As a step toward cutting our carbon footprint, we’ve started to become more conscious about what we eat, and cutting back on meat, especially beef, is one big step. But it also means thinking about where your food comes from. If you stop eating meat but you’re munching fruit that’s been transported 8,000 miles by an oil-powered freighter, it might not be so climate-friendly. These are part of our regular talks at the dinner table, and it all leads to more awareness and change. Austrian supermarkets and food producers help inform these conversations with labels showing the origins of various items, and organic almost goes without saying. As often as possible, we buy produce, and wild mushrooms, from a regional farmer who comes to town once a week. The best foods of all come from a backyard garden, like the luscious strawberries and grapes that grow at our friends’ house in Lower Austria. And wild food isn’t bad either, when you can get it. Blackberries off the vine? Yes, please!
Agreement could boost $50 billion organic industry with increased trade in both regions
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — In a huge move for organic producers and consumers, the U.S. and the European Union said this week that organic products certified in Europe or in the United States may be sold as organic in either region.
U.S. Department of Agriculture considering use of pest-control substances
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Federal officials are taking comment on a proposed rule that addresses the use of three substances in organic agriculture: tetracycline, formic acid and attapulgite.
The use antibiotics like tetracycline in organic agriculture has been hotly debated and tetracycline was scheduled to be banned in 2012. But after a previous round of public input, TheNational Organic Standards Board is recommending that the antibiotic be allowed temporarily while other options for biological control are developed.
According to the Department of Agriculture, tetracycline has been allowed in organic crop production since 2002 solely to control fire blight. It is a broad-spectrum antibiotic used to control bacteria, fungi and mycoplasma-like organisms. The proposed rule would amend the current listing for tetracycline on the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances to continue to help control fire blight in apple and pear production until Oct. 21, 2014. Continue reading “Feds taking comments on organic program”→
Local food expert finds the best grocery store deals
By Tom Castrigno
The leaves have fallen and only the hardiest mountain birds remain behind for the next 6 months. No doubt they have food stashes to help them through. It is a quiet time of year that lends itself to stocking up the larder, just as our avian friends have done …
This week’s prime pick is cauliflower, on sale for $.99 per pound at City Market. It makes a great side dish steamed, or you can go one step farther and whip it with a bit of butter and sour cream for a change of pace. This oft-ignored veggie comes to life when curried, roasted, or even served with tomato sauce (Muir Glen organic $2.50). Cauliflower and almond soup is low carb and freezes great for a take-along lunch or afternoon snack.
My a-ha moment about food came on a Sunday afternoon when I was 11 years old. I was at the table in my grandparents’ dining room, with three generations gathered to share a Sunday dinner. Noni and Grandpa had both immigrated from Italy, bringing their deep cultural roots to America. I suddenly realized the food on the table was wholesome, real food, prepared from the heart. From that day, I have embraced the belief that food should come from the earth rather than a factory.
There are a number of movements oriented around food awareness, including the Italian-born Slow Food philosophy. This year, Americans for the first time will celebrate Food Day (Oct. 24), dedicated to focus on improving the way we eat. Food Day will feature tastings, cooking demos, movies and other celebrations. The event is backed by an impressive advisory board of anti-hunger advocates, physicians, authors, and politicians. Continue reading “Summit County: Celebrating Food Day”→
Seasons change quickly here in the Rockies. Just last week we were riding our bikes in short sleeves and enjoying fall colors. Now, there is snow on the peaks and ice in the birdbath. Winter is on its way …
Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall and winter foods. It’s rich in vitamin A, and the smooth orange flesh is great baked, diced and cooked into a Thai green curry, or pureed into a delicious soup that freezes beautifully. Look for organic butternuts at Safeway for only $0.99 per pound.
Hearty soups make a nice treat when the weather cools off. With sweet onions at just $0.99 per pound at Safeway, it could be a good time to try French onion soup. The first step is to slowly cook a huge pile of sliced onions until they caramelize and the sweetness comes out. Get the rest of the recipe here. Find all the weekly Safeway specials here. Continue reading “Summit County: Grocery shopping with the Mobile Chef”→
Each week, Tom will help you find the freshest goodies and offer suggestions on how to prepare them; if you have a question about organic food or healthy meals tweet him @ZenChefTom or leave a comment at the end of the story
Fall came a little bit later this year here in the high country, with a welcome extension of biking and sailing seasons. Nonetheless, seasonal foods have now appeared in grocery stores and mark the arrival of autumn.
Pears are coming into season so this is the time for the rare treat of a juicy, tender pear. You’ll find them fantastic eaten fresh, on a salad (especially spinach) with walnuts or Blue Cheese, or even poached for a fancy dessert drizzled with Balsamic Vinegar. Find organic Bartlett pears for only $1 per pound At Vitamin Cottage.
Red bell peppers are at their lowest price of the year and are terrific stuffed, grilled, sautéed with a green vegetable (Kale, Broccoli) or simply added into a salad or on your favorite sandwich. Red bells are a good source of vitamin C. Roasted peppers freeze well, so you can take advantage of the low $1-each price at City Market. Continue reading “Food: Zen Chef Tom finds the deals in Summit County”→