Category Archives: farming

COVID changed Chez Panisse, but Alice Waters is still taking care of local farmers

When Chez Panisse closed its doors in mid-March at the onset of the pandemic, staff cleaned out the refrigerators and divvied up ingredients that would ordinarily be the stars of its meticulous dishes.

At the time, Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters had no idea what was in store for the famed 49-year-old Berkeley restaurant or its 100 furloughed staff members, but she did know the next order of business — attending to the farmers who supply Chez Panisse. Read more

Iceberg lettuce’s domination is melting away before romaine, kale, other greens

It is quite possible 2020 will be remembered as a turning point in American history, a moment after which the country became irretrievably different from what it had been before.

Yes, that’s right, this could be the year consumption of romaine and other leaf lettuce finally surpasses that of head lettuce, which is mostly iceberg lettuce.

Before then, sturdy, compact iceberg heads had a big advantage over other lettuces in ease of transport and use. After that, not so much. As Burkhard Bilger described in a 2004 New Yorker article, a protege of the great California chef (and iceberg-lettuce-detractor) Alice Waters named Todd Koons seized upon the new technology as a way to deliver mesclun and mache to the masses in supermarkets across the country. You can learn a lot about lettuce from reading The New Yorker. Read more

Plants, Personalization and Precision Cooking

GE Home Grown Concept at CES 2020

While intelligent home grow systems seemed to catch on at CES this year  with big appliance brands for the first time, the most interesting conceptualization of an indoor, tech-powered gardening came from GE. The company’s Home Grown concept featured a mix of hydroponics, aeroponics and soil-based grow systems built into the design of the kitchen as part of a cohesive sustainable kitchen workflow. Read more (The Spoon)

Patterning the Meaning of Home Spaces

A Shift To Plant-Based Diets Would Create 19 Million Jobs In Latin America & The Caribbean

“A shift to the production of high-value fruits and vegetables would provide greater opportunities for smallholders and family farmers as well as healthier diets for the population at large,”–the-caribbean/#6a5138cf6dec

Questioning the Role of Biosynthetics in Regenerative Fashion

This upending has been a long time coming. For years, many organizations, (including our own), have spoken to the dire issues of plastic fiber contamination that now exist in drinking waterhigh elevation snow packsanimal bodiessoils, and marine ecosystems. Yet we continue to see brands, including those most praised and publicly regarded for their environmental consciousness, use plastic fibers in their clothing lines.

Currently, plastic fibers are positioned as the first choice in sustainability by many of the leading frameworks promoted by and for the textile industry. The Nature of Fashion logically upends this approach by embedding circularity within the earth’s natural cycles and systems. Read more