Thursday, December 4, 2008


Greetings all,

I thought these articles on local food were interesting, and thought you might like them too. (click headline for full story)

Thoreau observed that humans are happily designed in such a way that the distance they can cover in a day's walking means that were they to spend every day hiking in a different direction from their homestead, it would take a lifetime to get to know every corner of their surround

Any region can use a patron saint, and in England's West Country, that saint is Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall (aka Hugh Fearlessly Eats-It-All). One of Britain's top TV chefs, Fearnley-Whittingstall is on a near-holy mission to return to the land. He had his first success with a show called "A Cook on the Wild Side," in which he traveled around cooking up game and wild plants on his camping stove.

A truly organic restaurant today needs a field of local suppliers. What good is an organic carrot or blueberry with a giant carbon footprint? Just as farmers' markets are spreading, so too is local-mindedness in restaurants. It's not just about carbon, but a deeper connectedness between people and land.

The kind of self-reliance a household would have known before the advent of processed and packaged foods, when good husbandry included knowledge of how to process food oneself, is precisely what Fearnley-Whittingstall is trying to revive.

The cows and pigs dotting these flat green plains in the southern Netherlands create a bucolic landscape. But looked at through the lens of greenhouse gas accounting, they are living smokestacks, spewing methane emissions into the air.

That is why a group of farmers-turned-environmentalists here at a smelly but impeccably clean research farm have a new take on making a silk purse from a sow's ear: They cook manure from their 3,000 pigs to capture the methane trapped within it, and then use the gas to make electricity for the local power grid.

Rising in the fields of the environmentally conscious Netherlands, the Sterksel project is a rare example of fledgling efforts to mitigate the heavy emissions from livestock. But much more needs to be done, scientists say, as more and more people are eating more meat around the world.

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