As more and more people begin thinking about where their food is coming from, many turn to local sources. The growth of local fruit and vegetable markets bears that out. And it seems to be the case for meat too. Farmers would love to fill the demand for local meat. But as part of NHPR’s food series this week, Elaine Grant reports that meat producers face a significant obstacle.
SOUND: CHEWING NOISES
It’s lunchtime at Miles Smith Farm in Loudon. Buffy, one of farmer Bruce Dawson’s Scottish Highlander cows, is enjoying her hay.
Supermarkets are carrying more organic products than ever before, and many more are farming organically as well. But critics say organic has no more nutritional value, and that we need to think beyond organic to really address the global food crisis. We’ll hear from both sides of the debate.
Berlin Reed spent most of his life avoiding meat. He became a vegetarian at age 12, and a vegan at 20.
At first he was just trying to irk his mom. Over time, Reed’s reasons deepened to indictments of animal cruelty and environmental destruction by the meat industry. Then, out of desperation, Reed took a job at a meat counter in Brooklyn. Within weeks of starting the job, Reed was not only up to his elbows cutting carcasses, but dining on them too.
As the days grow longer, gardeners are thinking about what to plant and how much of it, with an eye to frost advisories and heavy rains. According to a National Gardening Association Survey, 41 million Americans grew fruits and vegetables last year - about 13 percent more than the year before. Increasingly, those gardens are not just at home, but at the office. From the uber techies at Google to more traditional outfits like Pepsico and Toyota, corporate-sponsored organic vegetable gardens are sprouting up like garlic shoots.
The Granite State is known for its crisp apples, plump blueberries and abundant maple syrup. Here’s another local ambrosia to add to your table, a bottle of New Hampshire-harvested, fermented and bottled wine.
Wine was first officially produced here in the late 1960s. Today there are 24 wineries in the Granite State. Many vineyards export their bottles out of state, but all promote the movement to drink locally.
Grain is a key ingredient in the American diet. Many of us are familiar with the US Department of Agriculture’s food pyramid with bread, cereal, and pasta forming the large base at the bottom. Local food reliance has a certain appeal, but producing all of the wheat, barley and rye needed to feed the region might be our biggest challenge. As part of New Hampshire Public Radio’s series on food, “Eating In”, Amy Quinton has this look at the prospects for home grown grain.
In this weeklong series we look at food and food culture in New Hampshire and beyond. We examine and explain food trends, talk to food producers from around the state, do some cooking, find out how to eat healthy on a budget, and even discover a new source of artillery: the cupcake.
It's been a lot of fun around NHPR as we prepped for "Eating In," our weeklong food series. People talk about food with a kind of excitement you don't always hear when discussing things like public policy. Yes, we all know the narrative: food brings us together. It puts us all at the table. It serves up a metaphor of nurturance. Its smells and flavors and rituals trigger memories and provide continuity in our lives.