Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Food Trucks

From The Toronto Standard. Credit: Jen Chan

Sometimes, there's a lot going on. And those days (like today), well, I can't posibly put an explanatory gloss on everything I see. Like food trucks. Not an entirely new phenomena, but suddenly they've taken off again in popularity.Now, I've had some terrific food truck food: at the St. Albert market we used to get pulled pork and bbq beans made with Cattleboyz BBQ sauce that was to die for. And green onion cakes were always a food you bought at a street vendor tent. I've even thought about opening one. But the current mania just seems an invitation to bad food driving out good (in the foodie version of Gresham's Law). Bronwyn Kienapple is asking a few of the same questions in the Toronto Standard.

Occupy The Farm

From Climate Connection.org

Trying to get a handle on what the Occupy movement means seems impossible--except to say that as a movement that seems dedicated to citizen involvement and democratic empowerment, I couldn't be more supportive. The Occupy the Farm group taking over UC Berkley lands and procceeding to plant food crops is an interesting idea. Jeff Conant explores it in more depth at Climate Connection.org.

Corporate Land Purchases

from the Grain website

Not just corporations, but nations (I'm looking at you, China), are busy buying up farmland--particularly in the developing workd--not to grow food to feed indigenous populations, but to support their own populations. This is a good idea from the corporate and national governments perspectives, but really is unsustainable. Carey L. Biron takes on the issue at Farm Land grab.org. Carey Gillam, at the same site, points out the ongoing influence of speculators in investment in agriculture. And at the Grain website, an article pursues the question of how these land grabs are affecting food security in Latin America.

Private Profit, Public Cost

is the issue around pig farms in a new report (pdf) from the WSPA (World Society for the Protection of Animals). Now, I have a few problems with PETA, but I have a lot more concerns around CAFOs. The Financial Post has a pretty neutral article discussing the points contained in the above report.

Food Security and Farms

Both Alternet and Rabble.ca  have articles on Why Big Food Must Go (alternet), and Why Hunger is a Farm Issue (rabble.ca). Both good, and both symptomatic of the discussion that is being heard more and more these days. As Michael Pollen says, the way we raise food is the issue that floats overtop all the other envirinmental issues we face.

The Madness of Smoked Pig Bellies

This recipe got passed around a while back.

Bacon Jam

    1 1/2 pounds sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces
    2 medium yellow onions, diced small
    3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
    1/2 cup cider vinegar
    1/2 cup packed dark-brown sugar
    1/4 cup pure maple syrup
    3/4 cup brewed coffee


    In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high, stirring occasionally, until fat is rendered and bacon is lightly browned, about 20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towels to drain. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet (reserve for another use); add onions and garlic, and cook until onions are translucent, about 6 minutes. Add vinegar, brown sugar, maple syrup, and coffee and bring to a boil, stirring and scraping up browned bits from skillet with a wooden spoon, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and stir to combine.
    Transfer mixture to a 6-quart slow cooker and cook on high, uncovered, until liquid is syrupy, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Transfer to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Let cool, then refrigerate in airtight containers, up to 4 weeks.

When did such a simple product like bacon become the object of such veneration and our latest food of mass destruction?

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