“Do you know who produces the ingredients in your kid’s school lunch? What about the meals at your parent’s assisted living community? Or even the milk in that coffee you pick up on the way to work each day?” If Erika Block, PopTech Social Innovation Fellow and Founder of Local Orbit, has anything to do with it, we will all know soon enough.
"Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly." M. F. K. Fisher
Swole.me is becoming more and more useful.
Here’s my favorite part of the piece:
The brother-sister duo’s mission is to broaden the appeal of the food movement to embrace more black eaters. The first step is the vintage train-themed brand. ”Railroads are great connectors,” according to Alison. “They are also what took African Americans out of the South, saving our lives in many instances, as well as brought them back to visit their families.” While the typical branding on the nonprofits and businesses of the local food movement tends to idealize an agricultural lifestyle, that’s “something the African American community does not really desire to go back to, even though we need to address lots of health issues directly related to the type of foods we’re eating,” Alison says.
The insular cortex of the brain, he argues, is the area of our brains where we become our ‘sentient selves,’ consciously aware of the emotions connected to our internal bodily states. It is the core brain region where our sense of being a body gripped by good or bad feelings emerges moment to moment, alone and in complex social interactions with others. And remarkably, Caltech’s Allman proposes, the emotional logic ‘evolved out of the neural circuitry that gave us the ability to make food-relation decisions’–-the circuitry of taste, in other words, is at the core of how we emotionally experience the world around us.
"The (Neurobiological) Sweet Spot," Geoffrey Montgomery in Lucky Peach, Issue 2, Fall/Winter 2011.
Lovers of a quality, Belgian-style ale: You should know that some excellent beer is in danger should fracking begin in the Marcellus Shale.
Let me explain. Energy companies want to use hydraulic fracturing, a technique aptly known as “fracking,” to get at natural gas trapped in the Marcellus Shale, a rock formation that lies beneath West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York. The process involves shooting hundreds of toxic chemicals diluted in millions of gallons of water into the earth. Natural gas is subsequently released, as are heavy metals and other nasty things lurking in the shale — which happens to be radioactive, by the way — while the fracking chemicals wander into local groundwater. What could possibly go wrong! Well, writer Barry Estabrook has already outlined the troubling impact this could have on the local food supply. But you know what else is inconveniently located right on top of the Marcellus Shale? Brewery Ommegang, maker of some of our favorite Belgian-style beers. A lot of water is used in the brewing process, and the beer is just never quite as good when it’s peppered with toxins like benzene and radioactive strontium. If fracking begins, Ommegang will either have to relocate, close, or truck in its water from elsewhere. There’s a petition on the matter, no doubt populated with folks who like good beer and aren’t big on radioactive eats. [The Washington Post]
Read more: http://www.esquire.com/blogs/food-for-men/fracking-ommegang-brewery-6640334#ixzz1jwftB1QP
Are Farmbots the Future of Agriculture? Lots of people think that farming has gotten too industrialized. But there are others who believe it’s not nearly industrialized enough—such as the Iowa inventor who envisions armies of robots growing our food in the future.
“Dourhout, who based his Prospero design in part on the swarming behaviors of insects, birds and fish, believes that robotic farming will help ramp up food production for a heavily populated planet. He “hopes the next step will be to create more advanced robots that can weed, fertilize and harvest the crop,” writes Eric Niller at Discovery News.
Totally dig this, and I’ve spoken about this and similar ideas before, so it’s nice to see that people are working on it. That said, I felt the tone of the video was a bit over-dramatic and kinda terrifying. It needn’t be. For non-Luddites, like myself, I see this as a natural extension of our technology. It’ll allow us to grow more, more efficiently, and not require back-breaking labor. Seems good. I do have some concern about the food industry, though. That said, I’m also looking forward to homes that include indoor greenhouses as a normal accessory (e.g. this and this), just like a microwave or refrigerator. In other words, technology isn’t good or bad. It’s a tool. It can have either, or both, effects. It can help monopolies - like the food empires - or it can democratize food production and empower individuals. But it’s up to us to be aware and take the steps we’d like to see.
Interesting conversation, for sure.