Vending machines. Not exactly what comes to mind when you think of Good Food… Until now, that is, thanks to companies such as Farmer’s Fridge, a business that is selling same-day-fresh jarred salads and healthy snacks from vending machines in dozens of locations around Chicago. This fast-growing company got a boost from participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference and its Financial Fair.
Many organizations and companies are working hard to untie knots in the supply chain for local and sustainable food in the Chicago area, the nation’s third most populous consumer market. Now the effort is getting a big boost from the Food to Market Challenge, a newly launched competition that will bestow a $500,000 award on the winning concept.
FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference is the oldest and largest event in the Midwest focused on local and sustainable food. At its heart are the producers, buyers, sellers and others who exhibit their businesses there. Josh Katt, chef/owner of a company that prepares and delivers delicious food from sustainably produced ingredients to homes and catered events in the Chicago area, shares his experiences as an exhibitor.
FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Festival & Conference is the oldest and largest event in the Midwest focused on local and sustainable food. At its heart are the producers, buyers, sellers and others who exhibit their businesses there. Exhibitor registration is open for the 12th annual Good Food Festival & Conference, scheduled for March 24-26 in Chicago, and there is a $100 discount for participants who sign up by Dec. 9.
FamilyFarmed has launched a fundraising campaign — titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!” — to support the latest expansion of its extensive efforts to train farmers across the United States so they can achieve sustainable success. The campaign, staged on the IndieGoGo crowd-funding site, is titled “Help Us Grow Young Farmers!”
Many of those involved in the Good Food movement believe that craft distilling deserves to be considered part of it, but the question has been raised about whether a distilled spirit needs to contain ingredients produced by local farmers in order to be considered truly local. Many producers now are touting local sourcing as a major selling point.
Farm Aid publishes a series of profiles on its website of “Farmer Heroes.” Their most recent profile is of Darius Jones, a young Chicagoan and friend of FamilyFarmed, for whom the “hero” title is apt. A troubled youth that resulted in him being incarcerated also set him on the path to the cutting edge of urban agriculture in his hometown.
Next to Wal-Mart on the edge of rural Viroqua, Wisconsin, a 100,000-square-foot abandoned industrial building is now bustling with new businesses and jobs from an unconventional source: The local food and farming sector.
As always, the Farm Aid concert held Saturday in Chicago was one of the entertainment events of the year, featuring founders Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp, fellow Board member Dave Matthews, and numerous other great performers. But as this photo essay by Good Food on Every Table shows, Farm Aid is about much more than the music.
Chicago will host the 30th anniversary Farm Aid concert this Saturday (Sept. 19). Residents of the nation’s third most-populous city will have the opportunity to reacquaint with issues concerning family farmers, through the highest-profile — and most star-powered — event that benefits them and their causes. Farm Aid is not just about the music, though.
The wholesale end of local food is a growing business sector that walks a fine line between profitability and social change, according to a new study from the Wallace Center, home of the National Good Food Network.
Chicago has been something of a laboratory for the rise of the Good Food movement. Yet there has been one element of the movement that has been largely missing in Chicago: food cooperatives. Until now.
Foods and beverages carrying a “local” label appear poised to become the leading symbol of trust and transparency to consumers as the authenticity halo of such terms as ‘organic’ and ‘natural’ lose momentum, claims market analyst The Hartman Group — as reported by the FoodNavigator-USA.com website.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off the 16th annual Farmers Market Week Sunday, announcing a 64 percent increase in customer traffic in markets open for at least two years.
There are so many reasons to go out with your shopping bags during National Farmers Market Week and celebrate the rapid rise in the number of farmers markets across the nation. One of them may surprise you.
“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds,” says the longtime motto of the U.S. Postal Service. If Thursday evening’s annual Chef BBQ staged by Chicago’s Green City Market is an indication, that applies as well to connoisseurs — at least as when it comes to rain.
Local Foods, a Chicago distributor of local and regional farm and artisan food products, has opened a 27,000-square foot store not far from the city’s downtown. It is carrying produce, dairy, eggs, and meats from farms in the Midwest region centered on its biggest city, along with fresh, frozen and packaged foods from top regional artisans — and is considered a big step forward in local food retailing by advocates of the Good Food movement.
Good Food on Every Table recently invited readers across the country to share their stories about the Good Food scene in their hometowns. We want to thank Patty Rubeck of DeKalb, Illinois — founder of “Eat Local DeKalb” — for being the first to accept the invitation.
As many as 90 percent of Americans could be fed entirely by food grown or raised within 100 miles of their homes, which would boost local economies and make agriculture more sustainable, according to new research reported on by Sustainable Food News.
Chicago on Monday hosted the annual James Beard Foundation culinary awards ceremony, and Rick Bayless was one of the event’s co-chairmen. Famed for popularizing regional Mexican cuisine in the city, he is a celebrity chef with a long-running TV show, and he has just added to his long list of cookbooks. But to many in the Good Food movement, it is his history of helping building the region’s local food system that is his biggest starring role.