turdacres


Local food: thing of the past in the burgh?
January 30, 2014, 12:50 pm
Filed under: food, food issues, pittsburgh | Tags: , , ,

Only a matter of time I suppose. Post Gazette article talks about some restaurants getting fed up with the whole local food thing. It’s too HARD. Yep I get that. We don’t live in California, so our local food options create a not so glamourous menu. The sad part is that I hear in this article as well as from some of my local farm friends, that some supplier lists on local menus include farmers with whom they haven’t done business in several years?!! They’ve just kept the purveyors on the list so they look like good responsible restauranteurs.

UGH! Now that’s just plain sad. And it reminds me of the big scandal we heard about in Tokyo–where many products on menus were not as described. Hankyu Hanshin Hotels admitted that 47 different ingredients were involved. Selling cheaper shrimp as more expensive ones, frozen juice as “fresh”, “Home-made” cakes were purchased, etc. They knew that customers were looking for a quality brand product, so they left the menu descriptions intact while they served different items. Pretty terrible!

We’ve all heard the fish swap stories, that we’re not actually getting that great tuna or whatever we might think we are. But now it apparently applies to veggies in PA, too. I’m curious to follow up on this story, but then, I don’t really eat out that often. And I sure HOPE our one favorite restaurant is not among the deceitful. But I feel ok about it because we actually went to a farm event and heard from the farmer that he is STILL supplying his fantastic salad greens to Eleven.

I am really glum about this story. Not that surprised I guess, but still sad to hear it. At least these local restauranteurs in this article are keeping it real and deciding to be public about it.

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mystery meat no more…
February 28, 2013, 7:25 am
Filed under: food, food issues, meat | Tags: , , ,

Ok and then there’s this, just in from south africa. More diverse animals used in burgers. Donkeys, water buffalo and goat? Ugh, I need to stop reading the news for awhile i think.



mislabeled fish
February 22, 2013, 1:11 pm
Filed under: food, food issues | Tags: , ,

I’ve been interested in the plight of fish for awhile now, and I recently came across these amazing statistics from an article in the New York Times.

In a recent study, fish that was not really tuna was being passed off as tuna in 94 percent of the samples taken. And also disappointing, but something, (ever suspicious consumer that I am) I’d always suspected, almost two-thirds of the “wild” salmon samples were found actually to be farmed Atlantic salmon, which is considered less healthy and environmentally sustainable.

With this plus that terrible horsemeat story, it’s seems that many more will start to seriously mistrust the corporate food machine. Well, while we’re on the topic of the horsemeat, as a vegetarian, I guess I’m not completely outraged. One animal vs. another–it’s all the same, really. But it’s all pretty scary the mislabeling-at this point, just how far are we really from the Chinese melamine stuff? Yeesh, I hope there is still some shred of hope for us here!



sustainable seafood part two
April 24, 2012, 3:29 pm
Filed under: food, food issues, grocery stores | Tags: , , , ,

I guess the reason I posted about our company dinner was that the topic came to mind again recently with the news about whole foods’ decision to stop selling unsustainable fish. Here’s the story on huffington. Pretty great that they’re not going to sell tuna anymore. Also pretty sad isn’t it? Can’t believe how fast we got to this point–and how slow we were to do anything about it. I hope other retailers (and pursuant to my last post–caterers and restaurants) will take note!

In honor of no more tuna–may I direct your attention to the Turdacres take on mock tuna salad?



vegetarian options in restaurants changing
May 2, 2011, 6:53 am
Filed under: food, food issues, meat | Tags: , , , , ,

Ah, I knew that we were not alone. Here’s an article that appeared in Huffington Post.
changing tide of food preferences article

Alas, poor Kathy advocates vegan options. I can’t imagine the frustration level involved in that choice. It’s hard enough to do the lacto-ovo version. She tries to put a positive spin on the changes, but the comments indicate the tensions out there–just eat meat, you loser kind of thing. She calls up some stats on growing interest in eating less animal protein, and links to recent surveys out there. Keep up the good fight Kathy! We’re with you on that!

Here’s a link to the poll and post about our recent data collecting on the ‘veg option’. Yes people do like to eat veg–even if they’re meat eaters.



asparagus time!!!!!!!!
April 20, 2011, 6:50 pm
Filed under: asparagus, farm, food, gardening, it lives!, recipe | Tags: , , ,

What a banner day. After getting treed in, we decided to have asparagus for lunch. It’s been a long haul waiting for these bad boys to mature. I planted 25 crowns in spring 2009. And then I waited. And waited. And waited. And to add insult to injury I read in an extension document that you don’t REALLY have to wait three years. They said go ahead and start eating after two. Bummer. Anyhow we did the full wait. And today we picked them!

with great ceremony the first cut


delicate operation (note nice new gloves!)


ceremonial red asparagus collecting basket


waiting for the boil--lunch!

I simmered them in a bit of water in a fry pan. Then served em up with a drizzle of olive oil a shred of parmesan and some salt and pepper.
Verdict?: Holy cow!! Totally worth it! Amazing. (Perfectly cooked I might add). Delicious!

asparagus row in the potager

As you can see from this bed shot, Mom and Dad there just may be a spear or two for you when you get here!

We should get another dinner or two from the patch but I think we’ll need to grow some more. 25 plants–is it enough for us? Maybe not.



vegetarian options update NO version
April 10, 2011, 10:36 am
Filed under: food, food issues, meat, travels | Tags: , , , ,

Well we’re visiting the land of the pig. New Orleans. So far we’re managing to find good stuff to eat that is not bacon. Now that we’ve started the poll we’re collecting data on our travels. Overheard at our breakfast spot yesterday–Server, yeah we’re out of the fruit side dish. Girl, ok i’ll take the bacon.” Sheesh!!

At a breakfast meeting this morning–doode notes that everyone finished their fruit and there were three heaping plates of bacon left over. How much bacon can a person eat? Folks are TRYING to eat healthy!!