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Showing posts from January, 2013

New Slow Food Director

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Slow Food USA has just announced that it has hired a new Executive Director: Richard McCarthy, of Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans.

Richard McCarthy
Earlier this year, the then-Executive Director of Slow Food USA, Josh Viertel, left the organization. The cause of his departure, at least in part, was a divide in the Slow Food community about what the primary goals of the organization should be. Because Viertel had been emphasizing the social justice elements of the food movement, some traditionalists within Slow Food thought he was turning away from the organization's roots, from its original emphasis on the aesthetic pleasures of good food.

As Viertel wrote in a January 2012 Atlantic article, "The Soul of Slow Food":
This shift has prompted some important and difficult conversations. Lately it has bubbled over into controversy. Some people worry we are turning our backs on our roots. Some people say we are being more faithful to them. There are real, dif…

Meeting Michael Pollan

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My brush with fame came last week at the American Historical Association (AHA) annual meeting in New Orleans. There, I got to briefly meet, and take a photo with, Michael Pollan!

This famed writer, scholar, and food movement leader has been one of my most important influences over the last seven years, shaping my interests, intellectually and personally.

He was at this professional conference (of a profession not at all his own), on the invitation of my graduate school mentor and AHA President, Bill Cronon. One of themes of this year's AHA, and of Bill's presidency, was "The Public Practice of History in and for the Digital Age." And because Michael Pollan is one of those people who manages to use history in fascinating and useful ways, without himself being a trained historian, his take on "public history" is a deeply valuable one.

Pollan spoke at two different sessions at the conference, both moderated by Bill Cronon, both of deep interest to me:
Plenary …