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[…]
Would you like to hang out with and learn from some of Chicago’s best-known chefs? And have you ever wanted to be a kid again? You might, then, be a little jealous of the Chicago schoolchildren who get to participate in the chef-driven Pilot Light educational program.
The new Local Foods store being built in Chicago may turn out to be something of village square for the local Good Food movement, bringing together and helping to boost the kinds of small food businesses people used to frequent. And it could, just possibly, serve as a template for the supermarket of the future.
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.
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[…]
Millions of people get their most up-close-and-personal experiences with aquatic ecosystems by visiting aquariums. It is natural, therefore, that aquariums also serve as platforms for informing consumers about sustainable seafood practices. Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium is one that makes a major effort, with its Right Bite program.
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.
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.
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[…]
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.
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.
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.
The Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference that kicks off FamilyFarmed’s annual three-day Good Food Festival & Conference is well established, as a dynamic event that connects food and farm entrepreneurs with investors and lenders. Businesses participating in the event have raised $11 million over the past three years.
Promising businesses in the Midwest’s local and sustainable food sector have raised $11 million from investors over the past three years by participating in FamilyFarmed’s annual Good Food Financing & Innovation Conference. Not surprisingly, this year’s event — coming up on Thursday, March 19 — has another lineup of outstanding entrepreneurs.
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.
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.
by Roberta Laughlin, FamilyFarmed This is what happens when you invite top chefs who seek out local and sustainable food for their menus, match them up with farmers who produce the region’s best ingredients, and bring them all together in one place for one great night. You get Localicious, Chicago’s unique, one-of-a-kind party on March 20 that gives Read more about Localicious: One of the Year’s Most Delicious — and Virtuous — Tasting Events[…]
The stories of immigrants achieving success by making the foods of their native lands are parts of the history and social fabric of the United States. But Jenny Yang of Chicago’s Phoenix Bean tofu has an immigrant food story with a modern twist. While millions of people have come to America to escape poverty or oppression, Yang first came to the U.S. from her native Taiwan a quarter-century ago in pursuit of higher education.
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.
FamilyFarmed’s 11th annual Good Food Festival & Conference is coming up in Chicago March 19-21. The organization’s efforts to build the Good Food movement have helped farm and food entrepreneurs raise millions of dollars. Iowa’s Tiny But Mighty Popcorn is one of them.