Saturday, February 25, 2006

The Future of Food - Tonight at the Scene

February 25 8:00 P.M. at The Scene at 604 South Elm
The Future of Food
Shown as part of 'Food With a View': Slow Food Film Series

The Future of Food offers an in-depth investigation into the truth behind unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that we find on our grocery shelves. From the prairies of Saskatchewan, Canada to the fields of Oaxaca, Mexico this film gives voice to farmers whose lives and livelihoods have been negatively impacted by this new technology. The health implications, government policies and push towards globalization are all part of the reason why we need to be informed about genetically altered crops in our food supply and support our local food communities.

A discussion will follow led by Dr. Charlie Headington of UNCG.
Enjoy homemade desserts while watching the film. $5.00 suggested donation.

On March 18, 'Food With a View' will show The Slow Food Movement, a documentary about worldwide food communities that are rediscovering some of the greatest joys of life: enjoying the flavors of their local region, renewing their health, and re-connecting to the land. Desserts and discussion. $5.00 suggested donation.

Terra Madre Benefit Dinners in the Triangle Area

From Slow Food Research Triangle:

February 28, 2006
Eat Out Tuesday-Terra Madre Benefit Dinners
Triangle Area Restaurants, North Carolina

On Tuesday, February 28th, select Triangle restaurants in the Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Durham area of North Carolina that are committed to using local, seasonal foods, will donate 10% of their proceeds from that evening's sales to Slow Food's Triangle Convivium. Money raised will help send a small delegation of local farmers to Turin, Italy next October 2006 for Slow Food International's Terra Madre. Additionally, each participating Triangle restaurant will highlight special local offerings on their menus that evening. Participating restaurants include: Acme, Bin 54, Crook's Corner, Elaine's, Enoteca Vin, Four Square, Frazier's, Lantern, Magnolia Grill, Nana's, Nasher Museum Café, Panzanella, Pop's, Starlu, Zely & Ritz and 411 West. To learn more about Terra Madre, visit

Friday, February 17, 2006

Slow Food on GCTV

You are invited to a planning and support meeting for one of Slow Food Piedmont Triad’s exciting ‘06 projects: a cable access show on GCTV!

When: Tuesday, February 28, 2006, starting at 7:30 p.m., ending when the ideas stop flowing

Where: The Green Bean conference room, 341 S. Elm Street, Greensboro

What: Our goal for this meeting is to brainstorm show topics and gather a crew of volunteers for production

We need your ideas, time and support to get this fun, educational show off the ground!

For more information, contact Sarah Jones at 336.456.7257 or

Thursday, February 16, 2006


Many of the counties in our region are beginning their annual beekeeping classes. If you are interested in becoming a certified beekeeper, check out one of these classes:

Other beekeeping links you may want to check out: (NC State) &


I have been at a loss for words about NAIS - the National Animal Identification System. To put this kind of shackle on the small livestock producers in this country is shameless. The local farmer from whom I buy my chickens says that when this USDA program goes into effect, he will not be able to sell his free-range hens and eggs to the public anymore. He and his wife have been building a successful business and had made plans to raise heritage turkeys and rabbits this year. NAIS is changing everything for them. It is also taking away a valuable food resource for local consumers.

I received this email from Allan Balliett, a frequent contributor to the Slow Food DC listserv, in response to a query by a listmember. I wanted to share it with you because it does a good job of explaining NAIS from a small livestock farmer's point of view, and it led me to an excellent blog set up to inform the public about NAIS and help us fight it. If you care at all about food, small businesses, privacy, or needless government regulation, you should care about stopping NAIS.
NAIS is one of several programs that have become necessary because of problems created by confinement animal operations that the government is currently pushing onto small family farms. Is the goal the safety of Americans or is it saving agri-business from the unfair competition created by, as Kathy says 'Food that tastes like it used to"? It's amazing how greedy corporate bean counters are, pushing to recollect any crumbs that fall to small farms. Since keeping clean, living food out of the hands of anyone but the rich helps creates profits for corporations invested or integrated in the 'health' sector, it's hard to imagine that this continual and painfully obvious push to make farming too expensive or difficult except at [large] scale doesn't have larger payoffs in mind.

NAIS is just one of many.

Best source of NAIS and anti-NAIS info is at (which, btw, is also an excellent example of how the internet can be put to work for the betterment of everyone).

The following is quoted from there.


"The National Animal ID program was originally designed to give the big beef producers help in getting export markets which required disease controls. The idea is that every single livestock animal in the United States will be identified and tagged. All livestock animal movements will be tracked, logged and reported to the government. The benefit is to the big factory farms who probably do need this type of regulation. They get to do single ID's for large groups of animals. Small farmers, pet owners and homesteaders will have to tag and track every single animal.

"There are no exceptions - even small farms that sell direct to local consumers will be required to pay the fees and file all the paper work on all their animals. Even horse, llama and other pet owners will be required to participate in NAIS. Homesteaders who raise their own meat and grandma with her one egg hen will also have to register their homes as 'farm premises' and obtain a Premise ID, tag all their animals and submit all the paperwork and fees. Absurd? Yes - There are no exceptions under the current NAIS plan. The USDA has slipped this plan in the back door without any legislation. This is going to be very expensive and guess who is going to pay for it in higher food prices...You!"
Allan Balliett has a website about his Shepherdstown, West Virginia farm at His CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program serves the DC Metro area.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

slow food potluck and events for 2006

Sarah, our new media guru, tries to decide what to add to her plate next

55 people attended the potluck/planning meeting at Old Salem last night. The food was great, and several people commented on the energy and conviviality of our group. There's nothing like a Slow Food potluck, folks!

The Events page on our Web site has been updated. Please note that the events are only part of the exciting plans for our convivium this year - we also look forward to the Local Food Guide in May, information booths at the local farmers' markets, and a community access TV show among other projects!

Lots of new information will be posted on our web site beginning in May, and beginning March 1, we will have an email newsletter. Mandie Rose will join the blog team as a contributor soon.

All in all, it's looking to be a very productive year for Slow Food Piedmont Triad!

Tom holds a sweet potato biscuit with blueberry butter

Monday, February 06, 2006

Wellness Policy Update

Wellness Policy Committee Meeting
Thursday, February 9th, 2006
9 A.M.-10 A.M.
501 W. Washington Street
Greensboro, North Carolina
Cynthia Sevier's Office
Second Floor (I will send room # )

For about 1 month Deb Bettini and I served on the Wellness Policy Committee for the Guilford County Schools. This first meeting was attended by 7 people with various backgrounds and the mood of the meeting was very upbeat and everyone was enthusiastic about making a change for our children.

Last week we were scheduled for our 2nd meeting on Thursday Feb. 2, 2006. On Tuesday 1/31/06 I received a call from one of the participates stating that Deb and I could not serve on the WP Committee(WPC) because we were not elected to the Health & Safety Board for the school. I was told that all meetings were open to the public and we could attend but not comment or vote! Deb on the other hand was told not to attend any of the meetings.

At 9 a.m. on Feb. 2, 2006 I showed up at the scheduled meeting only to find an empty, dark office. The meeting had been rescheduled. I only found this out through several phone calls to people on the WPC. There were no phone calls or emails sent to inform Deb and I of the change. There are currently 4 people that now make up the WPC. Dr. Routh from the school board sat in on the first meeting to address policy rules and procedure.

Here are the names of the people serving on the Health and Safety Board for Guilford Co. Schools (this information is being sent to me and I will provide proper titles.) I also apologize for any misspelled names.
** represent those who are currently serving on the WPC.

Terry Grier
Dot Kearns
Ruth MacKinze
Robert Strack
Joyce Wellborne
Glenn Willis
Lynn Beckford
Deana Hayes
Patty Kinade
Janet Mayer**
Marty Sykes
Rober williams
Bobin Berjeron-Nolan
Greg Jones
Robin Lane**
Terina Piccarillo** PTA Chair for Healthy and Safety
Dr. Quinlin
Lea Sheplar
Vernus Thompson
Beth Woody
Dr. Terrance Young
Cynthia Seiver**

Terinal Piccarillo is representing the school, the community and the parent that is required of the WP guidelines. According to Senior Food Policy Analyst, Madeleine Levin, the schools are not breaking any of the WPGuidelines.

When these 4 people finish the WP it will be posted on the Guilford Co. school website. The public will have 21 days to comment and then it will go back to the WPC for any changes, it will then be up for a second public reading. This is when the school would like to hear from YOU. I strongly feel that the community should have more involvement with the development of the WP before it is made public.

I will have more of this as the week progresses. I hope that any of you that can make the next meeting will attend!

Donna Myers

Friday, February 03, 2006

broccoli leek soup

This soup is a great marriage of flavors and it won't weigh you down. I'll expect heaven to smell like thyme in butter.

2 T butter
2 c chopped leeks, white and light green parts
1 1/2 t green garlic (see notes)
1 1/2 t basil
1 t thyme
4 c chopped broccoli
1 c broccoli florets (reserved)
1 c diced peeled red potatoes
3 c chicken stock
2 c lowfat milk
1-2 t salt, to taste
1 T cornstarch
Extra-sharp cheddar cheese

Saute the leeks, garlic, basil and thyme in butter for about five minutes. Add the chopped broccoli, potatoes, and stock, bring up to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for ten minutes. Steam the broccoli florets in a steamer basket on top of the pot. Take off the heat, add the milk and salt, and blend. Dissolve the cornstarch in a little cold water, add to the soup, and bring it back up to a slow boil for one minute. The soup will thicken slightly. Add freshly ground black pepper and steamed broccoli florets. Garnish with shredded extra-sharp cheddar.


Leeks usually have a little dirt between the layers. Chop them and let them soak in some water while you chop the other ingredients. You can substitute onions, but the delicate flavor of the leek is wonderful. Try it!

I used green garlic because I had two bulbs that had sprouted for a couple of weeks. I wanted a little garlic flavor but I didn't want to overwhelm the leeks. So I chopped off the sprouts, chopped them up, and put them in the soup. They were perfect. Don't throw out that sprouted garlic. If you can't cook with it, plant the cloves!

I chop my basil in a food processor with a little olive oil each fall and freeze it in small ice cube trays, such as those sold for dorm refrigerators. Then I pop them out into a plastic bag and I have the taste of fresh basil all winter. All I have to do is toss a cube in the sauce or soup, or defrost in the microwave to mix into meatballs.

My favorite potatoes are Yukon Gold, but red was on sale.

You can steam more broccoli florets to put in the soup to make it heartier. If you want it thicker, use cream, substitute another cup of potatoes for a cup of broccoli, or use one cup less stock.

Leeks, broccoli, potatoes, garlic, and thyme - Deep Roots Market
Butter and milk - Homeland Creamery
Basil - my back yard, then my freezer
Chicken stock - my freezer, chicken originally from Back Woods Farm
Cornstarch - Harris Teeter
Extra-sharp cheddar cheese - the Molners

Cross-posted from The Mock Turtle's Song.

good ole beef stew in the crockpot

Nothing fancy here. It's one of those staples on a cold weekend.

1-2 lbs. grass-fed beef stew meat
3 T flour
1 t salt
1 3/4 c beef stock or water
3 medium potatoes, cubed
4-5 carrots, sliced
1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T tomato paste
1 T worchestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
1 t paprika
Black pepper
fresh parsley
fresh rosemary
Splash of red wine

Put the beef in the crock pot and mix with the flour and salt. Add the rest of the ingredients through the black pepper and mix. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Go have fun somewhere. About 30 minutes or so before you're ready to turn it off, add the herbs and wine.

This is a very forgiving recipe for substitutions and additions. If you have room and you have mushrooms, by all means, add them. You can add them with the wine.

A few words about the beef - We don't eat a lot of red meat, for budgetary and cholesterol reasons. But when I do, I now buy my beef from Rocking F Farms at the Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market. They sell their local farm-grown, pasture-raised beef from a cooler, which they replenish from a freezer that they haul on a trailer. Their prices are competitive with the industrial beef you find at the grocery store.

The friendly vendor is more than happy to discuss what they feed their cows and how they are raised. They raise most of their own feed, and do not use growth hormones. The cows are pasture fed until the last six weeks or so when they are switched to a grain mix on site so there's no need for unnecessary antibiotics.

The thought of eating industrial "confined animal feeding operation" beef makes me queasy since I read Power Steer by Michael Pollan (must reading if you care about what you and your family eat), so if I can't afford better quality, I just do without.

I didn't have beef stock, but I added 2 T of Vogue Cuisine Instant Beef Flavored Base to the water, and I thought that it was good. I also use their vegetarian chicken-flavored base. It contains mostly organic ingredients, but no organic seal.

beef stew meat: Rocking F Farms at Greensboro Farmers' Curb Market
flour, beef-flavored base, vegetables, spices: Deep Roots Market
tomato paste, worchestershire sauce: Harris Teeter
parsley, rosemary: My back yard
red wine: A neighbor's gift

Cross-posted from The Mock Turtle's Song.