From Edward Behr, this wonderful quarterly (40+ pages, no ads) covers food, wine, cheese, etc., focusing on artisanal sources and restaurants. It is both very well-edited and well-written. Be sure to order back issues and also the recently revised book, The Artful Eater, which covers the early years of this journal. Simply put, the Art of Eating is the best food/wine publication in the English language.
This nonprofit organization is working to protect more than 150 breeds of livestock and poultry from extinction. Included are asses, cattle, goats, horses, sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens, ducks, geese and turkeys.
Finding Farmers' Markets
We think that Farmers' Markets are your best source for the freshest, healthiest and most flavorful produce. Here's how to find them:
You can find Farmers' Markets and CSA farms.
A lot of useful links/searches make this a very, very good site! You can find Farmer’s Markets and CSA farms (Community Supported Agriculture).Warning: Some of the best stuff on this site is deep in. FoodRoutes also has an incredible links list – it will take you days to go through them all.
Local Harvest is great for finding Farmers' Markets and CSAs.
and perhaps even better than Farmer's Markets are CSAs:
CSA = (Community Supported Agriculture)
How a CSA works: You subscribe for a period of time and receives a weekly basket of produce. Some CSA farms deliver, many don't. Some allow, ask or require you to help out in some way.
The weekly basket from a farm is, of course, different for each farm and the contents of the basket will also differ each week - whatever is ripe goes into your basket. No, you don’t get to choose what you get - but, this is sort of cool; some of the produce that you get, may be items which you might never purchase otherwise – this leads to questions and revelations like “What do I do with it?”, “Ah, Found a Recipe!”, “Wow – it’s actually Pretty Good!”, and the “I feel sort of dopey for ignoring this vegetable or fruit all of my life”. Okay, so this doesn’t always happen. But it definitely does happen.
Besides the Farmers' Market finders above, you can also find CSAs via these two links:
They provide "information and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, and others involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States."
A chef's organization dedicated to protecting the quality and flavor of foods, promoting the know-how of food craftsmen, preserving the ability to make and by cheeses made from raw milk, and much more.
200 miles north of NYC, a group of farmers have banded together to get their products to NYC chefs. (We have this on our site as we think this is a great idea!)
F&B's Important Links
Imagine if there was an independent organization trying to keep an eye on which seafoods were safe and responsibly caught/harvested. Then imagine they made it easy to find each fish on their website - and allowed you to print a regional seafood chart for where you live?!
Search By: Fish/Shellfish
They now have seven printable guides: West Coast, Northeast, Hawaii, National, Southeast, Midwest and Guía Española - Regional Charts
Tom Worthington and Paul Johnson are the writers of these excellent articles on their website:
All about how farmed salmon is harming and polluting the environment.
They are a non-profit organization that promotes responsible fishing practices. They have a sub-site called Fish and Kids.
"...A return to humane, non-toxic, pasture-based dairying and small-scale traditional processing."
A big website with a lot of information!
A certification organiniztion for raw food.
High Fructose Corn Syrup List at Accidental Hedonist
The is a huge and ever-growing list of products containing HFCS - the number one cause of obesity in America. Jack has submitted quite a few products to this list. This second (incomplete) list tells you what food at Fast Food restaurants is fattening you with HFCS.
...is a "collaborative of diverse leaders and institutions which are unified in a common pursuit of achieving a sustainable food system in California by 2030." They also have a blog (RocFund news-oriented).
From their site: “The Clearinghouse for Information about Pasture-Based Farming” and "is your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry and dairy products." There's also information on Mad Cow Disease and a great links list.
From their site: “... works with allies in protecting public health and the environment to lead the transition to a world free of toxic pesticides.” They have a good information on Organic Lawn care, too.
Food & Brain Websites
Learn all about the great, innovative lunch program at a Berkeley, CA middle school.
This is a “national program of garden to table projects with children that cultivates the senses and teaches an ecological approach to food.”
RSL is an online guide to integrating school lunch into the academic curriculum.
Their mission is to teach and promote sustainable, community-based food production.
Eleven writers contribute to the blog of the Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity. It aims to encourage global discussion of the most critical issues on food policy and obesity.
Jeff McIntire-Strasburg writes about sustainability issues, green/sustainable business and environmental politics.
Slow Food is an organization whose members care about biodiversity, heirloom foods and eating local products from small farms. Their US website is great for learning about local conviviums, regional events, etc.
Get With The Program
Watch these short films!
Also... The Meatrix I
Visit Free Range Studios
This is a full-blown, cleverly done video game that you can play for free online. Although a satire, it hits some home runs!
Probably the best, coolest thing that Slow Food USA is up to is their The Ark USA project.
Here are links to some of the best articles on food and food concerns on the internet before The Ethicurean started their Daily Digest.
The Center for Ecoliteracy’s has eleven excellent essays on “the connections that link childhood obesity and other health issues, the interdependence of human and ecological communities, education for sustainability, and access to safe, fresh, and nourishing food for all people.” Check them out! In addition, here’s a link to many more online articles.
Food Rules of Order
No Partially-Hydrogenated Oils (PHOs). Check the ingredients label. And watch for tricks like “margarine or shortening”.
No High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS). Yeah, it’s in everything at regular grocery stores and quickie-marts. Yes, this means all of the mass-produced carbonated beverages that you see everywhere. Read packaging labels – HFCS is in so many items – how can people live without HFCS in their English Muffins!?
No in-humanely raised food. This includes most mass-produced chickens and eggs, beef, pork, etc. Know where your beast comes from. (Even US Foie Gras is far more humanely raised than the typical supermarket chicken or steak.)
Organic food. Com’on, is there some reason you want to eat food treated with pesticides or irradiation? Not even the new, goofy US Food Pyramid recommends pesticides.
No ultra-pasteurized milk. In fact, do not go out of your way to drink a glass of milk. Few adult humans have a need for milk. (Women can get calcium from other sources, like cheese!) Drink something else.
No crappy, stupid food. You know what I mean. And yes, that includes super-crappy candy bars – the kind you find at convenience stores, etc. For goodness-sakes, if you’re going to eat a candy bar, eat an awesome one!
No cheap food. Food is super-cheap in the US already. Spend more and get the real stuff, rather than food loaded with antibiotics, etc. Stop being cheap on what you spend for food, especially at home. (People will spend hundreds of dollars for a dinner out, but at home will buy the cheapest chickens in town. Stop this madness…you know who you are!)
No cheap food stores. Shop at places that pay their employees a fair wage and benefits.
No foods labeled “diet”, “low-carb”, “low-fat”, “zero-carb”, etc. See #7, above.
No fast food. No, no, no. No cheating and having it occasionally because you’ve been “good”. Get a deli sandwich or rotisserie chicken when you’re desperate. Better yet, have an artisan-made loaf of bread with some artisan-made cheese and wine – sometimes the simplest meals (like this) give you the most pleasure.
Artisan food. Tiny producers often make the most interesting tasting and healthiest foods. Big producers usually make bland, tasteless food that ship well and have a long shelf-life; they win, you lose.
This also means supporting local farms and shopping for food treasures at nearby Farmer's Markets. Remember, you can't beat the freshness of their produce.
Stop thinking that Big, Well-Known Brands are what’s best and safest to eat; they’re just the ones that spend the most on advertising, PR, and product placement.
Find the great alternatives for things you like that are actually crappy food. They’re out there, you just to have shop well.
Try to eat the most naturally-made foods. The ones that resemble, in a recognizable way, their ingredients. If you must choose packaged foods choose those that have the most natural ingredients. After all, what is your body going to be the happiest with?
Be adventurous. Eat something you’ve never had once-a-week. Stop being afraid of food.
Try things you don’t like. Often I’ve found the reason I didn’t like some food in the past is because it (unbeknownst to me) was either poor quality, prepared badly or both. Also, your tastes change over time.
Buy what's in-season. Especially melons! Hint: This is not produce from Chile.
Eat for pleasure.
How to Eat
Slowly. The slower you eat, the less you eat. Savor your food.
Taste your food. This sounds so dumb, but so many people wolf their food down rather than tasting it. What’s the point?! Eating is supposed to be pleasurable, not a race!
Cook your food. Stop choosing to watch an hour of TV and instead cook a meal.
Eat with family and friends. Not watching the TV or on the run.
Be sensible: Eat a reasonable amount of food.
The Key to Cooking…
...is shopping for quality ingredients. Keep practicing and you’ll get very good at it.
Don’t be afraid to experiment but if you are learning, keep it simple. Enjoy yourself rather than stressing about the meal. In the worst case, it tastes like bad fast food. Big deal. You’ll live.
Buy what’s fresh/good looking at the store. Especially, fish…drive far away to get the best fish, if that’s where it is.
Keep it simple when you are new to cooking. Choose the best quality and freshest ingredients but only combine a few into one dish. The more complicated the recipe the greater likelihood of mistakes.
Use fresh seasonings and remember not to get carried away with the amount used. Poor quality food needs heavy seasoning to hide its deficiencies - high quality food/ingredients need small amounts of seasoning (or even no seasoning).
No dieting. No fad diets, no miracle diets, no diets period. (And no talking about diets – it’s not a worthwhile conversation topic.)
Stop fearing fat. Fat is good. Fat is your friend. Like avocados. Trans-fat is bad, the enemy, and don’t consume it!
Stop fearing breads and pasta. Just eat reasonable amounts and choose whole grains when you can. Read your labels.
Go for a walk after eating. Just be more active in general.
So, the above is what you have to do. Yes, the American Lifestyle™ seems to make this nearly impossible, as I can personally attest. But don’t get discouraged, just move more and more towards the rules/concepts above and you’ll be happy, happy, zappy. (Rather than bloated, crappy and unhappy.)
Read this recent article in theNew York Times on Diets vs. Non-Diets(reg. req.)