It was evening at Coachella, the massive music and cultural festival that just wrapped up outside of Palm Springs, and people were heading to the food tents. But instead of waiting in line for something fried to munch on, about 200 festival goers attended a sit-down, white tableclothed feast of organic food and biodynamic wine.
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Can a Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) subscription service help more small farms survive in today’s consolidated food landscape? In 2014, economic researcher Mark Paul conducted in-person interviews with 16 Massachusetts farmers for Ecotrust and E3 Network’s Future Economy Initiative. The area where Paul did the research, called the Pioneer Valley, was home to one of the first two CSA businesses in the United States, founded in 1986. Now, it’s the epicenter for a new wave of CSA activity and can shed valuable light on the industry as a whole. Read more
When you order a burger in a restaurant, chances are it’s comprised of several grades of ground beef that come from more than one animal raised in completely different locations.
And while more businesses are building brands around the fact that they serve local, pasture-raised, and grassfed burgers, it’s much less common to eat in a restaurant run by a family that raises its own cows. Read more
When Mariko Grady joined La Cocina’s incubator kitchen three years ago, the thought of owning her own business was little more than a dream. Following the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that devastated Japan in 2011, she had started selling her homemade misos and kojis to friends to raise money to donate to victims in her home country.
Last summer, the outerwear giant Patagonia made an unusual purchase: 80,000 pounds of wild Sockeye salmon. The fish was for its new food line, Patagonia Provisions, available online and in the company’s 30 U.S. retail stores in the form of a 6-ounce, $12 package of vacuum-packed, shelf-stable smoked salmon. If the product is successful, it could become one of the most verifiably ethical and sustainable salmon options on the market, much in the way Patagonia aimed to change the garment industry nearly two decades ago by switching to organic cotton.
When people talk to Anthony Fassio about his new role as CEO at Manhattan’s Natural Gourmet Institute (NGI), he tends to field the same question: “Isn’t that the vegan school?”
A few years back, that might have been closer to the case. Although NGI didn’t traditionally offer a vegan cooking education, but rather one focused on macrobiotic food, which espouses grains, local vegetables, and limited animal products. Read more
Tech business accelerators are sprouting up everywhere. In return for several months of mentorship, education, and access, many fledging companies are willing to trade a percentage of their equity for a quick infusion of cash from venture funders. And, given the explosive interest in food and farming, it should come as no surprise that some investors have finally applied the accelerator model to how and what we eat. Enter Food-X. Read more
Chellie Pingree is not your average member of Congress. Before joining the U.S. House of Representatives in 2009, she had a long career as a state lawmaker in Maine. But before that, she spent more than a decade managing a yarn business using wool spun from sheep she had raised herself. The business boomed, and soon yarn stores and catalogs across the country were carrying Pingree’s products. And she did all of that after starting an organic farm on North Haven, a tiny island off the coast of Maine, when she was barely out of her teens. Read more
“I had no idea how lucky I was to grow up poor in the middle of nowhere,” says Brock. “I wanted to do all the stuff I saw on TV and didn’t want to work in the Goddamn garden. Then it was all I wanted to do, all I gave a shit about.” Read more