Recent Articles About Local Eats

How Farmers and Brewers Are Bringing Local Hops Back to New York

Last month, at the VIP dinner preceding Brewery Ommegang’s annual summer festival, employees, volunteers, and attendees toasted the launch of a brand new beer: Hopstate NY. The beer, which had been released in June, struck Ommegang fans as unusual, in part because the American Pale Ale was not made in the Belgian style—a first for the Cooperstown, New York-based brewery. But perhaps more striking: Hopstate NY had been made using 100 percent New York hops. Read more

In Southern California, Oil and Farming Don’t Mix

Last November, an explosion at a water treatment plant brought disaster to an agricultural area of Southern California.

The explosion, caused by an apparently inadvertent mixing of chemicals and sewage at 3:30 a.m., blew off the back of a vacuum truck at Santa Clara Waste Water, a plant that processes oilfield waste from throughout the region. Over a thousand gallons of a caustic substance, sodium chlorite, blasted the plant’s intake yard. A few hours later, after the morning fog had burned off, the chemical caught fire, creating a cloud of potentially deadly chlorine gas that drafted over nearby farms, hospitalizing dozens, including medical personnel at the hospital tending to those whose lungs had been burned by the gas. Read more

With Effort, the Northeast Is Once Again Becoming a Breadbasket

This article originally appeared in Edible Manhattan.

Despite its pivotal role in helping create civilization, wheat has had a tough go of it for the last few years. Diet fads espousing carb-free or caveman-like eating have inspired millions to say no to the bread basket and quit pasta altogether. Gluten has become public enemy number one to many who blame it for their digestive problems—and the gluten-free market is seeing galloping growth. Meanwhile, some scientists are making dire predictions about how climate change will disrupt worldwide wheat production. Read more

How Martha’s Vineyard Has Become a Local Food Haven

The menu at the Scottish Bakehouse bakery and café on Martha’s Vineyard is a veritable map of the island’s farms. The chicken comes, mostly, from The Good Farm, a 10-acre poultry operation across the street. The greens come from neighboring Blackwater Farm and the yogurt is made at Mermaid Farm and Dairy, six tree-shaded miles down the road. The basil for the pesto and the cucumbers in the salad are grown right out back, in the bakehouse’s one-acre garden. Read more

Cooking From the Mother Garden

Every day, all the members of the intentional community at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC), gather in one place to eat together.

Located in West Sonoma County, California, OAEC has long been at the forefront of ecological agriculture. One of California’s first certified organic farms, it has existed as a renowned demonstration farm, nonprofit educational retreat center, intentional community, and eco-think tank since the 1970’s. And the group has been eating, and growing food in their “Mother Garden” together for so long, that OAEC has also been pioneering its own cuisine over the years. The meals follow a template that speaks to their seasonal, plant-based approach to eating: one or two garden vegetable dishes, one protein dish, one carbohydrate, a side of pesto, spread or sauce, and a huge salad. Read more

Farms Without Wildlife Don’t Produce Safer Food, Study Finds

Most leafy green lovers probably remember the moment when they became suspicious of spinach.

In 2006, an E. coli outbreak that killed three people and sickened about 200 more was traced to the cool-weather crop growing along California’s Central Coast. Despite the fact that federal and state investigators claimed it was not possible to determine exactly how the dangerous E. coli strain spread to the farm, cattle and wild pig manure were implicated as the sources of the bacteria. Read more

5 Ways America’s Farmers’ Markets Have Evolved

It’s five minutes before three on a warm July Wednesday in East Boston, a mostly working-class, immigrant neighborhood that abuts Logan International Airport. With Boston’s skyline and harbor as a backdrop, vendors busily lay out their wares on folding tables—from Swiss chard to Swiss cheese. Lines form at a few of the booths, some of those waiting are holding WIC coupons, and neighborly greetings can be heard in English, Spanish, and Arabic. Nearby, volunteers from a local cyclists’ union are already fixing flat tires and tightening bicycle seats. A youth arts organization advertises its free programs for children; families renew their “food stamps” or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits; and a DJ spins bass-heavy Latin music while four young women invite onlookers to join them in a choreographed dance routine. Read more