Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category
Thank You McDonalds (by Lisa Frank)
Picture angry Italians protesting with bowls of penne at the base of the iconic and beautiful Spanish Steps in Rome shouting “We don’t want fast food… we want slow food! It’s not a scene from a Fellini movie, but how Carlo Petrini started Slow Food. He and his pasta-wielding compatriots were outraged that a McDonalds was going to open there (and it did.)
His protest against the commercialization of a beloved landmark with the “Golden Arches” turned into an international organization founded in 1989 that today has over 150,000 members in more than 150 countries.
Slow Food’s mantra is good, clean, fair food for all. They want you to eat what is seasonal and local; respect the farmer and the produce/product; nurture the earth. Sound familiar? They believe that food should taste like, well, food and eating should take some time. Slow Food calls it the “pleasures of the table.” And it is not possible when a clown is looking over your shoulder. Or a creepy looking king. Or in your car. Or at your keyboard.
Slow Food opposes the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Life is diverse. Culture is diverse. Food is diverse. It should not all look or taste alike. Preservation of traditional or heritage foods, methods of preparation, and the culture associated with them is a worth while effort. That is the entire focus of the Center for Biodiversity. The premise is that if unique and tradition food products that are endangered can have an economic impact they can be saved from extinction. Enter the Presidia – local projects that devise a pathway for bringing a food or method of preparation back from the brink of being lost. The Ark of Taste is a catalog of foods worldwide being preserved through the efforts of Presidia. And these projects are not somewhere else. They are here: Blenheim Apricot, Charbono wine or Sebastopol Gravenstein Apple sound familiar? Clarksburg’s Chenin Blanc grape is close to be being listed.
Petrini wanted to make the connection between the plate, the palate and the planet. He calles it an “eco-gastronomic” movement that connected environmental sustainability (eco) to the study of culture and food (gastronomy). He took this idea even further by creating the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy (full disclosure, I’m an alumni) to create a new type of food professional, one who understands the entire food-production spectrum, from agricultural origins through industrial transformation and distribution, with particular attention to environmental and sustainability issues. These leaders, or Gastronomes as he calls them (us?), understand how to connect food processes to economic as well as communication systems, and the relationships within food-and-wine tourism, marketing of high-quality products, and promoting of the rich value of regional food traditions.
On the local front, California is now it’s own Slow Food Region. Our local chapter, Slow Food Sacramento bestows their annual “Snail of Approval” award upon local businesses that best represent the Slow Food Principles of good, clean, fair food for all. And to toot our own horn, Local Roots Food Tours has received the Slow Food Sacramento Snail of Approval because of our commitment to support business using fresh, local, organic, seasonal and sustainable, or as we say FLOSS!
We congratulate our partners have also received a Snail of Approval for their use of seasonal, local and organically grown foods, including Centro, Café Bernardos, Hot Italian and Kupros.
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It’s time to celebrate all about agriculture in the month of March. Taking time to appreciate how food and fiber are produced and recognizing those who do the work. Without agriculture, where would are country be? What a great opportunity to get back to our roots and celebrate the bounty before us, no matter where you live in this nation. Check your local agriculture department for events in your area. National Ag Day is March 25, 2014. Mark you calendars and go out and support our local farmers and what they provide for all of us all year round!
Whether home is the rural countryside or the population dense metropolis, California agriculture affects us all. This leads to the importance of educating consumers and how agriculture enriches our daily lives. The smell of livestock wafting down L Street can mean only one thing: It’s Agriculture Day at the state Capitol. Festivities get under way at 10:30 a.m., when lawmakers and their staff are invited to explore the booths (and tractors) around the Capitol grounds near the west steps. The public gets to meander through from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
“Agriculture: 365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed.”
National Agriculture Day is a day to recognize and celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture. Every year, producers, agricultural associations, corporations, universities, government agencies and countless others across America join together to recognize the contributions of agriculture.
The National Ag Day program encourages every American to:
- Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
- Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
- Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
- Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.