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in the Kitchen: How to Make Homemade Cured and Smoked Bacon
Ben Meyer of Grain & Gristle demonstrates how to cure and smoke pork belly into bacon you can store, and cook up later for enjoyment in this video from Food.Farmer.Earth’s YouTube channel. The homemade bacon you will make will likely be better tasting than anything you may find in your supermarket.
to the Field: Harvesting Salt from the Ocean
Ben Jacobsen is serious about his salt. This isn’t simply someone’s hobby or particular passion, this is a serious entrepreneurial effort to produce a world-class finishing salt from the waters of the Oregon coast, and turn his start-up company, Jacobsen Salt, into a successful enterprise.
A finishing salt is precisely as the name implies; it’s used directly on foods that have been cooked, or are otherwise ready to eat. Jacobsen describes his salt as a “flake” salt, that has “a very clean briny taste” with a wonderful (non-bitter) finish to the food. As he talks about in this video from Food.Farmer.Earth’s YouTube channel, there are only 6 flake salt harvesters in the country, and his is the only commercial finishing salt manufacturing operation in Oregon.
Food Wisdoms: The World of Artisanal Salt, According to Mark Bitterman
To describe Mark Bitterman as an artisanal salt evangelist is the equivalent of describing the sun as a bright object in the sky. Bitterman’s book, Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, is a 300 page hardcover tome that is considered an authoritative, and comprehensive guide to the world of artisan salt.
At his local boutique store, The Meadow, Bitterman sells about 150 different varieties of finishing, curing, and infusion salts; as well, chocolates, and other artisan related wares. He takes us on a visual world tour of some of his fine and exotic salts, and shares his fervent belief that “salt is our friend” too.
Next week on Food.Farmer.Earth: Micro Crops
- Chef Annie Cuggino (of Veritable Quandary) demonstrates how to turn simple ingredients into a special meal – Salmon Gravlax with Creme Fraiche.
- Then, we’ll meet Stacey Givens (of The Side Yard), who decided she needed her own plot of land to farm while cooking for a restaurant with a rooftop garden.
- Plus, Stacey will talk about what it means to sell ‘chef-to-chef.’
From micro-greens to oysters, a preview of upcoming Food.Farmer.Earth stories.
The Weekly Roundup
- Beef: From Field to Freezer, a How-to-Buy Guide (Kitchen Stewardship) Ever wondered how to buy your own cow? This is a detailed step-by-step guide with all the questions you didn’t know you needed to ask.
- Is Salt Good for Our Health, Or Bad? (Cooking Up a Story) The Feds say too much salt will kill you, but a growing body of research indicates you should take the warnings with a grain of salt.
- An American Food Road Trip (Perennial Plate) Team Perennial Plate set out across the country to tell the stories of Real Food in America. They recorded 7 Terabytes of footage, traveled 23,000 miles across 42 states and made 50 short films (one a week) for a year. This video comprises some of their favorite moments from the road.
- Food Purists Worry About Big Org (NY Times)
- A Cow Reinvents Her Place in the World (Cooking Up a Story) Our world is not so black and white, and that truth may also extend to livestock. At least to Rezzy, a holstein cow that likes to hang out – not with her own people – but with chickens!
- Backyard Hens (Kevin Kossowan of KevinTV) Why are chickens illegal in some urban areas? Kevin visits backyard farms to find out what it’s really like. Do they smell? Are they noisy?
- Your Beef Takes a Winding Path (Harvest Public Media) As part of Morning Edition’s “Meat Week,” Harvest Public Media looked at the shape of the cattle industry, from farm to feedlot to factory to grocery store.
- ‘The Small Scale Poultry Flock’ Reviewed (Cooking Up a Story) A closer look at the new book by Harvey Ussery, a longtime farmer and proponent of the grow-your-own-food movement, who spent decades developing his whole-systems approach to poultry husbandry as part of his commitment to a diverse, integrated perspective on food production.
- Off-the-Grid Float Cabin (Fair Companies) A great video visit to a wonderful, floating retirement cabin in one of the most beautiful places in the world, purchased for just $25,000.
- Free Trade Ruling Could Nix Country-Of-Origin Labels on Meat (NPR) If you want to know where your meat came from, you won’t be happy with the World Trade Organization right now.
- This Abandoned Walmart Has Been Reclaimed as a Public Library (Grist) The cavernous space allows plenty of room for an auditorium, computers lab, classrooms and meeting rooms, and adult and teen reading lounges – not to mention hundreds of thousands of books.
- Top Ten Reasons to Shop at Farmers Markets (USDA)
- Local Food Has Been No Easy Sell in Appalachia (NY Times) A visit to a restaurant where the owner tries to buy locally and serve healthy food, to the puzzlement of the locals.
- Can Veggie Prescriptions Make People Healthier? (Grist) The program provides low-income people who don’t have much access to healthy food a doctor’s “prescription” plus vouchers that can be used to buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
- George Washington Was One of Our First Foodies (Seasonal Wisdom) Mount Vernon provided the Washington family with homegrown fruits, vegetables, herbs, grains, meats and dairy products, while other food items were imported from distant lands.
- Chipolte Sustainable Farming Ad Featuring Willie Nelson and Coldplay (RevModo)