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Archive for the ‘Guest posts’ Category

Reviving my Personal Food “column”,  here’s a wonderful essay from food blogger Jessica Rodgers.  I met Jessica when I traveled to San Diego in August for an improv workshop weekend. Jess improvises too, and it was such a busy weekend we didn’t get much time to talk about our love of blogging about food.  I did, however, check out her blog (link at the end of the essay) and this girl loves her some good food. Here’s her personal food story.

Jessica, eating.

Food is one thing. Put it with people, and you’ll see who we really are. How do we act when we eat? Do we hound something down quickly? Do we savor the textures and tastes? Do we laugh with the people there with us? I think that because people need food, we establish a kind of relationship with it. Everyone’s is different. However, with each meal, there is a story to tell. Who are you at your meal? How you eat now versus how you used to eat might say a lot about you. (more…)

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This personal food story is comes directly  from Civil Eats – I hope you enjoy it and join me in following her new series there, Last Mile Access.

The noble bucket.

I’ve never told anyone this other than Barry Estabrook: I grew up eating tomatoes planted in soil nourished by my own poop. My family’s zeal for organic gardening was unmatched. No, we did not have a composting toilet. Instead we used a 5 gallon white plastic bucket, filled up regularly, and carefully composted the old-fashioned way—in a steaming heap.

My family was a clan of Boston and Brooklyn-bred urban hipster homesteaders in the 60s, far before the trend. In the 70s, they went whole hog and bought 100 acres of land in the deep South where they could count on the sunshine and knowledge of neighboring farmers to help them carve an existence from the land.

Eco-freaks with art and design pedigrees, my family hated waste and respected art born from the crucible of a closed loop ecosystem. So they recycled cow bones, from the Chicago meat packing plants that supplied McDonald’s, into gorgeous jewelry that graced the pages of Vogue and the halls of the Smithsonian Galleries. (more…)

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Jeff is a good friend whom I met when we worked together at Capital City Public Charter School. He and his partner Bruce live in a charming Cape Cod which they’re restoring, in Takoma Park, just the other side of the District boundary. He writes about their little urban homestead at The Prolific Sunchoke. He shares his food story, which centers around his flourishing garden.

Early summer abundance.

Most of my mid-mornings these days allow for time to inspect the daily growth of the garden and think about how happy I am at this house because of the amount (although still small at 40′ x 25′ and another track of 5′ x 15′) of full-sun, productive garden space….and, honestly, it truly fuels getting a bunch of other things done the rest of the day. Today, in preparing for contributing to my friend Katie’s enjoyable blog that often highlights her apartment’s balcony garden space, I remembered how I had just enough space at my rented houses in DC to have a nice herb garden – and only after much work on the soil. Fortunately, I had plenty of produce for most of those years since I operated a CSA program that grew into a health food store; however, I remember still having the urge to get into the soil every Spring beyond my tiny space and to be part of a community doing the same. (more…)

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I enjoyed reading and sharing Amanda’s guest post on her personal food politics earlier this week, and her story reminded me of my friend Becca’s story. I got to know Becca, a talented teacher at the school where I work, through discussing food. Cross-Pollanation? In contrast to Amanda’s story, Becca’s journey lead her back to meat. She posted her story on her own blog as well.

So, I’m co-leading a book club after school for 4 5th/6th grade girls.  We’re braving the Young Reader’s Edition of Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and so far the girls are taking it all in with an amazing level of maturity and critical thinking.  I love my school for fostering students like this :)

But, back to the subject.  My co-sponsor and I talk about food… a lot.  And she asked me to write a guest-post on her blog about my own personal food politics.  So, here goes:

Becca dreams of hunting a wild boar, which is purportedly as blurry as it is delicious.

In 2004, working full time at an environmental non-profit AND managing 3 bands, I met a music producer who became my best friend.  In mid-conversation one day (appropo of nothing) he asked me if I was a vegetarian.  “No… why do you ask?”  “Well, most of my friends who are as compassionate as you cite that reason for going veg.”  Huh.  He was writing a book – a collection of peoples’ stories of why/how they went veg.  I read the forward to the book, his own story.  It was hilarious, anchored on the imagery of a bunch of punks teasing him for eating McDonald’s, his 30-day vegetarian challenge, and his epiphany that “Hamburgers don’t grow on trees!  McDonald’s is using the Hamburglar to brainwash the youth of America to think that their food doesn’t come from animals!”

I didn’t quite harbor his conspiracy theory, but I did come away thinking “Huh… there are a lot of good reasons not to eat meat.  Do I have any good reasons to keep doing it?”  And the answer was, “Nope.”  My 30-day vegetarian challenge turned into 5 years of a strict veg diet – no dead animals in my body, ever.  I never went vegan (ok, ok – except those 3 days in Portland… but I ate cheese the minute I got back to San Francisco).  (more…)

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I’ve mentioned Amanda enough by now that I should not have use the phrase “blogging spirit guide” again, but … there ya go. Amanda writes a really creative and thought provoking blog called Tastee Pudding (where I guest posted today) on finding and living a creative life. Her idea for the Blogathon guest post day was to write about her personal food politics. I like the idea so much, I will be posting other personal food stories in the future. Amanda, thanks, for so much!

Greetings, One Per Week readers! I’m excited to be guest blogging for Katie as part of the Word Count Blogathon. Since Katie writes a lot about food, I thought I’d make that the focus of my post today.

copyright © 2007 sean dreilinger

Katie and I share similar values when it comes to food. We both buy local and organic whenever possible. We both love farmers markets, and we love cooking with ingredients we find at said markets – at this time of year, that means thick stalks of asparagus, artichokes, spring onions and a bizarre little delicacy called fiddlehead ferns.

We’re both very interested in the politics of food production; we read Michael Pollan and watch documentaries like Food, Inc (Katie even hosted a potluck/viewing party).

But there’s one big way in which our eating habits are very different: I don’t eat meat.

For a long time, I was what I’ll call a “conscious carnivore” — someone who only ate meat when I knew it had been raised in a humane way. Then one day, I saw a poster that changed my mind.

Yep, a poster. I was at Jivamukti yoga studio in NYC, and as I rounded the corner after class on my way to their cafe, I came face to face with a poster by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

Now, I typically avoid PETA materials — the extremism of their tactics alienates me; plus, they use imagery of suffering animals to recruit people to their cause, and images like that absolutely devastate me, so I tend to avoid them.

But there I was, face to face with this poster, and there was its message: Animals experience pain. No matter how humanely they’re raised, nor how mindfully they’re slaughtered, at the moment you kill them, they hurt.

And suddenly, I knew I couldn’t be responsible for hurting an animal. (more…)

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