Posts tagged Local

Avoiding Factory Farm Foods: An Eater’s Guide

Hey all, a friend of mine just sent me this link to a blog post on the Huffington Post and I thought I would pass it along.  Here’s an excerpt from the introduction, I thoroughly recommend you check it out:

“Most people share at least the following traits: they want to be healthy; they like animals; and they value clean air and water. Yet relatively few Americans connect those concerns with their food. As more people start making the link (especially if they’ve seen graphic video footage of industrial animal operations), many decide it’s time to stop eating foods from factory farms. This is a guide for doing just that.”

It goes on to read rather well and then finishes off with a number of principles, or pointers, for how one can go about avoiding factory farm food.  Again, here’s the link.  I would love to hear your thoughts.


– Jacob S.

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From farm to table

When I think of the phrase “from farm to table,” one restaurant in Portland stands out clearly in my mind.  It is my favorite restaurant in town, and Higgins is the name.  Chef Greg Higgins has been a pioneer for Portland restaurants in local, seasonal, and sustainable foods.  A couple friends of mine work in the kitchen of that restaurant, and can’t say enough about the local and fresh ingredients that go into these thoughtful, and mouth watering dishes.  I’m drooling right now thinking about their food!  I would be a vegetarian if it wasn’t for my knee bending weakness for farm fresh duck; and Greg Higgins knows how to do it right.  I would eat there every day if I could afford it.  Greg Higgins, among other chefs in town, is a member of the Chefs Collaborative; a nonprofit network of chefs dedicated to local and seasonal menus.  There has been a strong quiet movement in sustainable agriculture, through these uncompromising chefs who work with local farmers, and grow their own goods as well.  They are also dedicated to sustainable fishing in local waters.  If you are interested in more restaurants in Portland with the same philosophy, check out this list of Pacific northwest cuisine.  Here’s also a somewhat amusing article on where to take “farm to table” fanatics in Portland.  So next time its your date night, keep one of these places in mind!


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Eating Local Challenge

I unfortunately am not partaking in the local challenge but I have done some research which I would like to share and hope to help people who are.  Grains seem like the hardest but they do grow some in the Willamette Valley region.  Oregon Bread which surprisingly is sold at Safeway is a good local option that contains Oregon white wheat and Oregon hazelnuts.  Hazelnuts are also one of the leading goods in Oregon.  I found this map of agriculture in Oregon which though its for little children, I found extremely helpful in gaining a little more knowledge about what is produced here.  And also, here’s a list of produce grown in Oregon, and a list of what’s in season for this time of year.  I usually eat a lot of squash and broccoli, and go crazy about mushrooms and root veggies.  I wish to someday learn to forage for mushrooms.  Cooperatives usually do their best in trying to stay local and since they are small, most of the people working there are able to answer any questions you have.  I always go to the coop next to where I live which is the Alberta st. coop, and another two of my favorites are Food fight in southeast and Daily grind also in southeast.  Here’s a full list of coops and natural grocery stores in Oregon with links to their addresses.  I have been churning my mind about how to cook vegetables, especially squash, without olive oil or any kind of oil and came to the conclusion of using butter instead.  Since I don’t like to use any Tillamook products, I found another Oregon creamery that makes unsalted butter.  You can also use white truffle oil which I’m sure is insanely priced but given the potency, you only need a couple drops for flavor.  There’s a store in Northeast called The Meadow that sells gourmet salts and one of them is red alder smoked pacific salt which may be considered local.  Or seaweed is harvested in Canada which can serve as an alternative to salt but I’m not sure where abouts they are harvested and if its within region.  You can find them at whole foods or New Seasons.  Honey is a great alternative to sugar which is produced all over Oregon.  You should find it at any natural food store.  And finally, here’s another helpful website that includes recipes and places you can find local products.  I know they grow Quinoa in Oregon but I haven’t found any store that carries it.  My local coop told me that they usually get it from Colorado but there was a bad blight last year, so now they get it from Bolivia where most quinoa is from.  But if you can find it anywhere it is the best supergrain for you, especially if you’re a vegetarian.  Oh, and I almost forgot, Columbia Gorge Organics make the best fresh pressed juices and they are local!  Just stay away from the tropical fruit flavors because those would not be locally grown on their farm.  But their ciders and carrot juices are and they taste great!  Well I hope that helps somewhat.  All the luck!

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