in droves to buy wild foraged edibles from Vermont, sample local cheeses, taste New Jersey gelato, etc.
This Sunday, June 29th, from 11 am - 4 pm, the market returns, this time during market high season! For those of you living in NYC, Westchester, Hudson Valley, Long Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, etc., come and taste the best of what this foodshed has to offer, and come support the notion of a public market that showcases the best of local, sustainable food, of public spaces remaining public and being used to good end. Because, as Kim Severson covers in yesterday's NY Times, there are those folks, namely developers, who'd like it to shake down slightly differently.
Slow Food USA will have an info table there–if you do come out to shop, come say hello!
Posted on Tue, June 24, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
As we've discussed on this blog many times before, seafood stocks around the world are in trouble for a host of reasons, including overfishing, pollution, etc. Oftentimes chefs, consumers, and home cooks want to do the right thing, but don't know how.
Chefs Collaborative is a member-based organization that works collectively to support the use of high quality, delicious, local foods on our nation's tables. They provide essential resources for chefs who care deeply about having a sustainable food system, and provide educational resources for them, such as the just-released Seafood Solutions: A Chef's Guide to Sourcing Sustainable Seafood.
The great news: it's free, downloadable from their website.
(In addition, please note that Chef's Collaborative is a founding partner in the Renewing America's Food Traditions collaborative, which seeks to document and restore America's most endangered foods.)
Posted on Tue, June 24, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
There are only 3 days left to bid on this year's exciting list of donated items. On Thursday, June 26th at 3pm EST Slow Food USA's Online Auction will come to a close.
We're auctioning off a wonderful wood-fired oven from Los Angeles Ovenworks, a pair of VIP tickets to any Jack Johnson Summer '08 concert date of your choice, B&B stays in places such as Italy, the Appalachian Mountains, Vermont and Texas, a whole host of unique and delicious offerings from some of the finest US artisanal food producers, autographed books by authors such as Michael Pollan, photographer Annie Liebovitz, and a number of cookbook authors. Other items include cooking classes with renowned chefs, private wine tastings and tours, and of course, no Slow Food auction would be complete without an extensive listing of dinners and brunches at some of the country's most talked about restaurants and cocktail lounges.
So, go to Slow Food USA's Auction Homepage and place your bids! Remember: 100% of proceeds from the winning bid goes directly to support Slow Food USA's efforts to support our network of farmers, chefs, educators and students who are working to create a food system that is good, clean and fair!
Now that's shopping you can feel good about.
Posted on Mon, June 23, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Two interesting articles that highlight the ways in which the poor are being hit by escalating food prices–their pocketbooks, and their reputations.
1. This one from the NY Times, which discusses how food stamps aren't going as far.
2. This one from Foreign Policy.com, which discusses how, in conversations about how meat eating in poor countries such as India is rising, these poor countries are unfairly taking the blame for rising food prices.
Posted on Mon, June 23, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
As recently as nine months or so ago, we used to talk about "the true cost of food," hoping that Americans could begin to understand that the ultra-cheap food as fuel they were eating was priced un-naturally low, that farmers and farmworkers were paying the price, and hoping that people could/would learn how to pay more for higher quality food; or that our government could support and pass a Farm Bill that rejected commodity subsidies. It's surreal and upsetting now to see food prices rise and rise, but not for the reasons we hoped.
If you'd like to donate money to help Iowa farmers, you can do so through our Terra Madre Relief Fund. Slow Food USA created the Terra Madre Relief Fund in 2005. The grassroots-driven fund was created after Hurricane Katrina's tremendous storm surge caused extensive damage along the central Gulf Coast. For many of the region's farmers, food producers, and fishers, the disaster laid waste to their livelihoods.
The Relief Fund was inspired by Terra Madre, the bi-annual event hosted by Slow Food International in Turin, Italy, which brings farmers and other food producers from around the world together in a network of solidarity. Much of the fundraising has been marshaled through local Slow Food events organized by convivium leaders and Terra Madre network participants as well as through individual giving. The Terra Madre Relief Fund helped many of the Gulf Coast region's food producers begin to rebuild the area's gastronomic and agricultural landscape.
Today we seek to aid farmers in the Midwest. Your donation will help disaster victims replenish their livestock, replace damaged or destroyed buildings, buy new seed, repair damaged equipment, and more. Help our farmers rebuild, replant and return to market.
Also: if you live in the Bay Area and have been meaning to subscribe to Edible San Francisco, now is the time. Between now and July 1st, 100% of their subscription price will go towards Iowa farmers.
Posted on Thu, June 19, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Slow Food USA intern Sara Hoffman
Yesterday in the New York Times, Dan Koeppel, the author of Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World (which will be reviewed in the upcoming Snail), published an opinion piece about the homogenization and industrialization of the banana.
It's a good reminder of the deceptive economic, social, and environmental toll of this recent staple of the American diet. For a more ethical alternative, check out Oké Banana, a group working towards fair trade bananas in the U.S.
Posted on Tue, June 17, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
Iowa experienced the flood of the century 15 years ago. That, of course, was a different century.
Over the last week Iowans have seen floods unlike any in living memory. 1400 city blocks in Cedar Rapids were inundated with water up to 11 feet deep. 16 University of Iowa buildings were flooded. Interstates 80 and 380 were closed by water flowing 2 feet over their bridges. Levees have given way in Des Moines and Columbus Junction. 36,000 Iowans are newly homeless.
All this will have lasting impact on our state, but the larger impact may be felt across the country and around the world. An estimated 2 million acres of freshly planted farmland is under water. Statewide, about 20 percent of soybeans and 10 percent of all corn normally grown is either lost or at risk of being lost, according to the Iowa Department of Agriculture. The smaller sustainable family farms of the region are hit particularly hard because they lack many of the federal protections afforded the large commodity growers, but those big corporate farms grow roughly a third of the corn and soy in this country and the ripple effects on our already weakened economy will spread just like the floodwaters. Even the stockpiles left from last season's bumper-buster harvest (those that were not themselves ruined by floodwaters), cannot be shipped to market because railroad bridges are closed or washed out completely and the Mississippi River is closed to barge traffic along Iowa's entire eastern border.
Closer to home, my dear friend Susan Jutz, director of the area's largest CSA, lost her 102-year-old barn to the storms. While some CSAs have lost entire crops and acres of land, the CSAs that went unhurt are trying to get their food to families who have lost their homes.
83 of Iowa's 99 counties are state and/or federal disaster areas. Whole towns are evacuated. Family businesses lost. Restaurants underwater. The rebuilding process will take years and be in the billions of dollars.
Slow Food Iowa is in the process of determining what it can do to assist the affected farmers, wineries and restaurants. We'll soon be turning to the wider Slow Food world for help. Meanwhile your advice and your prayers will be most welcome.
Posted on Mon, June 16, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
It's that time of year again… Slow Food USA is pleased to announce that the 4th Annual Online Auction is now LIVE! Visit the Slow Food USA auction web page for a complete listing of all of this year's items up for grabs.
You can search all available items, place your bid and track competing ones starting today, June 16th, through Thursday June 26th. Remember to check back with the eBay site frequently to make sure your offer still stands, and that these great items are sure to be yours!
Posted on Sat, June 14, 2008 by Jerusha Klemperer
It's hard not to feel demoralized and/or scared. As we head into this summer weekend, we'd love to hear some good news. Call us cock-eyed optimists, call us rose-colored glasses wearers. Call us crazy, if you must. Maybe something as small as the incredible last-of-spring asparagus you just roasted up. Maybe something as big as your fava beans coming in nice and strong…?