Archive | September, 2011

Rally for Real Food

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Have we created a monster? In our efforts to engineer bug and disease resistant crops, have we instead designed “Frankenfood” that could make us and our livestock sick?
The scientific research in this area is still fairly new, but, to me, it seems like erring on the side of caution with our food supply is best.  After all, the European Union, Japan and other countries require labeling of foods that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because it is unclear whether the food is safe.
At the recent Farm and Food Leadership Conference hosted by the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, Howard Vlieger, President of Verity Farms, showed photos of the negative effects that genetically modified crops had on the health and welfare of livestock – swollen and unhealthy organs that you would never willingly eat if you saw them before processing.
This Sunday, October 2nd, you can learn more about the effect of GMOs on our food supply and the movement to label GMO food and drink products so that consumers can make an informed decision about what they are purchasing. You can also try free samples from food companies using non-GMO products.

Sunday, October 2nd 2011
12pm – 3pm
South Steps – Texas State Capitol
Ask questions, ask for labeling and eat real food!
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Picking a CSA & Road Trip to San Antonio

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I am delighted to have two articles in the Fall edition of Edible Austin.   The first recounts a fantastic weekend in San Antonio exploring the real food scene on the River Walk.  I was amazed how each place had such unique character – I felt like I was walking into a completely different city with each new venue. And, more importantly, the food was fantastic. If you haven’t been to San Antonio lately, I highly recommend it for a weekend away.

The Embracing Local article explains how to pick a Community Supported Agriculture or local produce delivery service.  Many farms are still taking members for the fall season and this article can help you narrow your choice to the service that will work best for you.

You can view the entire issue online or pick up a copy at a local farmers market, restaurant or store.

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SFC Farmers Market Consolidations and Schedule Changes

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SFC Triangle Farmers Market

The Sustainable Food Center’s Farmers Markets will be switching up their locations and schedules a few times this fall starting this weekend, Saturday September 17th, as the Downtown market moves to Sunset Valley in an effort to avoid the ACL Music Festival traffic madness.  You can find your favorite Downtown Farmers Market vendors this Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm at the Toney Burger Center.
On Saturday, October 1st, the SFC Farmers Market at Sunset Valley will move to the Home Depot Blvd off Brodie Lane to make room for the Capitol City Marching Band competition. 
Finally, on Wednesday, October 5th, the SFC Farmers Market at The Triangle will switch to Fall/Winter hours of 3 pm to 7 pm.  The market will change back to 4 pm to 8 pm the first Wednesday in March, 2012.
See  you at the market!

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Dining Out Sustainably: Dining for Life & Upcoming Local Food Events

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Busy next Monday night, September 12th? Join me for dinner at FINO Restaurant Patio + Bar where I’m honored to be serving as the Dining for Life Dinner Captain to help AIDS Services of Austin raise money for HIV/AIDS prevention, education and treatment in our community.

Dining for Life, one of Austin’s signature food events for the last 19 years, is next  Monday, September 12 and Tuesday, September 13. FINO and 65 participating restaurants are donating a percentage of their evening receipts to help make sure that no one in Central Texas faces AIDS alone.  You enjoy a lovely meal and help a great cause at the same time.

Some other notable events in the next few weeks include:

Thursday, September 8, 7:00 to 10:00 pm, Foodways Texas, which preserves the vibrant foodways of Texas through oral history projects, documentary films, recipe collections, and scholarly research, is hosting a benefit highlighting Texas products including cocktails, wine and beer at the Culinary Institute of America in San Antonio. Chefs for the dinner include Jason Dady chef and restaurateur of The Lodge; Tan Nguyen of Central Market, San Antonio; Jesse T. Perez Burbank graduate and executive chef, consultant for Alamo Cafe; Rebecca Rather restaurateur of Rather Sweet Bakery & Café and author of “The Pastry Queen”; and Andrew Weissman, restaurateur of Il Sogno & Sandbar and CIA grad. Author Molly O’Neill, “One Big Table; A Portrait of American Cooking,” will speak about immigrant foodways and sign copies of her book (available for purchase). Tickets are $150 per person including beverages and dinner.

Sunday, September 11, 6:30-9:30 pm, Chefs Under Fire Austin/San Antonio Regional Competition will feature 7 talented semi-finalist chefs competing in two rounds of preparing secret ingredients for an esteemed panel of chefs including Jason Dady of The Lodge in San Antonio, Paul Qui of Uchi/Uchiko and Bryce Gilmore of Barley Swine and Odd Duck Farm to Trailer. The winning chef will advance to the Chefs Under Fire Final Competition on October 16 at AT&T Executive Education & Conference Center. Ticketholders will enjoy small bites prepared by students of Escoffier School of Culinary Arts and other local favorites (in partnership with the Sustainable Food Center).  Tickets are $35; ticketholders must be at least 21 years of age.  A percentage of ticket proceeds will be contributed to the Sustainable Food Center.  The competition is being held at  Escoffier School of Culinary Arts, 6020-B Dillard Circle, Austin, TX 78752.

Monday, September 26, 7:30 to 11:30 pm, A Torrid Affair, an Austin-based charity supper club,  is hosting its inaugural dinner event at Springdale Farm (755 Springdale Rd.) to raise money for the Dell Children’s Medical Center while increasing awareness of the benefits of local, sustainable agriculture.  The five course menu, created by Peche Executive Chef Jason Dodge,  features the freshest local, farm-to-table ingredients and each course is paired with a specialty cocktails using Texas spirits designed by mixologist Michael Menley.  Tickets are $175 each.
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