Good Food on Every Table

The boom in farmers markets

First Person: How Farmers Markets Help Producers Scale Up for Success

by Pat Stieren, guest contributor Pat Stieren is executive director of the Illinois Farmers Market Association (IFMA), which is presenting a conference on Saturday, March 21 at the UIC Forum on the University of Illinois at Chicago campus. The event coincides with FamilyFarmed‘s Good Food Festival at the same location. To purchase tickets to attend the Read more about First Person: How Farmers Markets Help Producers Scale Up for Success[…]

Pilot Light Chefs
Local Foods Chicago retail store
Rob Levitt of Chicago's The Butcher & Larder

Chicago Butcher Rob Levitt on the Meaning of Good Meat and His Local Foods Move

Rob Levitt established himself as a major figure on Chicago’s food scene when he and his wife Allie opened The Butcher & Larder meat shop four years ago. Here Rob Levitt discusses his somewhat unexpected career as a butcher and his hopes for bigger things with his upcoming move, expected this spring, into a larger space in the new Local Foods retail store.

Greg Wade of Publican Quality Bread
Shedd Aquarium Right Bite card January 2015
Purple Asparagus classroom event

Purple Asparagus at the Good Food Festival: They Love Kids, You’ll Love Them

Unlike a certain purple dinosaur, Chicago’s Purple Asparagus — a nonprofit group that uses fun and age-appropriate activities to teach kids about Good Food — is named for a real plant that is a springtime delicacy. That is kind of the point. Teaching children from very young ages about the benefits of real, whole, wholesome food is crucial to their developing healthy eating habits as they grow up, and that is the core of Purple Asparagus’ mission.

GMO OMG promo

Multi-Faceted Trade Day at Good Food Festival & Conference Captures Movement’s Span

There are so many elements to the Good Food movement that it would be hard for any one event to capture its breadth. But “Trade Day” at FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Festival & Conference March 20 — comes as close as can be to a comprehensive overview of this sweeping effort to change the way we eat for the better.

Julia and Todd McDonald of Peasants' Plot CSA farm in Manteno, Illinois

First Person: CSA Farmers Band Together

by Julia McDonald, guest contributor Julia McDonald and her husband Todd McDonald own Peasants’ Plot, a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm in Manteno, Illinois that grows produce sustainably and sells it to subscribing consumers. In her contributed column, McDonald describes the rise of the CSA concept and its still yet-to-be-tapped potential; the emergence of the Read more about First Person: CSA Farmers Band Together[…]

A Chicago Ranch movie

First Person: The Lasting Impact of Frank Morgan, Local Grass-Fed Beef Pioneer

Mark Wilhelms is founder and chief executive of Red Meat Market, which retails local and sustainably produced meat online. One of his inspirations for the company was Frank Morgan, whose pioneering effort to raise grass-fed beef for the nearby Chicago market was the basis for a short film Wilhelm produced shortly before Morgan’s death.

The Dill Pickle Co-op of Chicago.

First Person: Cooperation Underscored in Chicagoland Food Co-op Coalition

While there has long been robust interest in food co-ops in a number of communities across the United States, Chicago has lagged a bit behind. But change is under way. Over the past couple of years, there’s been an explosion of interest in retail food co-ops in the metro Chicago area, which in turn has spawned the Chicagoland Co-op Coalition.

Alan Shannon of the USDA Midwest office

First Person: Making Farm to Fork the Table Setting for America’s Schoolchildren

Across our country, more and more schools have begun to source foods locally and to provide educational activities to students — a movement often called “farm to school.” Farm to school is growing, with major benefits for children, schools, families, farmers, food manufacturers, communities, and businesses.

Raj Karmani of Zero Percent (right) and Michael Bashaw of Whole Foods Market
dailyServing's functional food products

First Person: Top Chicago Butcher Envisions New Heights in Move to Local Foods Store

Rob Levitt of The Butcher & Larder began his culinary career with the aim of becoming a top chef. But he developed an expertise in charcuterie that ultimately piqued his interest in the art of butchery, and four years ago, he and wife Allie opened the Butcher & Larder and quickly developed it into one of Chicago’s favored spots among meat lovers. Now they are preparing for a big step up.

Mark Schulman, president of Eli's Cheesecake

Eli’s Cheesecake is Sweet on the Good Food Movement in Chicago

Eli’s Cheesecake has been serving up its sweet treats in Chicago for decades. As a local artisan producer that uses as many locally produced ingredients as possible, Eli’s has a prominent place at the Good Food movement’s dessert table. But the company’s commitment to expanding economic opportunity and social welfare through food is much broader than that.

Paul Fehribach, chef-owner of Chicago's Big Jones restaurant
Good Food Accelerator
Farmer Gene Mealhow of Tiny But Mighty.

Whet Your Appetite for the Upcoming Good Food Festival & Conference

The schedule for this year’s 11th annual Festival & Conference, which takes place March 19-21 at the UIC Forum on the campus of University of Illinois at Chicago, has been released. We hope the details will whet your appetite for the event and persuade you to join this celebration of the fast-growing Good Food movement.

Farmer Gene Mealhow of Tiny But Mighty.