We at FamilyFarmed conduct most of our work to build a better food system from our base in the city of Chicago. So we relish the opportunities to get into the country and visit the farmers who are the heart and soul of the Good Food movement — such as our trip Monday (July 24) to two of our woman-farmer friends in Pecatonica, a farm town 100 miles to the west with a whole lot of progressive thinking about Good Food growing.
The demand for better grains, flour and bread is fueling a market surge that is benefiting grain growers in the Midwest and across the United States. Some of these producers are more deeply rooted than others — and one of these is Illinois organic grain farmer Brian Severson, whose family has been growing in east-central Illinois for more than 150 years. Brian Severson Farms/Quality Organics will be an exhibitor at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Trade Show on Friday, March 17 and the Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 18.
Most quinoa is used in savory dishes or as a side dish. But I Heart Keenwah, a Chicago-based producer that will again be exhibiting at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference March 16-18, is making its mark with a line of quinoa-based snack foods and sweet treats (their current line of products is listed at the end of this article).
It might sound somewhat surprising that Rick Bayless, a pioneering advocate for the Chicago region’s local farmers and a master of regional Mexican cuisine, recently converted to using imported corn for his tortillas.
But this isn’t just any corn. It is dried heirloom corn from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, where some historians believe the cultivation of maize began. And it underscores the fact that in a diverse and increasingly interconnected food culture, authentic farm to table restaurants may take their search for the best ingredients way beyond their local areas…. and sometimes to a different part of the world.
There was plenty of food to eat at FamilyFarmed’s March 26 Good Food Festival, which drew thousands of attendees for the annual big public celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement. But the program at the Festival, which included expert panels, artisan workshops and chef demonstrations, also provided plenty of food for thought. This photo essay provides a flavor of the event.
Rick Bayless’ mastery of regional Mexican cuisine has made him one of the nation’s most celebrated chefs. He also is a Good Food advocate who is greatly concerned with the welfare of family farmers and the integrity of the food we eat. He thus is distressed by a court ruling that overturned Mexico’s two-year-old ban on genetically modified (GMO) corn.
The glamour of the annual James Beard Foundation Awards, held earlier this month in Chicago, has subsided. So it’s timely to assess what the event meant for the Good Food movement. The bottom line is that the James Beard Awards were very good news for Good Food.
The rapid growth of the Good Food movement was reflected at FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference, which took place last Thursday through Saturday — not only in the big attendance turnout, but in the intensity of interest among the general public in eating better foods and, in many cases, making those better food themselves at home.
by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed Bread, especially bread made with wheat flour, has come under scrutiny in recent years. Some nutritional experts and consumers have turned against it, viewing it as the root of a variety of health issues, from gluten sensitivity to weight gain. These sentiments spawned a rapid rise in interest in gluten-free bread Read more about Chicago Baker Greg Wade: Making Interest in Good Bread Rise Naturally[…]
It was just seven years ago when the married couple of Sonat Birnecker Hart and Robert Birnecker decided to give up high-level professional careers in the Washington, D.C., area, and start up their Koval Distillery in Chicago. As recent as that seems, they did not join the craft spirits movement within the city of Chicago. They launched it.
Paul Fehribach has always been generous about sharing his recipes at his Southern-themed Big Jones restaurant in Chicago. Now he has compiled his tips into The Big Jones Cookbook, coming out this spring.
The rising interest in heirloom (or heritage) varieties of food — and the important role that popcorn producers such as Iowa’s Tiny But Mighty have played in that trend — has caught the eye of The New York Times.
Locally grown organic wheat and other grains can be in short supply in Illinois, but Breslin Farms in the town of Ottawa helps fill that gap.
the direction of the robust brewing industry is shifting from the conventional ales of our uncles to the specialty beers produced by the microbreweries. Among the new wrinkles: Many grains that have not be typically used to craft beer in the United States are coming into vogue — a stylistic trend that has also been fueled in part by rising concerns among many consumers about gluten.