Growing up, grilled cheese sandwiches meant orange-rimmed, melted slices of Muenster cheese hugged tightly between two slices of buttered white bread. This comfort food classic is a childhood favorite and cemented Muenster as my cheese of choice.
Unfortunately, I have yet to find Muenster cheese at a local farmer’s market or though the Philadelphia Winter Harvest buying club. What I have found is celeriac, or celery root, a funky root vegetable with little physical resemblance to the familiar and graceful celery stalk. But beauty is only skin-deep, and like the creepy kohlrabi that I experimented with last winter, it’s uses are plentiful and its flavor mild, warm, comforting – perfect for cold, snowy weather, no stranger to the Philadelphia region this month.
Yesterday, Congress passed the Food Safety Modernization Act (S. 510), a landmark bill that greatly increases the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over our nation’s food system. Under this law, to be signed by President Obama today, food facilities will be required to put food safety plans in place, and the FDA will have the ability to issue mandatory food recalls. Continue reading
Strawberries from 3 Springs Fruit Farm
A recent report from the Economic Research Service of the United States Department of Agriculture explores the local food movement through a comprehensive literature review. This 87-page report (includes 16 pages of references) titled, “Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues,” contains numerous analyses with tables and charts illustrating current opportunities and barriers to the local food system, and how consumers, institutions, retailers and the government play a part. Read the Report Summary here if you’re time-crunched. The full report is expansive, so I’ll touch upon a few statistics and issues that resonated with me. Continue reading
Sometimes it takes years to find your groove, to discover what truly makes you happy each and every day. You think, toil, seek and shift. Some grooves reveal themselves faster than others; providing varying levels of anxiety and unwelcome hiccups along the way. Inevitably, the process to smooth out the hiccups often leads you one step closer to finding your groove.
I’m still toiling. As I wrap up my last few weeks of my winter CSA, I’m proud of the range of food, recipes, and knowledge I’ve acquired by simply seeking out this new venture. As the search for my groove continues, I’ve shifted to an even more local approach to foods – growing my own.
Having been exposed to Greensgrow, an accomplished urban agriculture initiative breathing new life to an abandoned city corner, articles lauding container gardening for space-challenged city dwellers, and the newest film project from the “King Corn” creators, “Truck Farm,” I’m inspired and hopeful. If the back of a Dodge pick-up truck can cultivate enough produce for a CSA, I can certainly create some semblance of a garden on my windowsill. Or, at least, I can try. Continue reading