Posts in Food Culture & Politics

A Metric for Everything

Americans like to talk about how hard we work.

Even Pull Farm Preview

In early October, I drove deep into Oregon’s wine country twice, but I never had a sip of wine.

Nourishing Bread

When I went to bed last night, I inadvertently rubbed my arm and felt something crusty and scaly: leftover dough stuck to my body, clinging there despite repeated washing of hands.

The Appeal of The Great British Bake Off

Besides a week-long stretch when I was sick and lay on the couch watching the entire first season of Grey’s Anatomy, The Great British Bake Off is the closest I’ve ever come to obsessively binge-watching a tv show.

Farmers as Community

Writers, policy makers, chefs, and tv personalities love to strike the “food as community” gong, urging us, their audience, to gather around the table, to cook for each other, to know who grows our food, and to connect over a plate of whatever is freshest and most in season.

Relatable Reality

What does a farming internship prepare you to do?

Incremental Steps to a Healthier Community

America is a collection of untethered individuals.

Zenger's Broader Focus

After much conversation and anticipation, “Hell Week” had finally arrived for Zenger Farm interns Brad, Brittany, and Aaron.

Reconnecting to a Sustainable Future

When I get in my car, my only hope is to reach my destination as quickly as possible, whether that destination is ten minutes away or two hours.

Schoolyard Farms

Shortly before lunch at Schoolyard Farms' summer camp, Courtney Leeds and Brooke Hieserich decided to shake things up for a few minutes.

Precision Agriculture

Standing inside a cool warehouse, surrounded by rack upon rack of oak and steel barrels in various stages of fermentation, Drew Herman was willing to let me taste as much wine as I wanted.

Harmony & Balance at The Croft

While early dusk settled across downtown Portland, the sun still shone brilliantly orange a mere fifteen minutes away, casting long and dappled light onto Sauvie Island.

A Restorative Perspective

Genevieve Flanagan is currently a farmer without a single pea pod, head of lettuce, or red radish to show for it.

When Tasks Become Second Nature

A lot had changed in the 6 weeks between my first visit to Zenger Farm and the warm late May days of my most recent visits.

Fruit Trees for a Community

The chocolate chip cookies were melting in the surprisingly warm April sun.

Zenger's Interns, Early April

I met Zenger Farm's new interns on a cloudy Wednesday morning, a day when the cool air felt refreshing and hopeful, buffered by a warm breeze and punctuated by noises around the property: tilling of the planting fields, chattering children on a school trip, and construction on Zenger’s soon-to-open Grange.

Growth, Edible and Otherwise

I can feel it in the ever-warming air: winter is over, and the food at Portland area farmers’ markets has finally started to match the warmer temperatures.

The Way We Eat

A few weekends ago, I sat at brunch, my husband to my right, two friends across from us, forks dipping into eggs Benedict and quiche, a kale salad nudged to the middle for easier sharing.

San Francisco Sour(flour)

When Danny Gabriner first began baking bread, he gave away 1,000 loaves for free.

The Taste of “Good” Pasta

Americans consistently elevate Italian food culture onto a mantle of gastronomic fulfillment.

Own Rooted

In the back corner of Portland’s Enso Winery, past the warm, dark hued tasting room and into the brightly lit production space, I found Fossil and Fawn’s Jenny Mosbacher in a giant plastic square fermenter, pants-less and shoveling buckets of freshly fermented grapes, skins, and various other grape parts into a cylindrical wine press.

Preservation, Locally Adapted

"The advantage of industrialization is that you get consistency," Shaun Winter stated succinctly on a hot summer afternoon outside of The Fresh Pot in North Portland.

Food as Culture: The Romantic Realities of Food in Italy

Talking about food is best on a full stomach, as the resulting discourse, often fraught and conflicted, flows best when not hindered by hunger-induced crankiness.

The Product Within


A Growing Maturity

At a Wednesday CSA pick-up at Working Hands Farm in Hillsboro, Oregon, that “imperative to feed people” stood out clearly, just as it had when I observed the farm’s CSA pick-up last year.

Stay Tuned

Michael Pollan.

Cheese with a (Traceable) Story

All that stood between me and the cheesemaking room was a set of steamy windows.

Knowing Your (Grocery Store) Farmer

My husband recently rushed home from picking up a box of pasta at our local grocery store, eager to relay a conversation he’d overheard before forgetting its details.

Baked with its Own Identity

Paola Smith is covered in flour and moving lithely hours before most Portlanders have sipped their first coveted cup of coffee.

Transformation, in Tea & Business

I distinctly remember the first time I heard about kombucha.

Unearthing Tunnels

Tunnels bypass previously impassable areas, free up congestion in cities, and hide unsightly traffic.

Cultures, Microbial and Otherwise

It wouldn’t surprise anyone who reads this site that my list of favorite foods is exceedingly large, ranging from cheese to bread, beer to wine, sauerkraut to pickles.

Seeing Beyond the GMO Debate

People are either going to drink transgenic orange juice or they’re going to drink apple juice.

Farming Together

"Farming” in America holds many meanings, and only a few have anything to do with food.

Non-Preachy Pie

Imagine the hardiest slice of seasonal fruit pie you’ve ever eaten, cut and served to you by two Canadian sisters baking in a space barely big enough to hold the three of you.

A Year of Transitions

As much as they might crave a comfy couch, a relaxing beverage, and a sturdy ottoman, farmers don’t have the luxury of sitting down for an extended chat.

Lawns that Feed

Picture a neighborhood – not an area of urban density, but a typical block of single family homes.

Market Snapshots: Hillsdale's Market

While the Portland Farmers Market operates eight prominent markets around the city, there are other local farmers’ markets that exist outside of this official umbrella.

Resiliency via Sailboat

If you live a middle class life in a first world country, you have the option of absolving yourself from any connection to self-sufficiency.

Vancouver's Victory Gardeners

I’m usually not the type of person who notices cars in my daily life, but if I lived in Vancouver, British Columbia, I’m pretty sure that I’d recognize one of Victory Gardens’ trucks driving around town.

Nurturing a Natural Ecosystem

Last summer, Nathan Moomaw recruited customers for his new pastured based meat farm, Moomaw Family Farm, before owning a single animal.

Unified Intentionality

On a warm Seattle Sunday, Bob Redmond paused in the middle of teaching a beginner beekeeping class to notice the silence.

Planting Roots

Few words are as visually evocative, or as illustrative of their definition, as “tumbleweed”.

Guiding the Land Through the Seasons

It was more than open land that I suddenly craved; I wanted to interact with more of nature’s elements than just water.

“Growing Food for People We Know”

A few weeks ago, I listened to an NPR piece about the Oregon Country Fair.

Cultivating Food & Community

There's frequently a disconnect between how people portray themselves online, and how they act in reality: the bubbliest, most engaged person on iChat ends up being taciturn and standoffish in person.

Developing Community & Flavor at Blue Bee Farm

"Sorry, I take pictures of poop," Shanna Schlitz ruefully shrugged as she crouched over an unidentified specimen with her iPhone.

A Commitment in Ink

Since moving to Portland, I've quickly developed an appreciation for a wide range of tattoo art.

Ensuring Diversity by Preserving the Past

Spending time on a farm tends to lead to deep philosophical conversations about the nature of life and society.

New Series | Farming Together

It's a well reported fact that the average age of an American farmer is nearly 60 years old.

A Reason to Be(e)

As I was fillings bags of bulk ingredients on a recent trip to New Seasons, I overheard an earnest conversation that brought this question to mind.

Good Fast (Trail) Food

In a food cart built from scratch, I watched Picnic's John Dovydenas and Jen Cox form bread from giant containers of yeasted dough, roast carrots into softly blistered orange chunks, slice freshly roasted Kookoolan chickens to order, and hand customers hearty, creative cookie combinations like olive oil and pine nut.

Bean to Bar to Mouth

Fair trade chocolate is a growing industry.

Market Snapshots: Springs' Textures & Colors

On Saturday, in between shopping for various kinds of raab, cabbage, and chard, I passed the shopping bags to Justin, as I was eager to play with our new camera, the Fujifilm x100s.

Of Morality & Meat

It was simpler to clarify my eating preferences several years ago, when I was a complete vegetarian.


Any conversation about American food culture eventually comes around to a familiar set of topics: the decline of the "family dinner", the pervasiveness of fast food, and ways to make cooking more convenient.

Market Snapshots: The Shemanski Winter Market

Portland's main farmers' market (Saturday's PSU Market) may be on hiatus for these middle winter months, but the Portland Farmers' Market organization hasn't left us market-goers in a complete lurch.

Market Snapshots: The First of December

It's an unfortunate reality that by December, many farmers' markets are shut for the season.

The Victory Garden of Tomorrow

Our modern interest in homesteading is more than a fleeting pursuit.

How Urban Gleaners Rescues a Wasted Opportunity

It's no surprise that living in an age of globalized trade and supermarket chains has changed the way we shop for food.

Milk in America: Part Two

This article is Part Two of my research on our country’s relationship to milk, specifically the culture surrounding milk, milk pricing, and milk consolidation.

Milk in America: Part One

I've always had a fraught relationship with milk.

Sauvie Island's Grazing Goat Herd

You'd be forgiven for believing that goat herding, as a profession, doesn't exist in the United States.

MAD Food: Thought Provoking Videos

If you know me, you know about my extreme interest in Denmark.

Farm Profile | Sunset Lane's Pursuit of Flavor and Tradition

On a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Bourdain explored Austin, Texas during the insanity of the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival.

Market Snapshots: Summer at Shemanski Park

While working on a photo assignment, I found myself with thirty minutes to 'waste' at the Shemanski Park Farmers Market.

A Mid-August Farm Dinner

We booked tickets for a Plate and Pitchfork farm dinner as soon as we moved to Portland.

Farm Profile | MudJoy Farm's Levels of Diversity

Harry Short grows varieties of vegetables that you've never heard of.

Up Close at PSU's Farmers' Market

I rented a 60mm macro lens last week.

Farm Bill Update: The Ongoing Food Stamp Debate

The Farm Bill reauthorization is steadily moving forward, with Senators and committees recommending cuts and shifts.

So Much Ag, So Little Food. Understanding the Farm Bill

Despite its innocuous name, the Farm Bill is a beast of legislation.

Market Snapshots: This Last Week

I feel like I blinked and the food at the farmers' markets transitioned from beets and carrots to strawberries, fava beans, snap peas, and asparagus.

Untangling the Complicated Layers of School Food

Anyone who has watched Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution, followed the recent "pink slime" food debacle, or rolled their eyes when pizza was deemed a vegetable, knows that school food has its fair share of problems.

Market Snapshots: Opening Day of the PSU Farmers’ Market

I awoke on Saturday to the realization that it was both St.

Market Snapshots: Bursts of Color in Winter

Across the country, January was the fourth warmest January on record.

Pick a ‘Stache, any ‘Stache

When I was in the kitchen with Alison and Michael of Butter + Love, I watched the entire process of jam cookie creation.

Destination(s) Unknown

We took a day trip this weekend with our end destination determined, but no other parts of the day fleshed out.

Images from the Butter + Love Kitchen

The images are in chronological order in the gallery.

Artisan Profile: Butter + Love

A girl from a large, close-knit Kansas family graduates high school and moves East.

Coming Soon: Butter + Love

On Monday, I spent three hours in a Sunset Park industrial kitchen with Alison Walla of Butter + Love.

Food Politics: Who’s Really in Control?

The failure of federal efforts to feed the poor cannot be divorced from our nation's agricultural policy, the congressional committees that dictate that policy, and the Department of Ag that implements it.

Farmstead Meatsmith

I found myself smiling and nodding along to a video about butchery.

Care for a Stubby?

Oliver Strand wrote that these bottles look as if they belong in a "cooler on the porch".

Nostalgic Farming

Everyone uses twitter differently.

Market Snapshots: Union Square Greenmarket

I only had time to take a few pictures before I quickly ran out of hands as I checked off items from my shopping list!

Butchery & Graphic Design

Park Slope is days away from having its very own butcher shop!

Biology 101: Understanding Refined Grains and Sweetener Differences

I didn’t read Michael Pollan’s In Defense of Food until last month.

Market Snapshots: Copenhagen’s Torvehallerne

Copenhagen’s new year round food market, Torvehallerne, opened on Friday, September 2, 2011.

Peach Picking

Fishkill Farms has one of the most welcoming stands at the greenmarket.

Ready in Three Months

These half grown turkeys are currently living the good life at Stone Barns.

Market Snapshots: Union Square Greenmarket

A mid-August Greenmarket is a fine place to shop.

Tomatoes that Taste like Tomatoes

That’s the question Barry Estabrook uses as a jumping off point for his new book, Tomatoland.

A General Store for the 21st Century

I’ve noticed a common thread among the local artisans, farmers, and purveyors I most admire: they’ve each learned to accept, and even embrace, nuance and unpredictability without sacrificing the quality of their product.

Learning to Use, Not Save

Do you hate plastic bags as much as I do?

Market Snapshots: Andaz Farmers Market

Have you heard of the Andaz hotel chain?

Finally: Putting the CAFO out to Pasture

The CAFO Reader has been a long (clearly, I started over four months ago!) and challenging read.

Artisan Profile: Rachel’s Pies

I’d first tried Rachel’s Pies at the inaugural Fort Greene Brooklyn Flea of the summer.

A Compost Block Party

Who likes to compost?

Stone Barns in June

It’s no secret that I love Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

A Few Favorite Finds

I have a not-so secret love of screen printed, handmade tea towels, and house a growing collection in one of our drawers.

A Vegetarian Lunch: Rucola

I first learned about Rucola, the new Northern Italian restaurant in Boerum Hill, in an email several months ago.

Part 6: Technological Takeover

What image comes into your head when you hear the phrase ‘technological takeover’?

Food Carts & Open Kitchens

We’ve had several people ask us how we’d describe Portland’s food culture, and we’ve found ourselves repeating words:  unpretentious, fun, ingredient focused, and welcoming.

Caffeine x 7

In the months leading up to our Portland trip, Justin and I joked that we were going to come back to Brooklyn sleep deprived, full of amazing food, and overly caffeinated.

Market Snapshots: Portland Edition

Last Saturday, we spent all morning at the Portland Farmers Market, located along the grassy park in the middle of Portland State University's campus.

A Well- Timed Discussion & Part 5

I attended a panel discussion several weeks ago at NYU that corresponded perfectly with the section I just finished in The CAFO Reader--in fact, the timing of the panel felt almost like I had planned it.

Market Grown Bags

Designers Catalina RozoMelissa Clinard recently created these bags to support local farmers in Alachua County, FL.

Barnyard Greetings

I was practicing frugality a few weeks ago when I spotted Albertine's Press' Barnyard Greetings cards at Word.

A Vegetarian Lunch: Bark

On one of our very first weekends in Brooklyn (back in November 2009!), we took the 3 train to Park Slope to explore.

Market Snapshots

This market was blooming with flowers...and not much else.

Part 4: The Loss of Diversity

I found Part 4 of The CAFO Reader to be dense and slightly repetitive.

Root Veggie Cards

Being a fan of food inspired illustrations (and letterpress, in general), I bought these root vegetable notecards a few weekends ago at Word.

Kitchen Inspiration: Wade Ceramics

I caught a glimpse of a stunning mortar and pestle by English company Wade Ceramics and promptly researched to see what other products they make.

Thoughts on “Divided We Eat”

My mother likes to mail me packets of newspaper clippings and articles she’s saved that she thinks will be of interest to me.

Part 3: Inside the CAFO

Each summer in elementary school, my brother and I would participate in the summer library program.

Merging Nature, Design, and Self-Sufficiency

Terrariums recently captured my attention.

Part 2: Myths of the CAFO

“Once plants and animals were raised together on the same farm.

Design that Needs to Become Reality

While browsing The Die Line, I stumbled across this post and frantically started clicking around.

Part 1: The Pathological Mindset of the CAFO

Fittingly enough, Part 1 of The CAFO Reader starts from the true beginning of the development of industrial meat production.

Gathering my Thoughts: The CAFO Reader

Some people assign themselves enjoyable New Year’s resolutions along the lines of ‘See friends more’ or ‘Take time for me’.

A Vegetarian Lunch: Juventino

Before moving to Park Slope, I only knew about Get Fresh Table and Market from Top Chef Mark Simmons’ previous association with the restaurant.

Nature Pulls You Forward: Joan Gussow’s Organic Life

Joan Gussow exhibits a multitude of consistent character traits that I can only one day humbly hope to possess.

Artisan Profile: Brooklyn Butcher Blocks

When Nils Wessell, the one-man woodworker/proprietor/owner of Brooklyn Butcher Blocks agreed to meet me at 'the pie shop', there was no confusion as to which pie shop he meant:  Gowanus’ Four and Twenty Blackbirds—THE pie shop, at least in our opinions.

Market Snapshots

A Solution to a Nagging Problem

Last year, after several months of attempting to take our food scraps from Brooklyn to Union Square, we gave up.

Market Snapshots

Fresh from the Market: Bosc Pears

I admit to knowing very little about the differences between pear varieties.

After Lunch: A Chat with Seersucker’s Rob Newton

After my vegetarian lunch at Seersucker, I followed up with chef and owner Rob Newton.

A Vegetarian Lunch: Seersucker

Quick, what's the first word that comes into your head when you hear the phrase 'Southern food'?

Book Review: The Town that Food Saved

My mother loves to clip out articles from newspapers and magazines and send them my way.

Artisan Profile: Bailey Doesn’t Bark

My first time exploring Etsy was also the first time I noticed Bailey Doesn’t Bark.

Book Review: The Murky Ethics of Eating Fish

Bottomfeeder was as well-researched as an advanced college textbook…though most college textbook authors don’t travel around the world for over a year, meeting fish farmers, touring factories and fish markets, and even eating potentially life-threatening foods like puffer fish.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish…Polluted Fish

Frankly, Bottomfeeder isn't an easy book to read.

Local Chocolate…and its Ice Cream spin off

Since moving to New York, I've become a bit preoccupied with chocolate.

A Foraged Goodie Bag

Yesterday, as mentioned in my 'ode to Copenhagen' post, we attended a discussion between David Chang and Rene Redzepi.

Thoughts on Copenhagen…and Rene Redzepi

If you were suddenly asked ‘what’s the most influential experience on your life so far?’, what would you say?

Tea fit for royalty

Kusmi is the gold standard of all teas.

Fall at the Tucker Square Greenmarket

Today’s chillier, rainy weather may have elicited groans and snooze buttons from some, but I was actually excited to wake up to a dreary Monday.

Dinner in Neversink’s Barn

As I quickly mentioned in the previous post, we drove out to Neversink, New York on Saturday for a barn dinner hosted by Neversink Farm and prepared by the staff of the West Village's Bobo restaurant.

Barn Dinner

Our Saturday was...long.

The Hester Street Fair

We seem to spend many weekends in Lower Manhattan, splitting our time behind the East Village, the Lower East Side, and Soho/Noho.

Appreciating the New Amsterdam Market

When Justin and I moved to Brooklyn last Fall, we were inundated with things to see, do, and eat.

Carpe Cocoa!

I was never a milk drinker before moving to Brooklyn; I always found the taste to be off-putting and stomach-ache inducing.

Cape Cod Lobster Bake

We just returned from a long weekend in Cape Cod.

Chickens, pigs, and the best dinner of my life

Yesterday, I browsed through some old archives on this blog and came across one dated July 25, 2009.

Bringing a Coffee Bean to ‘Life’

Cafe Grumpy has two locations in Brooklyn and one in Manhattan.

In Conclusion Oak Grove’s Details

After reading about the dedication and heart the Blews put in each day at Oak Grove Plantation, you’re probably wondering more about their products.

“We’ve Persisted”: Part 2

The years following the purchase and creation of Oak Grove Plantation saw Ted and Susan Blew raising four young children while striving to make the farm as successful as possible.

“We’ve Persisted”: Part 1

“People used to say it’s going to be the hardest thing you’ll ever do, buying a farm.

The Fruit of One Farmer’s Labor

Last week, I braved the BQE, navigated the Verrazano, and drove to Pittstown, NJ.

My First Food Truck Drive In

The 4th Annual NYC Food Film Festival took place last week.

Exploring the London Food Scene

Borough Market is the definition of a food lovers' dream.


We're back from our honeymoon with much to share!

The Future of Urban Agriculture

Last night I attended 'Room to Grow': Real Roles for City Residents & Food Professionals in Urban Agriculture.

Food Shoppers, Paying Attention

About a week ago, my brother shared an article from Foreign Policy Magazine with me, thinking I would find it of interest.

One Girl Cookies: A Focus on Quality

One Girl Cookies is one of my favorite places in all of Brooklyn and just happened to be next on my round of cupcake reviews!

Animals with Personality

This past weekend, I had the chance to visit The Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture.

Big River

This past Monday, I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of Big River, the sequel to the documentary King Corn.

Consumer Impact

Since moving to Brooklyn, I’ve been eating more chocolate than ever.

Book Review: Notes on ‘Righteous’ Eating

As partially expected, Niman talked about similar issues (and even farmers) that Jonathan Safran Foer and Michael Pollan have written about.

Tasty Local Jam

Book Review: Reflections on ‘Eating Animals’

For the past 7 months or so, I have been completely immersed in all things ‘food related’.

Thoughts on 'No Impact Man'

On one of our quick trips up to New York in October, we checked out McNally Jackson Books and I picked up Colin Beavan’s No Impact Man.