I couldn't go to this year's Food & Wine Classic and not attend a seminar hosted by two of Napa Valley's most influential food figures. I'm talking about the session led by culinary authority and Top Chef Masters contestant Michael Chiarello and Peter Jacobsen, the owner of Jacobsen Orchards, a farm that supplies produce exclusively to Thomas Keller's famed restaurant The French Laundry. The two discussed the importance of making economically and environmentally just practices, as well as offered suggestions for advocating sustainability. See their ideas (and more photos) after the jump
Last week I went to City Hall to help harvest the Slow Food Victory Garden. Developed as a solution to food shortages during World War I and II, victory gardens not only supply vegetables, fruit, and herbs to the masses, but they also act as a morale booster during tough times. Today Slow Food has partnered with San Francisco to showcase the spirit and power of the public victory garden. The victory of these gardens, however, is to reduce the food miles normally associated with the average American meal and promote homegrown local produce.
Every Thursday a group of volunteers meets to harvest the vegetables. Arranged in a stunning concentric design, the garden provides food and illustrates the pure beauty of such vegetables as red chard and squash blossoms. While I picked bunches of collard greens and washed heads of lettuce, I couldn't help but think how vegetables are as gorgeous and colorful as flowers.
Do you have a garden? Have you ever been a part of a large-scale harvest? While you may not be able to experience this victory garden's harvest firsthand, you can take a look at my gallery filled with images. To do so, read more
I'm going to be honest. When it comes to surgery, the idea of being "put to sleep" for a couple hours freaks me out. I will admit it, I am more afraid of the anesthesia than the scalpel. Are you freaked out a little too? Maybe if we knew more about anesthesia, we'd feel better about it.
When it comes to anesthesia, there are 4 kinds:
- Local - this involves numbing a small area by injecting a shot just under the skin. (Lidocaine is a popular local anesthetic used by many dentists).
- Regional - A certain area is made numb, but you are still conscious (an epidural is an example).
- Sedation - This is also known as "twilight sleep." The person is just drowsy and it makes them more comfortable. Low levels of general anesthesia are used to produce this sensation.
- General - You are given liquid or a gas that makes you unaware of what's happening, immobile, pain-free, and free from any memory during the period you were anesthetized (this is the stuff they use when you are having major surgery).
So how does it work? To find out read more
Summer is here and one of my favorite things to do is go to the farmers market. I love to support local farms, and I feel good knowing where my produce came from.
What are the benefits of buying local produce?
- By supporting local farms, you're helping to keep them in business, which supports your community. In return, this helps to protect precious farmland from becoming developed.
- You're helping to cut down on the use of fossil fuels and the amount of pollution emitted by trucks - if you buy organic apples from Chile those apples are making a very long trip on the way to your mouth. Wait until fall and buy them from a local grower and this summer eat berries and stone fruits (peaches, plums, apricots, etc.) that are in season.
- The best part is that when you buy local, you are receiving the freshest possible produce, picked just hours before getting to you.
So buying local is good for the consumer, for the farmer, and for the earth. Hey, this reminds me of the 100 mile diet. You want to shoot for eating foods that are produced or harvested within 100 miles of where you live. Summertime is a great time to adopt this "diet" since the sunny warm weather brings so many gardens and farms to life.
So the next time you go shopping for your fruits and veggies, look for signs that say "locally grown."
What's the buzz? Honey has so many wonderful characteristics besides its natural sweet flavor - they don't call it the "ancient healer" for nothing.
Besides being great at soothing a sore throat, check this out, Honey....
- it could be helpful in treating your allergies.
- it's antimicrobial because of its high sugar content, so it's great for treating cuts and burns to prevent scarring.
- it contains vitamins B6, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid.
- it also has minerals like calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
- it contains natural antioxidants such as vitamin C.
- There are over 300 different varieties of Honey, ranging in color and flavor, depending on what plants the bees gather nectar from.
- Honey never goes bad, because it's slightly acidic, bacteria won't grow in it.
Fit's Tip: Using Honey in your baked goods will keep them moist for a longer period of time.