or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Good Guys Winning

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
We are having an effect, all of us, on the food system. Here they say it's Whole Foods leading the way, and that's fine. We are only interested in the victory, not the glory.

Read the whole story in Business Week
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
post #2 of 12

Industrial Organic

I guess we'll see if that is an oxymoron. The rap on organic food production has been that it is too expensive, thus a luxury item for the well off, and that it is not productive enough to supply our national, let alone planetary, needs. This article seemed to focus on organic dairy which, at the moment, enjoys good profit margins. I wonder about other parts of the organic ag world. At any rate, with big players like Wal-Mart getting into this market, are we going to find ADM, Swift, Delmonte, and other ag-industry giants moving into the supply side?
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
I feel the more important aspect, and one that this article also talked about, is the importance of local food. It's always fresher, usually tastes better, and reduces the risk of foodborne illness. In addition, it uses less fossil fuels for harvest, packaging and especially transport.

The fact that many store are beginning to acknowledge the quality of local produce is a huge step in the right direction.
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
post #4 of 12

Organic vs Local

There does seem to be some growing tension tension between local and organic. Apparently this came up when Whole Foods opened a large store in the vicinity of the NYC farmer's market, and local not-necessarily-organic growers were competing with organic not-necessarily-local produce. I like local and organic best, but I also see the need for trying to reduce long-distance shipping both to decrease use of fossil fuels and to make room for produce with interesting flavor and texture instead of varieties bred for sturdiness and shelf-life. A non-organic, non-local aside--I found a display of garlic heads from Gilroy, CA (less than 2 hrs. drive from my home) displayed in bulk in the huge cardboard shipping carton in a local grocery for 1.98/lb. next to a display of lacy sleeves of garlic, 1lb each, from China for .98 apiece!
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm with you Ted. Obviously both is best, but if I have to choose one or the other, I'll (almost) always choose local. It's fresher, usually better tasting, and I shake the hand that raised the food. It's important to me to to a foods source, to support my local community and to rely on a farmer rather than a corporation.
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
post #6 of 12
Interesting that you would find garlic from China- there was recently an article in the Sacramento Bee regarding California rice exporting to China. And the chinese said that they didn't feel our rice tasted as good as their local- plus even though the cost was higher, they felt it was more important to support their local economy by buying local crops. The quote was something along the lines of 'If I buy rice from California how will my local rice growers stay in business?' But they export garlic to us...???
and at a lower cost- I have never understood how a product can travel so far (fuel and handling costs) and get hit with all the import and excise fees and taxes and STILL have a lower retail cost than US made products.
Perhaps we need to be sure that our dollars stay in our country!
Bon Vive' !
Reply
Bon Vive' !
Reply
post #7 of 12
One word. OK, two words: "Labor cost."
post #8 of 12

Labor Cost

I agree with CIChef that the critical variable must be labor cost. In the Salinas and Central valleys of Calif. where a lot of garlic is grown much of the field and packing work is done by undocumented workers recruited by labor contractors hired by the packers ( don't tell anybody). Their wages are meager to say the least. Can you imagine the pay differential in China that would allow them to sell garlic in Cal. at half the price? I don't know if the Chinese gov subsidizes this trade, but if not, can you say slave labor?
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well of course it's slave labor, and that's just one of the myriad problems with or current food system. It's why Slow Food, among many others, is working to create a food system that is "Good, Clean, and Fair."

That chines garlic may be cheaper, but I'd rather pay Larry Cleverley, a garlic producer in Mingo, IA, more than twice as much for his fresher, better tasting garlic than send my money out of state, let alone overseas.

I'll get my money savings from driving a fuel-efficient car and buying cheaper shampoo.
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
post #10 of 12
I would have to agree with Devotay on the importance of the slowfood movement but I do not know how happy I am about a large corporation stepping into our areana. We have seen large corporations disregard ideals and principals to reach the bottom dollar many times before. And how will this produce be sold? Will the farmer have to cut some corners in order to produce the quantity issued by Walmart?
The whole philosphy behind the slowfood movement is educating and reuniting a community with agriculture. Making people aware of how food is created, thus making them more appreciative and ... involved. There will be no shaking of a farmer's hand at the walmart. Yes, I think that this is not neccessarily a good thing. But I could be wrong, been wrong before. Let's hope I am.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
The thing I wonder about is, well, isn't the kind of widespread acceptance of our goals what this represents? As a Slow Food member, I believe we need to ask ourselves, "what does success look like?" Does it involve local produce at Wal-Mart, or only at the farmers' market? SHould I be able to get Northern Prairie Chevre anywhere in Iowa, or only straight from the Woodward, IA farm?

There are pluses and minuses to both, and many grayer alternatives in between. So, the the sustainable-local-organic-slow-food-free-range-call-it-what-you-will movement is making progress, but is it good progress? And where do we go from here?
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
Peace,
kmf



Visit Edible Iowa River Valley"In the long view, no nation is healthier that its children, or more prosperous than its farmers." -President Harry Truman, at the signing of the School Lunch Act, 1946
Join Slow Food HereJoin Gather.com here
Reply
post #12 of 12
This is where I am torn. This thing is, slow food movement is more than just eating regional and seasonal foods, it's about returning to community. Having a sense of community and maybe offering this product to people who wouldn't usually seek it out is the way to go. At the same time, how does that improve our sense of community. Farmer markerts are lovely places to go. In fact, I make a point of going in a large metro city because it brings me back to my roots and gives me an opportunity to talk to my suppliers one on one. Find out how their families are, if they are going to be trying anything new this year, maybe even make some requests of my own. I couldn't imagine getting that same experience going into a walmart, the very place I vowed never to go.
But it is funny that you mention goat cheese. I grew up in Alberta and we had this small goat cheese farm in a little town just outside of Edmonton. My father and I would go there once a month to pick up cheeses. We just loved her product. Anyways, a couple of years ago, I was talking to a friend of mine that is a corporate chef with a large hotel chain over here and he was telling me about this woman's cheeses he started carring. She was voted one of the best goat cheese makers in all of North America. Low and behold, it was the woman that my father and I use to go to. She closed down because she couldn't handle the quantity, she cut corners, the wrong corners, and her farm was exposed to ecoli. She tried to open again about a year ago, with us all cheering, but her product just wasn't the same. Maybe it was the goats, not her. Here's my point, and it's a pretty cheezy point - excuse the pun.
The North American society -- Canada included -- constantly thinks more is better, bigger is better. Most people don't even know what artisan means anymore. We do not perfect our product, instead we look at how much money we can make off of it. I too work for a living and I have managed to do quite well for myself but I have never sacrificed my integrity of workmanship to gain an extra buck. If we expand something that needs love and attention, we may find ourselves missing that one ingrediant that makes it special. Pride.
I'm not torn anymore, I don't want this. There had got to be better ways to help the farmers besides just you and I supporting them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs