Tuesday, July 30, 2013

the market beet, summer2013 newsletter

…from @FMCorg…w/ usual heads up for the #Mountainair #farmersmarket dba Farm and Market Garden…reciprocity rules even when not reciprocated.
Farmers Market Coalition's quarterly newsletter, Summer 2013

Friday, July 19, 2013

Should Humans Eat Meat? [Book Excerpt]

What can & should be done about human carnivory? Vaclav Smil answers in this excerpt from his new book. Editor's Note: The following is an adapted excerpt of Should We Eat Meat?: Evolution and Consequences of Modern Carnivory, by Vaclav Smil. Wiley-Blackwell, May 2013.
There is no doubt that human evolution has been linked to meat in many fundamental ways. Our digestive tract is not one of obligatory herbivores; our enzymes evolved to digest meat whose consumption aided higher encephalization and better physical growth. Cooperative hunting promoted the development of language and  socialization; the evolution of Old World societies was, to a significant extent, based on domestication of animals

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flash in the Pan: Lessons from the Desert

…A new book explores sustainable agriculture in in dry climates, reviewed by Ari Levaux…must read for local growers and others with an interest in local food sovereignty and water issues.

Recent years have brought spikes in the frequency of strange weather patterns and severe storms, with many blaming the increase on human-caused climate change. If this new normal, as it's being called, is here to stay, it will have profound implications on food production.

There are two basic ways that this threat to food production is being addressed. One is to develop new crops and agricultural methods tailored to withstand increased heat and water stresses. The other approach is to look to the past for solutions, at crops and techniques used in regions that have historically endured this kind of weather. A new book by agricultural ecologist Gary Paul Nabhan, Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, is a comprehensive exploration of this latter approach 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Menus: The Art of Dining

…on my way to look for material for a history of BBQ post (for Jubilee's Outlaw BBQ), I came across and couldn't resist this wonderful collection of menus and notes on their history from the UNLV Libraries distracted me from via a post on More or Less Bunk (history blog with a food history category), which comes, in turn, from the Scout Report (not food but a weekly report on best new internet resources, truly an information junkie's delight). That may be more provenance than anyone reading cares about, but all are resources worth looking at more closely.

Menus provide a wealth of information beyond their purely aesthetic value and are a particularly rich resource for aspects of cultural and social history. They give us information on the most popular cuisine of a time period and region and are evidence of changing culinary tastes. They can indicate how particular food items have been used regionally, and in the case of notable restaurants can provide evidence of the work of well-known chefs.