KnifeRoll

Packing Up My Knives

Bill Palladino, Stories

“All changes are more or less tinged with melancholy, for what we are leaving behind is part of ourselves.” – Amelia Barr

I’ve worked in a few kitchens over the years. The work is hot, messy, and involves long hours in close quarters with others. Unless you’re a celebrity chef with a TV show, there is no corner office with a view of the bay. You work in the trenches alongside all of your teammates. Frankly, who would want it any other way? This is food after all!

Orchard Toot Sweet Photo

Not In My Back Forty – When Farmers and Neighbors Clash

Bill Palladino, Economy, Food Policy, Record-Eagle Ag Forum

A farmer I know, let’s call him John, is up late tonight in his orchard. As a Leelanau County farmer, his work requires vigilance. It’s been a wet summer so far, and that means there’s a virtual laboratory of bugs, molds, and fungi waiting to threaten his way of life.  Tonight, reluctantly, he sprays an insecticide to head off the codling moth hatch that’s sure to devastate his orchards.

There’s a break in the rain, and John’s training tells him he’s got the opening he needs. The wind dies down at night too, making it a lot less likely that what he’s spraying will end up on unintended fields. All of this information points to the fact that now is the time. John decides to follow this lead and get to work, but it happens to be midnight.

Media Release

TLD Launches In-store Local Food Demo Program

Bill Palladino, Press Release, Retail

Media Release

For Immediate Release

Download a PDF version of this media release here.

Date:               May 17, 2017

Contact:          Bill Palladino, bill@localdifference.org  (877)373-5940

Taste the Local Difference® Launches New In-store Local Food Demo Program

TRAVERSE CITY – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food marketing agency, is announcing a new local food demonstration program to support Michigan value-added food producers and retailers.

In fulfilling its mission to help sell more locally grown and produced food in Michigan, TLD is formalizing a service to provide in-store food demonstrations of locally grown and made food.  TLD’s Operations Director, Tricia Phelps, says; “we’re often told by food producers that they just don’t have the time to demo, this new TLD service provides them a professional option with a passionate local focus.”

According to Fresh Trends, an annual study published by food industry newspaper, The Packer:

“86 percent of consumers who purchased a product for the first time did so as a result of a free sample.”

“In-store promotions, such as food demonstrations, enhance product identification and are an effective means of educating consumers about a product or service.” 

EdibleGTEssay

On Being OF a Place

Bill Palladino, Edible Grande Traverse, Get Involved

ON BEING OF A PLACE

By Bill Palladino

When people ask me where I’m from, I tell them without hesitation that I’m from the Bronx, New York. The answer throws many people off balance; because I have long since lost the coarse phonic cues that would make it easy to predict my origins. I have now assimilated the softer sounds and gestures of my Midwest home.

The query “where are you from?” is, after all, one of the most common questions asked of strangers. It begs for a reference—the first waypoint on a journey to understand who someone is. It pokes at the corners of our private lives, hoping to unearth rich veins of perception. But the fact is the answer cannot reveal much beyond the surface of a stereotype.

I’ve come to realize that

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Two Partnerships for the Price of One: Taste the Local Difference Offers In-kind Membership with the Small Business Association of Michigan

Benefit, Bill Palladino, Economy, Learn More, Specialty Producers

Taste the Local Difference (TLD) is constantly looking for ways to add value for our partners in the food system.  We are excited to announce a new relationship with the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) where TLD partners at the branch level ($150.00) and above will receive a complimentary “premium” membership in SBAM, valued at $219.00

Good Food; A Path To Intimacy

Bill Palladino, Record-Eagle Ag Forum

 

Food and Intimacy

By Bill Palladino

Food, of its nature, is a social agent. What we eat, where we eat, and with whom help to define our identities as people. Show me these three things, and I will describe for you with some accuracy, your age, cultural origins and social strata. There may come a time in the future where you are measured by these truths.

Many of the most important archeological discoveries in history have unearthed the remnants of food. Physical evidence of what was eaten, when and where has also helped us to understand the origins of our nutrition and the role food has played in shaping society. Archeology also teaches us that sharing food has played an important function in communities stretching back millennia. All meaningful gatherings of people, whether around a campfire, at the kitchen table, at large celebrations or on battlefields involve the sharing of food.

“The act of growing, preparing, and serving food for others is one of the most intimate acts we can perform in public.”

Reclaiming Our Food As Sacred

Bill Palladino, Find Local Food, Record-Eagle Ag Forum

Sacred Food Header

By Bill Palladino

Bill Head Shot PoehlmanWe are deep into the season of sacred traditions. The crisp darkness of winter brings with it many celebrations, each anticipating the light yet to come. And strangely, it is the darkest nights that reveal the most stars. This time of year we are given the gift of seeing things previously unseen. Religious and secular practices call to our attention the longest night of the winter solstice, Hanukkah’s victory of the Maccabees, the transformative fires of Yule, the first fruits and seven principles of Kwanzaa, and the Christmastime birth of Jesus Christ.

The common thread throughout this myriad of sacred traditions, beyond prayer and candles, is the gathering of family and friends, always with celebrations of food. But is it enough to keep food as something sacred only during the holidays? I am fearful we are quickly losing this connection, as the way we eat begins to mirror the brief, staccato, way we’ve come to communicate.

Shimek's Farm Stand on M-72 in Leelanau County

Reaping What Farmers Have Sown

Bill Palladino, Find Local Food, Record-Eagle Ag Forum

“Before the reward, there must be labor. You plant before you harvest. You sow in tears before you reap joy.” – Ralph Ransom

The abundance of northern Michigan’s many riches is never more apparent than now. The approaching fall demands that farmers set our tables with the literal fruits of their summer’s labor. Visit one of our local farmers markets and be ready for an impressive diversity of locally grown crops.

Ending Food Waste – Feeding People

Bill Palladino, Find Local Food, Food Policy, Food Waste

Food Waste

The amount of food wasted in our nation is stunning.

“In the United States, 31 percent — or 133 billion pounds — of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten,” according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

From the point of view of a food business, this statistic erodes already slim profit margins. The USDA goes on to say, “the estimated value of this food loss (in 2010) was $161.6 billion using retail prices.” To bring that down to earth for us, here’s a quote from ‘80’s television icon Mr. T, “That ain’t no chump change!”