Recent Articles About Local Eats

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

How a Modern Root Cellar Could Help Small Farms Sell Food Year-Round

At Food Farm in northern Minnesota, Janaki Fisher-Merritt is getting back to his roots. This second-generation farmer is putting a modern twist on an old-fashioned idea that could help scale up the local food economy in the region. He hopes to build a 3,700-square-foot root cellar that he says has the potential to keep fresh vegetables—not just root vegetable, but winter squash, cabbage, apples, and other cold storage food—available all winter long. Read more

The Man Who Brought You the Sugar Snap Pea Has Something New up His Sleeve

French Laundry culinary gardener Aaron Keefer knew what he cradled in his hands was special. Even legendary.

When he nestled the pea seeds into the ground just shy of spring this year, he had not only pored over a national magazine cover story lauding their distinctiveness, but The French Laundry’s Chef de Cuisine David Breeden had been pestering him for months to procure them to grow in the showcase garden of this landmark Yountville, California, restaurant. Read more

A Decade Later, Isa Chandra Moskowitz Is Still ‘Vegan With a Vengeance’

You’d be hard-pressed to find a vegan who doesn’t own at least one of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s cookbooks. Her first, Vegan with a Vengeance: Over 150 Delicious, Cheap, Animal-Free Recipes That Rock, came out 10 years ago, and since then, she’s written seven more. Her third book, Veganomicon!, is known by many as the vegan bible, and her blog, The Post Punk Kitchen, has been a resource for both novice and experienced cooks since 2003. Read more

Young Farmers Flock Together to Save Heritage Ducks

On a sunny winter day, the Ancona ducks at Boondockers Farm in Oregon wandered around their pasture and frolicked in several blue plastic kiddie pools, under the watchful eye of two Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dogs. The 500 or so ducks spend day and night outside, protected from predators by the dogs, not walls. Cows, turkeys, and Delaware chickens wander in pastures and barns. Vegetables destined for the farmers’ market grow in a nearby garden plot. Read more

Editor’s Note: The Local Food Revolution

Since we Civil Eats started six years ago, we have cast our net wide to report on local food stories about individuals and communities working together to create a more vibrant, resilient, and just food system. There is so much good news about innovative projects happening nationwide: From Alaska to Hawaii, we’ve been documenting the unfolding of what local food likes like on the ground. In this month’s note, I wanted to share some of our inspiring stories showing how local food systems are connecting producers to consumers, boosting local economies, and building community.

Read more

Boston to Launch the Nation’s First ‘All-Local’ Public Market

The new public market opening this summer in Boston will never sell a banana or an avocado. In the winter and spring, when there are fewer vegetables in the fields, there will be fewer vegetables in the market’s stalls. And if local fishermen can’t catch it, it won’t be on offer.

The Boston Public Market will be home to about 40 vendors, who will sell fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, and honeyall grown, caught or produced in New England. Read more