A culinary online center dedicated to promoting the importance and the joy of American home cooking with an emphasis on local products and talent, celebrating the unique spirit and energy of the new food world ethos, especially in Vermont.

amuse bouche

I love quotes that add meaning to my life. Here are a few to live by:

How should I eat? (Not too much)
—Michael Pollan

If it is so difficult to learn to cook, how did all those early pioneer women manage to cross the country in rugged covered wagons and feed troops of people from one big pot hung over an open fire?
—Marion Cunningham, from Learning to Cook

Treat treats as treats.
—Michael Pollan

No matter how you slice it through, grain-fed meat production systems are a drain on the global food supply.
—Jonathan A. Foley, director of the Institute on the Environment, U of MN

Love your FOOD | Love your FARMer

Those of you who know me well will be surprised to know I have read, not one, not two, but THREE news articles this week.  If you’re wondering why this is uncharacteristic, I don’t read the news.  For one simple reason: it’s depressing!  What’s not surprising is that the three articles I read this week were all in the vein of food politics.  I am NOT a political person…but I get hotly opinionated about food policies!

I have no intention of turning a lighthearted blog entry into a term paper…instead, my goal is to introduce ideas and generate productive conversations about food and where it comes from.

All three articles shared a common food theme, namely, the sustainability of current farming practices.  Yeah, yeah, yeah…Sustainability and farming – old news!  But these articles all have current and poignant perspectives.  Case in point: check out this new startup, Aggressively Organic.  They provides small-space, at-home, organic, hydroponic farming solutions.  Their grow setups require minimal water, no soil, and no light, making them perfect for the space and/or resource (soil/water) constrained.  Their tagline: We are a movement.  Their mission? End food insecurity in our lifetime.  

Next I read about a group of Vermont farmers involved in the Real Organic Project.  They seek to provide an organic label that encompasses the true spirit of “organic.”  In their view, the USDA Organic label, which includes hydroponics (like Aggressively Organic) and does not account for animal welfare, fails to encompass the original values of organic.  Their goal is transparency in the marketplace, which they will achieve by creating an additional organic label to celebrate what they value: “crops grown in soil [rotated, organic soil-grown crops provide nutrients to the soil, whereas mono-crops and pesticides deplete the soil] and pasture-raised livestock.”  Their motto: Feed the soil, feed the planet.

Closer to home are the challenges of the dairy farmer.  This week’s Seven Days cover story describes a bleak landscape for dairy farming in Vermont.  A cornerstone of Vermont agriculture for generations, the volatile financial landscape in which they operate have compelled many farmers to sell their herds.  According to the article, in the 1940’s Vermont was home to over 11,000 dairy farms.  Today? only 749 are still in operation!  Less inspiring and more thought provoking, this is a great read for anyone with an appetite for “human interest” articles.

My summary of this collection: vote with your dollar!  Every food purchase makes a difference.  We have an opportunity to support what we value each time we buy something.  Whether it’s local, organic, pastured, etc, our purchases make a difference!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

Posted: 4-15-2018

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Those of you who know me well will be surprised to know I have read, not one, not two, but THREE news articles this week.  If you're wondering why this is uncharacteristic, I don't read the news.  For one simple reason: it's depressing!  What's not surprising is that the three articles I read this week were all in the vein of food politics.  I am NOT a political person...but I get hotly opinionated about food policies!

I have no intention of turning a lighthearted blog entry into a term paper...instead, my goal is to introduce ideas and generate productive conversations about food and where it comes from.

All three articles shared a common food theme, namely, the sustainability of current farming practices.  Yeah, yeah, yeah...Sustainability and farming - old news!  But these articles all have current and poignant perspectives.  Case in point: check out this new startup, Aggressively Organic.  They provides small-space, at-home, organic, hydroponic farming solutions.  Their grow setups require minimal water, no soil, and no light, making them perfect for the space and/or resource (soil/water) constrained.  Their tagline: We are a movement.  Their mission? End food insecurity in our lifetime.  



Next I read about a group of Vermont farmers involved in the Real Organic Project.  They seek to provide an organic label that encompasses the true spirit of "organic."  In their view, the USDA Organic label, which includes hydroponics (like Aggressively Organic) and does not account for animal welfare, fails to encompass the original values of organic.  Their goal is transparency in the marketplace, which they will achieve by creating an additional organic label to celebrate what they value: "crops grown in soil [rotated, organic soil-grown crops provide nutrients to the soil, whereas mono-crops and pesticides deplete the soil] and pasture-raised livestock."  Their motto: Feed the soil, feed the planet.



Closer to home are the challenges of the dairy farmer.  This week's Seven Days cover story describes a bleak landscape for dairy farming in Vermont.  A cornerstone of Vermont agriculture for generations, the volatile financial landscape in which they operate have compelled many farmers to sell their herds.  According to the article, in the 1940's Vermont was home to over 11,000 dairy farms.  Today? only 749 are still in operation!  Less inspiring and more thought provoking, this is a great read for anyone with an appetite for "human interest" articles.

My summary of this collection: vote with your dollar!  Every food purchase makes a difference.  We have an opportunity to support what we value each time we buy something.  Whether it's local, organic, pastured, etc, our purchases make a difference!

Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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Until next time,

Corrie Austin

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4 responses to “Love your FOOD | Love your FARMer”

  1. Kellie Kutkey says:

    Hi Corrie!
    Awesome pic of Karin with the calf 🙂
    I’m getting ready to go meet Terri at the Vancouver Farmer’s market. I plan to get yummy, local, organic food to fix for dinner. (They have food too! Not just goat’s milk soap-ha!)
    I appreciate your commitment to healthy food and healthy planet. You’ve taught me a lot about healthy food-thank you.
    Keep it up!

  2. Buy local food and whatever else you can. I am sad about the 7 Days articles explaining the dairy business. My moto these days is “Live like today was your last, and garden like you will live forever.”

    • Corrie Austin says:

      Jenifer,
      That is an excellent motto. I was also sad to read the article about dairy farmers…it’s a tough landscape for all farmers. I’m glad to know there are others out there like you making buying decisions to support the things we value
      Corrie

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