From time to time we create short polls that are designed to help us measure certain aspects of the local food system. Each only takes a few seconds to finish. Fill out one, or all. And thanks in advance for your time.
What does “local” mean to you?
See other TLD polls here, http://localdifference.wordpress.com/take-a-tld-poll/.
By Tricia Phelps
Duerksen Turkey Farm is a third-generation farm in Mancelona, Michigan. In the 1940s, Rick Duerksen’s grandmother began raising turkeys, though just enough to sustain the family. As a young boy, he looked forward to the day he would raise turkeys on a farm of his own. Soon after Rick married his wife Sue in 1976, they bought his uncle’s farmland in Mancelona to make that dream come true.
For the first time in it’s 14 year history the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference (SFC) will be held in Traverse City. The conference, held in Grayling for many years, has outgrown that facility with almost 800 attendees in 2013. This year attendance is expected to reach 1000 participants as the single-day event moves to the Grand Traverse Resort at the northern edge of the Traverse City community, in Acme.
We get a lot of questions from the community about sourcing Non-GMO products. Here’s a sweet infographic from the Non-GMO Project on sourcing your Thanksgiving feast. From the folks at the Non-GMO Project. For more information about GMO and non-GMO food products be sure to visit the folks at Oryana in TC, and The Grain Train in Petoskey. They are local sources of deep knowledge on the subject.
By Bill Palladino
Last month you heard me bemoaning the lack of local proteins available for purchase in northwest Michigan. I neglected to say that one easy protein source is dairy, and we happen to have a few great producers around here. Yogurt is a daily part of my diet, so I thought I’d toss this your way.
Beeftock TC 2013 – By Bill Palladino
Pigstock TC 2013 stretched itself across three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in late October. Pigstock hopes to instill in people knowledge of the slaughter. A connection to the beast(s) we tend to consume without understanding whence they came.
Michael Ruhlman described the first part of the slaughter experience during 2012 Pigstock, “The pig was lifted mechanically with a tractor lifter and brought to a bathtub filled with 180°F water, in which the hog was scalded, then removed to a table to have its fur scraped off. It was then relifted so that Christoph could demo the dressing, doing it slowly, showing us all the organs and viscera as they emerged, all of it to be used. When the pig had been sawn and cleaved in two, Christoph cut a strip of backfat from the pig, then cut small pieces of it for us to taste. Warm, chewy but tender, neutral in flavor, succulent. It was kind of like taking communion of the pig.” (Read his entire post from 2012 here.)
By Tricia Phelps
There isn’t much more local than mid-term elections. In that spirit we look this week at how your food purchases are acting as defacto votes for things you bring home in your shopping bag.
Support for local food often highlights the dollars we spend locally, but the other side of the equation also warrants recognition; the dollars spent elsewhere which leave the community without economic benefit. Those dollars aren’t reinvested locally, they’re earned, they’re spent, and they’re gone. With every dollar you spend, you’re asking for more of what you’re purchasing. Your dollar is your voice and your vote
I was reminded of this at a luncheon with Michael Ruhlman during the recent Pigstock TC events October 22 – 24. Ruhlman, author and “cook”, and Michael Polcyn, author and “chef” were both in town to espouse all things pig. Ruhlman encouraged attendees to use their dollars with intention. When we spend our hard earned dollars on local beef, pork, or fowl, we’re asking for more of it, but the equation works both ways. Even with dollars spent on the occasional McDonald’s Happy Meal, we’re asking for more: more soda, more chicken nuggets and more cheap plastic toys.
In terms of dollars, an opportunity lies before us in the realm of local proteins. The annual Pigstock event focuses on the versatility of the Mangalista pig along with processing techniques and the craft of charcuterie. But emphasis was also placed on the dollars we haven’t, yet, captured locally. The opportunity to use your dollar to impart change is right in front of you. Every dollar spent is a vote. A chance to say, “I want access to more local proteins,” or “I want to eat local organic produce year-round.” Take the time to notice whether your dollar is communicating the message you truly stand behind.
While there is certainly room to grow in capitalizing on local proteins throughout Northern Michigan, we are grateful to have partners like these who offer us the best in local beef, meats, poultry & fish. Next time you’re in the market for proteins to feed your family, find one of these TLD purveyors and ask them for their selection of locally grown proteins.