Sunday, December 27, 2009

Save The Dates: Kimchi Workshop, 1/24/2010; Kimchi Festival, 3/21/2010

SAVE THE DATES for kimchi-related events at the Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church in West Roxbury, MA.

January 24, 2010, 1PM-3PM: Kimchi Workshop: I will be leading a hands-on workshop covering vegetable fermentation and kimchi. You will leave the workshop with a jar of kimchi that you have made, and you'll be ready to compete in the kimchi festival in March. 15 seats available. $15 fee.

March 21, 2010, 3PM-7PM: Greater Boston Kimchi Festival: I will be judging and helping organize the Greater Boston Kimchi Festival. Start experimenting with your kimchi now, so that you will be ready to enter it in our kimchi contest! There will be prizes in different categories, including "traditional", "innovative", and "audience picks". We will have a kimchi demo, live entertainment, door prizes, and much more. Proceeds to benefit the Theodore Parker Church. Details TBA.

For more information, email

Friday, December 25, 2009

Illinois Soy Prison Update: Chicago Tribune Story

The Chicago Tribune has published an excellent and balanced article about the Illinois soy prison case.

For background: Last month I wrote about the unhealthy amounts of soy that the Illinois Department of Corrections has been feeding to inmates, with disregard for medical conditions and health considerations; and about the injunction that has been filed against the Department, with the help of the Weston A. Price Foundation.

You can find further background here, on Kimberly Hartke's blog.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Max Kane, Raw Milk Activist, Found Guilty

A judge in Wisconsin found that Max Kane would be required to divulge the names of farmers and consumers involved in private transactions.

If not? "You could ultimately go to jail—that certainly is a possibility," the judge said. "A remedial order could be entered that you would go to jail until you answer the questions."

Read more in David Gumpert's blog, The Complete Patient.

For the background behind this case, read my post about it here.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Recipe: Pork Chop Sauté With Kombucha Reduction

You can cook with kombucha. It winds up tasting suspiciously like apple cider, even though it contains absolutely no apples! It does lose some of its wonderful healthy properties when you cook it, since the heat kills the friendly bacteria, but if you're making your own kombucha like I am, you probably have some extra kombucha…

  • One-inch-thick pork chops (1 big chop per person)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking fat (lard or ghee or clarified butter)
  • Kombucha: approximately 2 oz. for each pork chop
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground pepper
  • A well-seasoned cast iron skillet large enough to hold all your chops without crowding them. (If you have too many chops, you can cook them in batches.)
  1. Preheat the skillet over medium to medium-high heat.

  2. Dry the pork chops on both sides with paper towels. Salt and pepper them judiciously.

  3. Put your cooking fat in the skillet. Use a fat that won't burn too quickly. Good lard is best. Ghee or clarified butter would work great too. If you have butter, it's pretty easy to clarify it—see here for example.

  4. Once the fat has melted, put the chops in the pan, with a bit of space between them.

  5. After 5 minutes, flip them. After 3 more minutes, cut into one and take a look. If it's still bloody, cook another minute or two and look again. If it's pink but not bloody, it's done—remove them to a plate. Keep in mind that the meat will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the pan. If you overcook it, it will dry out, and you may be disappointed. (See Note About Undercooked Pork, below.)

  6. (Repeat for additional batches as needed, adding more fat if necessary.)

  7. When you are done cooking the chops, pour out most of the fat (save it to cook vegetables if you like). Pour the kombucha into the pan, over medium-high heat; stir it around with a wooden spoon, scraping up bits that are stuck to the pan; and cook until the sauce reaches the desired thickness, maybe a minute or two. Turn off the heat. Taste the sauce and season it as you like with salt and pepper if needed.

  8. Serve with sauerkraut, seared greens (cooked in lard), Brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes (with lots of butter), or whatever you like.

  9. Why not wash it all down with some kombucha! Or hard apple cider.
Note About Undercooked Pork

In some countries, eating undercooked pork can give you a case of trichinosis. In the U.S., trichinosis is very rare (between 1997 and 2001, an average of 12 cases per year were reported). Freezing pork for at least 20 days at 5 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is sufficient to kill the larval worms that cause trichinosis. (reference)

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Will Max Kane, Raw Milk Activist, Go To Jail?

Max Kane appears before a judge on Monday to answer charges of contempt of court for not divulging the names of farmers and consumers with whom he was involved in private transactions.

If he loses the case, he could go to jail.

Max originally started drinking raw milk to reverse his "incurable" Crohn's disease. It must have worked pretty well, because he recently biked 3600+ miles across the U.S. to publicize raw milk.

If you would like to support Max, there will be a rally before his hearing. December 21, 9:30AM, at the Viroqua, WI Courthouse.

Speaking at his rally will be a fascinating who's-who of raw milk producers, political thinkers, activists, writers, healers, and film makers including:
For more information about his case and the rally, press clippings, etc., check out Max's blog, his video:

and Kimberly Hartke's posting about him.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Raw Milk Hearing in Framingham: Here's What Happened

Will raw milk be allowed or prohibited? This was the question considered at the Board of Health hearing I just attended in Framingham, Massachusetts, a town of 70,000 people approximately 25 miles west of Boston. (See my previous post on the subject for the full background.)

The Outcome

After two and a half hours of public comment, discussion, and deliberation, the three-member Board of Health voted that Doug Stephan would be allowed to sell raw milk from his farm in Framingham, subject to existing state regulations, and subject also to additional regulations imposed by the Town of Framingham; regulations one of which was determined last night (weekly testing in place of the state-mandated monthly testing), and some of which are still to be determined.

This result is a significant, because Stephan's farm will be the raw milk farm nearest to the city of Boston, and is likely to become a source of choice for raw milk.

It is also significant because it marks the first time that a town or city in Massachusetts has implemented its own regulations on top of the state regulations. A precedent has been set.

Raw Milk In Massachusetts

Massachusetts has state requirements concerning the sale of raw milk. The milk must come from a farm with a special state raw-milk license. The milk must be sold on the farm where it was produced. The milk must be tested once a month, and must meet certain requirements. The test results must be posted at the point of sale, along with specific warnings about the nature of raw milk. The bottles must be labeled in a particular way. With the exception of cheese aged for at least 60 days, no processed raw dairy products are allowed to be sold in the state (so no cream, no skim milk, no yogurt, no kefir). These state requirements have been in place for a while. More details are available on the NOFA Massachusetts website.

Massachusetts also grants authority to jurisdictions to further restrict whether, and how, raw milk can be sold. This level of granularity with respect to raw milk regulation is unusual, and is perhaps consistent with Massachusetts' "big government" reputation.

Up until now, towns and cities in Massachusetts have either allowed raw milk sales from all farms compliant with state regulations, or prohibited raw milk sales completely. Tonight was the first time that a local Board of Health has elected to create additional, jurisdiction-specific restrictions. My guess is that most jurisdictions are either too urbanized to have significant dairy farms, or too resource-limited to want to complicate things, instead letting the state licensing bureau take care of the whole matter. Framingham seems to fall in the crack.

I believe that the arrangement in Massachusetts is unnecessarily complicated. Raw milk drinkers in Massachusetts will get their milk one way or another—from sources within the state, or from sources in nearby states, almost all of which allow the sale of raw milk. The more sources there are, the more choice buyers will have, the higher standard they will hold the producers to, and the more likely they will be to report problems. Banning raw milk sales in Framingham, for instance, would have done very little to prevent people from drinking raw milk, but it might have restricted the availability enough to discourage people from reporting problems with their sources.

There is significant disagreement within the state government about the desirability of raw milk. Two state agencies sent letters to the Framingham BOH advising them on the licensing issue. The agency responisble for regulating unpasteurized milk in Massachussets, the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, whose mission is "to ensure the long-term viability of local agriculture in Massachusetts", wrote a letter strongly in support of granting the license, and categorically against municipal bans. The agency responsible for regulating pasteurized milk, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, whose mission is not made quite so clear on their website, wrote a letter saying that they continue to have grave concerns over the sale of raw milk in Massachusetts. These letters were both read into the record.

The Hearing

The Framingham Board of Health consists of Michael Hugo, the Chair; Tammy Harris, the Secretary; and Nelson Goldin. Ethan Mascoop is the part-time, paid Director of the BOH. There was a stenographer, taking notes. And there were approximately 46 members of the public in attendance, including Doug Stephan, the farmer.

Mascoop, the Director, having surveyed raw milk laws in other states, expressed concern that the Mass regulations might not be strict enough, citing issues such as labeling, frequency of testing, inspection criteria, liability insurance, and herd size. He also questioned the tools available for enforcement of the regulations. Hugo noted that these concerns would have to be considered in light of the limited resources of the Framingham BOH, limitations which would argue against implementing Framingham-specific regs that would put a burden of monitoring and enforcement on the local BOH. He also expressed some concern over raw milk drinkers' potential unwillingness to report raw-milk-related illnesses, out of a feeling of loyalty to farmers.

There was discussion on the issue of organic milk, and antibiotics. Most of the raw milk dairies in Massachusetts are not organic, and do use antibiotics on their cows when they are sick. Milk from cows actively taking antibiotics cannot legally be sold. There was discussion about whether the current state regs around testing milk for antibiotics were sufficient. Note that this same issue affects milk for pasteurization as well.

Stephan, the farmer, appeared frustrated and impatient with the process. He remarked that if he had known how difficult it would have been to run the farm, citing the milk issue and an issue related to water rights, he would not have bought the farm, and would instead have allowed the property to be sold to developers, who would have replaced the historic farm with subdivisions. And if he had known how protracted the process with the Framingham BOH was going to be, he would have attempted to bypass them, dealing only with the state, an approach that he believes would have been within his rights.

Karen Clickner, who runs a large holistic health clinic in Brookline, spoke to the health benefits of raw milk in helping to remedy many conditions, including infertility. She answered various questions posed to her by the BOH, including questions about whether she recommends raw milk to infants (yes), severely immunocompromised individuals (no, because it can be difficult to digest), and pregnant women (generally not; the beneficial bacteria can be ingested by other means).

David Gumpert, author of Raw Milk Revolution, spoke at length about the epidemiology of raw milk, including the fact that estimates for the number of raw milk drinkers in the US vary between half a million and ten million, and the fact that statistics around food-related illnesses are notoriously incomplete and inaccurate. Speaking directly to the issue of raw milk in Massachusetts, Gumpert pointed out that in the state of Massachusetts, since 1999 there have been no reported raw-milk-related illnesses, whereas in the past 3 years pasteurized milk has been identified as the cause of 3 deaths and one spontaneous abortion. The BOH questioned Gumpert quite a bit, and Gumpert conceded that statistically speaking, raw milk seemed to represent a greater risk than pasteurized milk.

Richard Lerner, a local veterinarian, spoke against raw milk, making some arguments that we've all heard, and focusing specifically on the perceived laxness and inadequacy of regulation of raw milk by the state.

I had a few things I wanted to say, and I also had a statement from a friend I was prepared to read, but public comment was curtailed before I was able to get to the microphone.

The defining question of the evening, I think, was how to balance risk against freedom. Michael Hugo, the Chair, told us that he eats sushi with his 88-year old dad, and nearly lost a raw-oyster-eating contest to him. Mascoop, the Director, related that new FDA model regs will recommend prohibiting the sale of raw or undercooked foods to children in public eating establishments. Nelson Goldin asked whether we should protect people who don't want protecting. Cigarettes and alcohol were mentioned jokingly. I wish they had been considered more seriously. They certainly represent a greater public health threat than raw milk. It is possible to get a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts by presenting a valid car license and taking a written test; there is no requirement to demonstrate an ability to ride a motorcycle. How about hang-gliding?

The Decision

The ultimate decision was that Stephan would be allowed to sell raw milk from his farm, subject to state regs, and subject to additional requirements, including weekly testing (in place of the monthly testing required by the state), and other requirements to be determined by the BOH, informed by an advisory committee consisting of Mascoop, Stephan, and Richard Lerner the veternarian. Hugo and Goldin voted in favor of this decision; Harris voted against it.

This is a partial victory. Is it better than a Framingham ban? Absolutely. Does it open the door for additional Massachusetts jurisdictions to enact their own local raw milk regulations? Perhaps, but I doubt too many jurisdictions with dairy farms would have the time or inclination to do this.

Do I think the decision is unfair to Stephan? Yes. Given that there have been no raw-milk-related illnesses reported in Massachusetts since 1999, it seems clear to me that the state regs are adequate in practice, and that Stephan is being unnecessarily impeded from doing business. He has demonstrated himself to be a responsible farmer, and he should be allowed to sell his products to people who want to buy them.

I look forward to driving to Framingham to buy his milk.

See Also

See also David Gumpert's post on the hearing.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Raw Milk Hearing in Framingham, MA This Wednesday Dec 16

Dear Raw Milk Fans,


There will be a hearing this Wednesday night, December 16, at 7PM, that will determine whether or not Doug Stephan is granted a license to sell raw milk from his farm in Framingham, Massachusetts, a town of 70,000 or so people 20 miles west of Boston.

The meeting will be in the Blumer Room in the Town Hall, 150 Concord St, Framingham, MA. Click here for a map and directions. There's a train that leaves South Station, Boston at 6:15PM and arrives in Framingham at 6:52PM; the town hall is a few minutes' walk from the train station. This sounds like a good option. Bring a book for the train ride. Might I suggest The Raw Milk Revolution, by David E. Gumpert?


Personally, I would be thrilled to have a 30-cow raw milk dairy within 20 minutes of my house in Cambridge. The closest one right now is 40 minutes away (Oake Knoll Ayrshires in Foxoro), and is quite small—10 cows last I herd (sic). Stephan's farm would only be the 26th raw milk dairy in Massachusetts, a bellwether state on many issues.




Click here for the meeting agenda. There will be stuff going on at the meeting besides the raw milk hearing—but I can guarantee that the raw milk part will be the highlight!

Some additional background:

My understanding is that this is the first time anyone in Framingham has applied to the city Board of Health for such a license. As such, precedent will be set. There are three possible outcomes: the board could grant the license; the board could grant the license, but with town-specific requirements that are tougher than the state requirements; or the board could deny the license. This hearing is a very important one in Massachusetts, and could point the way for future such hearings.

Doug will make the case that his dairy farm cannot survive selling milk for pasteurization. In the past year and a half, the price paid to him by dairy corporations has dropped from $28 or $29 for a hundredweight, to $12 or $13 for a hundredweight. It costs him $24 per hundredweight to produce the milk.

Here are some articles on the issue:

The outcome of this case will have bearing on all of our ability to get raw milk, and to get the food we want, the way we want it, not just in Massachusetts, but around the US. Now is the time to act.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Book Review: Just Food, by James E. McWilliams

Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong And How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly, by James E. McWilliams, presents some good ideas, but is weakened by arrogance and less-than-thorough analyses. His critique of locavorism is ultimately incomplete and flawed.

If you are interested in what he has to say but don't want to read the whole book, I recommend that you go to your neighborhood bookstore and read the 9-page Conclusion. It is short enough to read standing up.

McWilliams' driving concern throughout the book is the environment. Greenhouse gasses are his main focus. He argues that "food miles" is an overly simplistic, and in fact misguided, gauge of food sustainability. He discusses the concept of life cycle analysis, suggesting that it is important to look at the total carbon impact of your food, rather than focusing simply on the carbon impact of its transportation; he demonstrates that there are often other factors that make a far greater contribution to carbon footprint than transportation. He also points out, rightly I think, that farmers' markets and small farmers in general will face an increasing challenge trying simultaneously to meet the needs of foodies, the mainstream population, restaurateurs, wholesalers, and the low-income population.

His argument is weakened by unfounded assertions and unnecessary contrariness, perhaps products of a conscious attempt to be "provocative" or "controversial". He claims that an ever-growing contingent of "food-milers" think food miles are the only thing that matter, and he casts himself as the defender of the human race against these food-milers; it not clear to me that a lot of people look only at food miles without looking also at issues such as sustainable farming practices and rural economics. He states that "if we can measure the distance food can travel, we can certainly measure the carbon footprint created by the major inputs of production"; this seems far from certain to me, especially on smaller, polyculture farms. He spends a good portion of the first chapter criticizing the "food-milers" for being smug and self-righteous, and obsessing over their one pet metric; he spends much of the rest of the chapter being smug and self-righteous himself, and focusing on his own pet metric (carbon footprint).

He faults locavorism for being unable to meet the needs of the urban population of the US, especially in arid cities (he specifically mentions Tuscon, Phoenix, and Las Vegas). He says: "Locavores will often respond to this line of attack by arguing that people should not be moving to these areas in the first place." He dismisses this argument by claiming that the US government cannot realistically tell "citizens and corporations that they cannot settle in a particular region because the resources do not conform to a locavore vision", and finally concludes that "some places cannot, on environmental grounds, justify a localized food system." He implies that the US government is the only force that determines where people live. I doubt this—I think economics play a significant role. I believe that if the Southwest continues its trend toward running out of water, or if transportation becomes more expensive, water and food prices will likely rise sharply in response, and Phoenix will become a less appealing place to live. The government could (continue to) subsidize the transportation of water to such locations, but this would seem to work against McWilliams' goal of lowered carbon footprint. In short, I don't think his argument holds water.

He also fails to acknowledge the non-carbon-related reasons for supporting local agriculture. Chief among them are, in my view: building resilient local food systems able to withstand sudden events (rises in transportation costs triggered by rising energy prices, natural disasters, wars, economic and infrastructure collapses); and supporting the local economy, both by keeping money in the local community and by providing meaningful jobs. He does not acknowledge the possibility that small agriculture jobs might be meaningful. And he says that buying food directly from farmers does not build any kind of "community" that he is interested in. In these matters I simply disagree with him.

Finally, he "often wonder[s] if consumers could consistently discern the difference in a blind taste test between farmers' market produce and Wal-Mart produce." Because of the wide variety of farmers' market produce, the question as stated is essentially meaningless. It's hard to see the purpose of asking it. Is it intended merely to provoke?

In the next chapter, he makes a point about how "local" is turning into a marketing buzzword, just as has happened, to a large extent, to "organic" (and, I might add, to a variety of other terms like "free-range", "farm fresh", and so on). He argues that organic/conventional is a continuum rather than a dichotomy, that they are not as distinct as most people think in terms of practices, use of chemicals, etc., and that rather than being limited by these two categories, we should consider a range of approaches to farming that use appropriate technologies.

He loses me is in his discussion of genetically modified food. McWilliams doesn't see a big difference between selective plant breeding and genetic modification. Specifically, he states that we have been selectively breeding plants for a long time,
but now, somewhat arbitrarily, many of us are deeply bothered over biotechnology. We shouldn't be. Genetic engineering (GE) is often portrayed as a radical break from "natural" agricultural practice, but as [Pamela] Ronald points out, this is not the case.
He justifies GM food by trying to demonstrate that it is the only way we will be able to address current hunger, and to feed the ever-growing population of the future. He downplays the many possible ecological risks.

As far as I'm concerned, given what we don't know about it, GM food is not an option, period. So ultimately, his claims about the relative efficiency of GM versus conventional crops are irrelevant to me.

Furthermore, in his discussion of GM foods, he again downplays or ignores the issue of local resilience and self-sufficiency. GM seeds generally require money, and even when they are given away, they frequently require specific chemical inputs from specific companies in order to produce. Additionally, they are often sterile in the next generation, making seed-saving impossible, and locking farmers in poor countries into cycles of dependency on American multinational corporations like Monsanto.

His chapters about meat and aquaculture are the strongest chapters of the book. Meat from industrially-raised land animals, he argues, is expensive in terms of land use, carbon footprint, and environmental devastation, and our worldwide consumption of such meat is skyrocketing. Between 1958 and today, for example, per capita meat consumption in China has gone from 8 pounds a year to 119. Another statistic he cites is that a 50% reduction in meat consumption would compensate for 2937.5 miles driven every year by every family (he does not specify geography; the study he cites is British, so perhaps the context is Britain). He concludes that
In the end, the only environmentally viable kinds of meat production are the emerging alternatives to conventional factory production—grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, and free-range pork being prime examples. However…it will work only when kept small and integrated into midsized sustainable farms that place the bulk of their emphasis on growing plants to feed people.
(This makes it sound like grass-fed beef, free-range organic chicken, and free-range pork are new ideas, which they are definitely not. Nevertheless, he makes his point.)

His analysis of the history and state of the art in aquaculture is insightful. Fish farms vary greatly: some are very sustainable, and some are awful and polluting. His exploration of the growing possibilities of small scale, fresh water aquaculture and aquaponics is compelling. He makes a good case for his claim that of all the available sources of animal protein, aquaponic fish is the best.

The final chapter deals with subsidies, incentives, and fair trade. While I'm tired of reading about farm and trade subsidies, he presents many of the issues well. He ends, however, with another argument against strict locavorism, which I suppose is understandable, given the full title of the book. He justifies the large-scale import of green beans from sub-Saharan Africa to the UK on three grounds: (1) these beans don't have a large carbon footprint; (2) sub-Saharan Africa needs the money and the jobs, and (3) farming practices there might be more sustainable than in the UK. The first and third points are difficult to address. The second, money-and-jobs argument is short-sighted. The export/import arrangement increases the dependency of sub-Saharan farmers on the price of transportation fuel, and on market conditions in the rest of the world. What if large-scale food trade becomes impractical or inordinately expensive? What if the price of green beans drops suddenly, and these farmers are not able to cover their costs? This is exactly what has happened to coffee farmers. For people to be truly self-sufficient and secure, does it not make sense for them to grow food that they and their neighbors can eat? Self-sufficiency and food security considerations are compelling arguments for global locavorism, in the face of an increasingly complicated and volatile world economy.

Some of my ideas presented above were shaped by a conversation that took place at a book club meeting.

A list of our current and past book club selections can be found  here.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

I Am Teaching A Food Preserving Class, Feb 9 & Feb 16 2010

Coming up:
Click here to register
    Here's the course description:
    Since the start of recorded history, humans have been preserving food. Refrigeration and freezing have become popular recently, but many interesting alternatives exist.

    During class 1, we will explore some or all of the following topics: fermentation of vegetables and fruits (including sauerkraut, pickled root vegetables, kimchi, preserved lemons, etc.); cucumber pickles, relishes, and chutneys; brined meat (corned beef); preserved dairy (yogurt, ricotta cheese); kombucha; salting and drying (dried fruit, dried vegetables, dried meats, potato chips); etc.. Along the way, we will discuss food history; food safety; knife skills; and seasoning.

    During class 2, one week later, we will prepare dishes, using some of the preserved foods from class one as ingredients. Menu items may include corned beef reuben sandwiches (with sauerkraut and/or kimchi); traditional Alsatian choucroute; a variety of canapés using chutneys and kimchi; lactofermented cole slaw; broiled chicken with preserved lemons and herbs; baked ricotta; kombucha-poached scallops; etc.
    Click here to register

      If you would like to hire me to do a sauerkraut or fermentation event for you, please email or call me (four one five, five nine six, seven six one three). I can tailor-make an event to fit your group or occasion.

      These are some of my past public events:

      Wednesday, December 2, 2009

      Meat Of Known Origin (MOKO) In Boston Right Now

      It's easier than it used to be. Here are some thoughts:
      • First of all, from now through December 24, Stillman's is selling MOKO five days a week SEVEN DAYS A WEEK (updated) at the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market. Show up and choose from what they brought, or call them ahead of time at 413-477-0345 if you have a special request!

      • All winter long you can get MOKO from Austin Farms every Monday; for details see JJ Gonson's Cuisine En Locale blog.

      • Any time you want, you can go to Lionette's Market on Tremont Street in Boston.
      And if you want a fabulous MOKO t-shirt, you can even get that, too, from the Boston Localvores website!

      Downtown Crossing Holiday Market

      If you are in Boston this season, you can visit the Downtown Crossing Holiday Market, located (in a big tent!) on Summer Street at Downtown Crossing from now through December 24th. Hours are Monday through Saturday 11AM-7PM and Sunday 12PM-6PM.

      Why visit?

      There are farmers and food producers offering a variety of excellent food and horticultural goods, including great local vegetables and fruits from Keown Orchards, delicious breads from When Pigs Fly, fabulous lillies from Stow Greenhouses, and one-of-a-kind Dessert Hummus from Crazy Camel. There are also booths selling the other sorts of things you might expect at a holiday market, including jewelry, pottery, candles, and the like.

      The vendor I was most excited to see was Stillman's, a leading Massachusetts purveyor of Meat Of Known Origin (MOKO). Stillman's will be at the market five days a week, Wednesday through Sunday, until December 24th.

      So it will be easier than ever to get Meat Of Known Origin in Boston this holiday season!

      Note: The Downtown Crossing Holiday Market is being run by the Boston Public Market Association, in coordination with the Boston Redevelopment Authority. I am on the board of the BPMA. I don't benefit personally from any money you might spend at the Holiday Market.

      Imagine if there were an indoor, year-round, seven-days-a-week local food market serving the Boston area, so that farmers and food producers like Stillman's, Keown, and Stow could easily sell their products directly to their customers.

      I think this would be great, for many reasons. Here are a few: Greater availability of real food could increase the health and happiness of folks in the Boston area; it could also attract more good restaurants to the Boston area. A year-round market would make it easier for buyers to find what they needed, and easier for sellers to predict demand.  Cutting out the intermediaries would allow food producers to build relationships with their customers, sell at a better price, and take home more money for themselves. And so on.

      The Boston Public Market Association's goal is to create such a market. If this vision appeals to you, please support us.

      Tuesday, December 1, 2009

      Slow Food BU Sauerkraut Workshop Recap

      Elizabeth Jarrard of Slow Food BU posted this fun, informative, and impressively thorough recap of the sauerkraut workshop I held at BU two weeks ago:

      Awesome photos by Rachel Offerdahl, including my favorite, the "money shot":

      Where To Find Raw Milk In Italy

      This web site:

      shows 1352 locations where you can get raw milk in Italy. The locations are pretty well distributed across every region of the country, including the southern islands of Sicily and Sardinia, with a much higher concentration of raw milk sources in the north.

      (It's certainly available from numerous other sources that do not appear on this site, too—small farms and the like.)