In.gredients, a new Austin food startup, promises to change the way we shop for food. When the company’s founders announced its plan to eliminate wasteful packaging, foodies and the media celebrated the merits of the new enterprise, hopeful that in.gredients customers would arrive at the new store with reusable and recycled bags and containers. The founders announced they would provide package-free food that would begin the march towards a zero-waste food system. Major media outlets such as The Read more [...]

Farm Memories

During my food history class last week, I showed a video of Martha Stewart visiting our farm in Maine. The students were learning about the Agricultural Revolution in Britain. Late 18th century livestock improvers, such as Robert Bakewell, produced what we now call heritage breeds of livestock, such as Cotswold sheep and Gloucester Old Spots pigs. In 1994, I founded Kelmscott Rare Breeds Farm for the purpose of conserving these old-fashioned livestock breeds.  Apparently this endeavor piqued Martha’s Read more [...]

Guerilla-Made Food Maps

I've been working on a food-mapping project for the past several months called Food: An Atlas. The project is a non-profit venture launched by the CAGE (Cartography and GIS Education) Lab at the University of California at Berkeley. The project team intends to self-publish a map created by a network of content providers and cartographers over the web. The idea behind the project is to produce a food atlas in a short amount of time from a broad community of researchers. The Berkeley team, located Read more [...]

Cooks from Farm to Table in Austin

Texas peaches will soon disappear from the Hill Country roadside stands, removing star performers on local restaurant menus such as Peach Melba. Named after an Australian opera singer, Peach Melba was the invention of Auguste Escoffier, a nineteenth century entrepreneur who introduced the ice cream and peach dessert to the Paris Ritz. Demonstrating his creative culinary imagination, he convinced farmers in the Rhone Valley to grow thin-stalked, green asparagus for the British who paled at the white, Read more [...]

Food Riots, Then and Now

My students have just read about the bread riots in France leading to the French Revolution in 1789. My course is about the history of food in Europe and we explore the ways food connects with change over time. Lots of change begins with a revolution. While we were reading about the women who flung loaves of bread at the king in Versailles, the faces of angry men in Cairo were raging over the price of grain as the Arab Spring portended a new revolution. Egypt, like other countries in its region, Read more [...]