Wednesday, August 26, 2009

(Rebuilding) Local food systems

I had no idea that the Washington brand of flour and the Indian Head brand of corn meal that I have bought from time to time because it is less expensive than national brands is milled locally, in Ellicott City, Maryland (note the website doesn't work very well in Firefox, try thess sub sites on corn meal and flour). This story, "Family Saga Is Hardly Run-of-the-Mill," from the Prince William County Extra section of the Washington Post, clued me in.
Washington Flour and Indian Head corn meal are made in the DC region, milled in Ellicott City, Maryland
The next time you are buying flour or cornmeal, consider buying these products instead of the national brands.

2. And this article in today's Food section, "Farm to Hub to Table: New Nonprofit Feeds Appetite For Local Food, made me realize that this kinds of connective organizations, providing a means for small farmers to aggregate their production to reach the quantities necessary to fill large orders (note that the Santa Monica Farmers Market does a big portion of its business for growers selling to restaurants and other wholesale clients), could be created as part of community commercial kitchens and/or public markets, adding to them a "new" line of business to improve profitability, making more revenue and a better functioning local food system.

3. The other thing is to work more on training people on how to cook. Since people increasingly eat pre-prepared meals at home, as people leave home for college and then to start their own households, often they need to learn how to cook. And it's in the best interests of supermarkets, farmers markets, and public markets to teach people about preparing foods at home, otherwise they will continue to lose business to restaurants and other prepared meal sources.

I liked this article from Monday's Examiner, "Easy, healthy gourmet for the young and hungry," which gets at this, focusing on a cookbook for college students.

Freshman in the kitchen website



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