What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Tue, August 04, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Youth Programs Intern Reece Trevor
At first glance, David WesterlundsSimone Goes to the Market seems to fit the bill for a standard childrens book. Its got a simple narrative structure, eye-catching pictures, and an educational message. Its in that message that Westerlunds book starts to look a little different, from, say, The Cat in the Hat
. He calls Simone a book of colors connecting face and food.
And what, exactly, does that mean? I wondered as I opened the cover. Just what it sounds like, it turns out. Westerlund describes a trip with his daughter, the title character, to their local farmers market. Simone and her father find purple pole beans, green serrano peppers, gold honey. And heres where the important part comes in: facing each image of vibrantly colorful food is a photograph of the farmer who produced it. The pole beans come from Gretchen, the peppers from Maria, the honey from Bill and his bees. This connection between what we eat and the closely personal image of its producer, Westerlund thinks, is vital.
I couldnt agree more. Ultimately, thats a huge part of the slow food movement. We need to reestablish that vital connection, and Westerlund is right when he describes how important it is to start this process at a young age. If children come of age in an environment where its clear that food comes from their neighbors instead of magically appearing on supermarket shelves, then well have made important steps towards systemic, grassroots change in the way we think about food as a society.
You can learn more aboutSimon Goes to the Market
and get a copy of your own at http://www.faceandfood.com.
Posted on Mon, August 03, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
by Erika Lesser
Cooking in public is a great way to meet people, and customers of the Cortelyou Greenmarket in Brooklyn are an interesting bunch. Every week, a storyteller and her wide-eyed, eager son come on the subway from Sheepshead Bay; young families with strollers tumble out of Victorian houses around the corner; Russian blondes and their mothers stiletto-stroll arm in arm.
Its also our way of helping this young market put down roots in the neighborhood, and we do this in part for selfish reasons: we are lazy and hungry. My husband Jim and I live four blocks away, and we like being able to roll out on a Sunday morning, travel mug in hand, to buy food from people who pulled it themselves from the ocean, the dirt or the tree just the day before.
So last Sunday we did our second cooking demo of the season, with one goal: clambake. Forget digging a pit, gathering seaweed and waiting all day: instead we rigged the ideal city clambake, simplified and perfect for the backyard or even front stoop.
Jim laid mussels, littlenecks, steamers, a whole bluefish, one blue crab, corn, potatoes, artichokes, onion, oregano and butter on a bed of corn husks, wrapped it all in two layers of heavy duty foil and placed the entire package on a baby Weber grill. It took barely half an hour to cook, and before we knew it shoppers were crowding around with toothpicks, spearing their favorite bivalve or briny vegetable chunk.
It could not have been simpler, or a better excuse for chatting. Well be back next Sunday for our weekly market fix; whats yours?
SFUSA Executive Director Erika Lesser and her husband Jim Hutchinson live in the Ditmas Park neighborhood of Brooklyn also known as the Paris of Siberia.
Posted on Sat, August 01, 2009 by Jerusha Klemperer
I love my public radio station. Ill admit I even drive to work some days just to listen to the morning news (note: I live in New York City, where driving to work takes more time, costs more, and is just plain silly). On the way home, Im usually back in the car just in time to hear the tail end of Marketplace, the daily broadcast of the days economic and financial news. Marketplace is a great show they explain complex content simply and with humor (I have a radio crush on the host, Kai Ryssdal) and they always play good music between the segments.
Lately, however, Ive found myself cringing with disgust as I listen. Its not the bleak financial news day after day or the fact that Kai and I mostly likely will never date that causes my reaction, but the fact that Marketplace is now sponsored by Monsanto the biotech company responsible for Round-Up, Agent Orange, GMO corn and soy, and all hosts of other types of evil. And as if it couldnt get any worse, the announcer, in a smug and confident voice, informs me that Monsanto is committed to sustainable agriculture.
If someone asked me to name a corporation that epitomized the opposite of sustainable agriculture, the name Monsanto would be out of my mouth before they even finished the question. But Im not going to rant about Monsanto here, you can read all about how theyre destroying the planet here. And if thats not enough, go here.
What I want to rant about here is Greenwashing. Greenwashing is the process by which a corporation disseminates a false or misleading picture of environmental friendliness in order to conceal or obscure damaging activities. Now, Im not green about greenwashing. I know its all over our food packaging in terms like all natural or made from the best stuff on earth, but Monsantos blatant usurping of the term sustainable agriculture makes my blood boil. Why? Well, for one, theyre insulting our intelligence. And for two, Im scared. Really scared. Scared that people will believe them. Allowing Monsanto to piggyback on public radio, which is seen as a credible, reliable albeit left-leaning (which, lets face it, makes it worse) suggests that their message is all these things.