Sunday, May 20, 2007
I have been aware for a few years now about Edible Communities, as I had read some of their regional publications, including "Edible Brooklyn" and "Edible East End." EDIBLE COMMUNITIES, INC. is a publishing and information services company that creates editorially rich, community-based, local-foods publications in distinct culinary regions throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe. This organization is growing rapidly, with regional publications sprouting throughout the country. Through publications, supporting websites, and events, it connect consumers with family farmers, growers, chefs, and food artisans of all kinds. According to their we site, "we believe that every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis and that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. We are a for-profit, member-driven corporation - individuals who own our publications are local-foods advocates and residents of the communities they publish in - a business model that not only supports our values, but also preserves the integrity of our member publications and the communities we serve." President and co-founder Tracey Ryder grew up in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, and has a background in marketing and design, and believes strongly in the one on one relationship between the farmer and the buyer.
The philosophy behind Edible Communities is the Slow Food movement, begun by Carlo Petrini in Rome, Italy about 16 years ago as a resistance movement to fast food. It has since expanded globally to 100 countries and now has 83,000 members.
There is an excellent Webisode on "Dave Does," (famous chef Dave Lieberman) from October 2006, in which Dave interviews the founders, explores slow foods, and visits a Portland restaurant that uses all local produce. (See http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/show_et)
On May 1-4 in San Francisco, a Slow Food Nation extravaganza is taking place, with 50,000 people expected to attend. The event includes food tastings, guest speakers such as Wendell Berry and Eric Schlosser and Poet Gary Snyder, workshops, poetry, music, and more. (See link.)
Slow food is not merely about organics, but the preservation of tradition and the concept that foods produced on small farms will inherently taste better.