Friday, March 31, 2006

Which should we use, corporganic, easier to say; or corganic, pithier?

Mchodera may just soon take over the blog. He provides this great link to the world of "organic" food.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Welcome Aboard

I was outta town yesterday, so missed the Chicago Tribune's urge to eat local.

Late March in Chicago is not the spring of storybooks. No pastel-colored tulips, no fuzzy lambs gamboling, no lush green lawns. If anything, the new season remains buried under winter's gray gloom. The "Hunger Moon" holds sway, at least climatically.

This term, used by indigenous people, refers to late winter when there is little locally grown food to eat, writes Jessica Prentice, a food activist and chef in her new book, "Full Moon Feast: Food and the Hunger for Connection" (Chelsea Green, $25).

That gets it right, huh? The rest of the article is pretty good too; register and check it out. And make sure you page all the way to the end of the article for a short profile on my favorite Farmer Vicki.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Fueling Your Food

After tastes better, one of the best reasons to eat local is the impact on the environment. Chowhound Mchodera turned me on to this article in the SF Chronicle on the energy costs associated with eating.

On a scale from one to five -- with one being nonprocessed, locally grown products and five being processed, packaged imports -- we could quickly average the numbers in our shopping cart to get a sense of the ecological footprint of our diet.

The article brings up some of the obvious, the enormous fuel needed to ship products from the southern hemisphere to our markets, but it also mentions something less recognized. A lot of the energy benefits of organic farming are lost on those big corporganic farms when they have to ship in tons of manure for fertilizer.

My biggest sin: coffee. Sure, I can improve things slightly by using roasters based in Chicago like Intelligentsia or Metropolis or in Milwaukee like Annodyne or Alterra. Still, the beans are being shipped from somewhere. Luckily, I enjoy the Mexican fair trade organic coffee. Is that the best option?