Showing posts from September, 2012

Global Meals: The Big Round-Up

Since February 2011, when I first posted about this topic, I've written here often about the Global Food for Thought Meal Series that I organized for three semesters for the GreenHouse Environmental Learning Community. (see all posts tagged "Global Meal"). 
This series provided an opportunity for students to taste the foods of other cultures and then engage the social and environmental issues of the places whose cuisines they sampled. Through this, students began to understand how the production, preparation, and consumption of food involves us in intimate relations with the natural world and with each other. Chefs from Madison’s ethnic restaurants and other food experts worked with Housing Food Service staff to prepare dinners characteristic of a certain place. These meals were followed by an hour of discussion with the guest, to situate the food in environmental and cultural context.
My role was to decide on the ethnic cuisines we wanted to feature, recruit knowledgeab…

Food Writer's Panel, this Thursday

I posted about this before, but just another announcement that I'll be part of a Madison food writer's panel this Thursday at the Sequoya branch of the Madison public library. It would be great to see some of you there. (though, with such a large number of folks on the panel, who knows how much I'll actually get to speak!)

When: Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Where: Sequoya Library, 4340 Tokay Blvd., Madison, WI, 53711, 266-6385

Images of My Own Harvest

Remember that garden plan of mine way back in June?

Well, some of it came to fruition anyway. Lots and lots of Roma tomatoes! (and a few green zebras hidden in the mix):

Otherwise, the melon seeds never even sprouted, the cucumbers yielded a few delicious but scrawny crunchers, the broccoli got immediately eaten by critters, the bok choy produced a few lovely heads,
the white clara eggplants made for some exquisitely tender eggplant parmesan and beautiful table centerpieces, the Cheyenne peppers turned out to be hotter than hot!, the basil offered several rounds of pesto making, and the tomatoes...well, the tomatoes, you can see for yourself:

So much acidic sweet fleshiness from the garden this summer. Granted, there were far fewer sungolds than I might have hoped for, but the cherry tomatoes and the romas and the green zebra pulled through like champs.

Is it already time to say goodbye to the garden? The increased blog hits for my Sriracha Halloween post suggests that it is, in…

Images of the Harvest

Thanks to all of you who have stopped by to check out Organic, Schmorganic?, my rebuttal to Roger Cohen's New York Times editorial. I have really appreciated all the comments, challenges, and positive feedback. It feels good to know that simple, thoughtful, well-researched commentary can still bring readership! (I guess it's easier when you've got colleagues and friends like mine).

While we're in the mood to think about agriculture around the world, let's check out this amazing new pictorial article from The Boston Globe featuring beautiful, thought-provoking images from the harvest. Be sure to check out the full set of images here, but let me share a few of my favorites [for aesthetic reasons], to whet your appetite:

I think it would be really instructive to share the whole series with students, reading each caption slowly, while projecting each image onto the board, in turn, and have them write observations and questions about what's being shown as you procee…

Organic, schmorganic?

The recent kerfuffle over the Stanford organics study has dominated lots of the blogs and media outlets that I follow, but I haven't yet commented on it in writing (see a partial list, with links, below). But now, this new piece, "The Organic Fable," by Roger Cohen in the New York Times has put me over the edge. How can there be so much bad writing on this topic in the country's leading newspaper? How can an esteemed journalist write such poorly-argued drivel?

The Stanford study began with the somewhat questionable goal [perhaps a topic for another post] of determining whether organic food was more nutritious than non-organic food. The key findings of the meta-analysis the Stanford doctors conducted were that "the published literature lacks strong evidence that organic foods are significantly more nutritious than conventional foods," and that, with regard to chemicals, eating organic food "may reduce exposure to pesticide residues and an…

Food in Belize: A Photo Collage