A summary of provenance related stories from around the web that I’ve been reading.
Poultry with a pedigree: Babied chickens & their eggs are flying off the shelves | Philadelphia Daily News | 04/01/2010
Friday, April 02, 2010 7:34 AM
WHICH CAME first, the local, pasture-raised, free-roaming chicken, or the brown, heritage-breed organic egg?
Most of us eat chicken and eggs regularly. The question is, what are we getting for our money? Where have those chicken and eggs been, and what are your options if you want to branch out from the mass-produced varieties that dominate most supermarket offerings?
Walmart versus Whole foods: Does Walmart win? – Chris Blattman
Friday, April 02, 2010 7:16 AM
Walmart is going organic and locavore in its produce section. Corby Kummer comes to terms with his disbelief (and does blind taste tests of Whole Foods versus Walmart) in an Atlantic article. I started looking into how and why Walmart could be plausibly competing with Whole Foods, and found that its produce-buying had evolved beyond organics, to a virtually unknown program—one that could do …
Transparency: Which Fish to Eat? – Transparency – GOOD
infographic on which fish to eat in which US regions
Push to Eat Local Food Is Hampered by Shortage – NYTimes.com
In what could be a setback for the local-food movement, independent farmers say they are having trouble arranging for slaughter.
How Locavores Could Save the World | Foreign Policy
the costs of the modern agriculture industry are far greater, and more insidious, than the costs of returning to a more localized model of farming would be.
We are trying to maintain our goal of eating/drinking only things where we can trace 100% of the ingredients to the source during our stay in Maui. The first night didn’t go so well. But we’ve always said it is a process and a journey. We aren’t looking for a diet, but a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. This is also not some sort of high moral pursuit or crusade, so a hunger strike is also not appropriate.
Okay, that’s it for excuses. We’ll be better today.
Eating provenance on Holiday- day one fail from foodtree on Vimeo.
Follow the OceanGybe Crew as they explore the impact of plastics on our oceans
Join Taina on her year without plastic
In our series on Eating Provenance, we’ve had our first real consumption issue and it comes from an unlikely source.
Coca-Cola as homeopathic remedy? from foodtree on Vimeo.
Seared Tenderloin with braised spinach, tomato confit, tomato powder and peanut veloute. This lovely looking dish is actually death on a plate. In the past year there have been massive recalls of spinach, tomatoes, beef (all for ecoli) and peanut butter (salmonella). Understanding the who, what, why, where and how of our food is more important than ever.
We live in a world filled with opportunity, but also with great challenges. At times, it feels impossible for any individual to make the world a better place. But each and every day, you really can make a difference. The struggles we face as individuals and a society are complex and interconnected issues. Food is no exception, but this is also its strength. The food we eat has direct and clear implications for everything from clean water and fossil fuel use to hunger and obesity, the power to change the world is right in front of you- on your plate.
Here’s why provenance, from provenir (Fr.) “the origin or source of something,” matters to you, your family and the planet.
1. Health. Not only are whole foods superior nutritionally, many are even better when grown in healthy soil. Beyond that, the impact of poor diets on our health is immense. Obesity is not only the leading risk factor for type2 diabetes, the direct medical costs are $93 billion dollars each year.
2. Food Safety. As you can see from the photo above a beautiful looking plate can still make you sick. This is despite a massive number of government regulations intended to make food safe. Just last week, a blogger broke the story of a massive meat recall before the USDA.
3. Environment. Sustainability does not mean a particular product is fair trade or organic, etc. An individual product cannot, by definition, be sustainable. Sustainability is a system-wide condition, not a product level benefit. We need to understand the underlying process and the implications for a larger system- relying on a reductionist label is insufficient.
4. Farmers matter. The best farmers have an amazingly wide array of skills- biology, horticulture, business, accounting, mechanics…Farmers connection to and understanding of the planet’s natural systems are one of our most important links to the Earth. Farmers can teach us how to live and work in harmony with nature. One of the great farmers of all time, Masanobu Fukuoka, explains, “The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”
5. Food is not a commodity. Although agriculture has inspired many of our current economic systems, food should not be a commodity, It is a biological necessity, and, as such, should be regarded as distinct from copper, iron ore and light sweet crude.
Cooking is important. As Harvard Professor of Biological Anthropology, Richard Wrangham explains, “It’s the development that underpins many other changes that have made humans so distinct from other species.”