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The Revival and Growth of the County Fair

Alex Palzewicz, Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Stories

When I say the words “county fair,” what comes to mind? For me there is nostalgia that rolls in as I think of my own Menominee County Fair at Shakey Lakes Campground in Stephenson, Michigan. There, I competed in animal showmanship for multiple species, entered crafts and photos, rode my bike like a hooligan, and made endless campfire delicacies like smores and pudgie pies.

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Understanding Economic Impacts of Local Food

Economy, Environment, Find Local Food, Kathryn Colasanti, Learn More, Megan Phillips Goldenberg

As awareness of local food grows, more people are becoming interested in understanding the economic impacts of local food systems. While many of us may be motivated to buy local food by values like preserving farmland, supporting small businesses, and expanding access to fresh, healthy food, these goals are economic development goals. Economic growth is a much narrower measure centered on increases in jobs and sales, or monetary value. To be sure, economic growth is a limited way of judging success, but there are times when it is helpful to justify food system initiatives in terms of economic growth to decision-makers like funders or local government officials.

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Get a job with Ownership Potential

Food Trucks, Get Involved, Jobs, Tricia Phelps

Elberta is a beautiful, quiet village nestled between Lake Michigan and Betsie Bay. It sits just a mile down the road from Frankfort, one of northern Michigan’s hottest growing destinations. And this just in — its home to an incredible business opportunity you’ve got to hear about!

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What’s Cooking in the UP

Alex Palzewicz, Event, Find Local Food, Recipes, restaurant

I am not sure what I was thinking when I asked the owners of Belgiumtown Bar & Restaurant if I could host a locally sourced Chef Dinner in the dead of the UP winter. Part of me liked the idea of the challenge, but the goal was also to highlight the local food in our area and how we can better utilize products being grown by our neighbors. 

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Ann Arbor Seed Co.: Your Local Seed Farm

Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Specialty Producers

Ann Arbor Seed Company is a small farm, growing quality vegetable and flower seeds since 2012. We operate less than an acre, just outside of the city. You would be amazed at how much seed production we can squeeze out of our small piece of land. The small scale keeps us close to the crops so we can give them the attention they deserve.

melissa heart

Linking the Message: Heart Health Month and Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Health, Paula Martin

February is Heart Health Month and also includes Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

Heart Health is a primary concern for those with disordered eating patterns. Disordered eating can cause heart health to suffer. The links are clear:
 The restriction of calories, food, and beverages causes rapid weight loss, and malnutrition, leading to accelerated muscle loss, and the heart muscle will weaken
 Significant changes or shifts in body weight can cause sudden cardiac arrest with permanent damage to the heart
 Certain disordered eating behaviors harm the electrolyte balance between sodium and potassium, promote dehydration, and may lower blood pressure or cause a slowing of the heart rate all of which are serious problems for heart health
 Binge eating or compulsive overeating may lead to high blood pressure, accumulation of fat deposits around the heart muscle, high cholesterol, diabetes and hormonal imbalances, which are known risk factors for the heart.

Disordered eating is a stress on the body; this stress can affect both physical and emotional health. Here are some suggestions to move into a heart-positive state of mind:

Feed your heart
Feeding your heart means learning to enjoy the power of healthful eating. It means learning to relate to food as nourishing friend, rather than a fattening enemy, and giving you permission to enjoy all foods. Feeding your heart means learning to fuel your body for health and wellness rather than eating in response to emotions –eating because “I’m stressed “ or recreation, as in “I’m bored”. Nourishment is found in our local fruits, vegetables, whole grains and reduced fat milk products.

Move your heart
Moving your heart means returning to the joy of childhood play. It means forgetting the ‘should’ about exercise, and changing the concept from grueling work-out to burn calories for weight loss to zestful playtime. Moving your heart is also the best way to keep physical hunger signals on cue and to naturally lift a sagging sprit.

Love your heart
Loving your heart and the body in which it resides is very hard in our fat-phobic, diet-obsessed world. It means accepting the diversity of human bodies and recognizing that no one should be discriminated against because of the shape of their skin. Loving your heart means celebrating your uniqueness, your many abilities and finally making friends with the mirror on the wall.

This information was adapted from D.Hayes, 1996 Moving Away from Diets.

Paula Martin, MS, RDN, LDN, is a registered dietitian and TLD’s Community Health Coordinator. Contact her at health@localdifference.org 

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Know Thy Farmer

Find Local Food, Gabe Lava, Guest Post, restaurant

I moved up from Chicago to Traverse City in the spring of 2017, bringing with me the desire to connect to the local landscape and growing community as much as possible. I found a good fit when first interviewing with Simon Joseph, Chef/Owner of Just In Time Hospitality, listening to his description of the noodles they use at Gaijin. The foundation of any ramen shop is its noodles, and beyond the homework done on the technique, what stood out to me was the commitment to using 100% non-GMO, local wheats from Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.

UPREC crop survey

Take the Survey! Upper Peninsula Light Processing Facility Assessment

Event, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Guest Post, Michelle Walk
If you are a grower, please consider completing this survey.  If you are not a grower, please forward this information and link to produce growers in your network.

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As Local As It Can Get

Event, Find Local Food, Molly Stepanski

On October 26, 2017, Thunder Bay Winery hosted a family-style dinner at their wine bar located in the historic Center Building in Alpena. Kevin Peterson, the current chef at As You Wish Gourmet Eatery and of the up and coming Red Brick Tap & Barrel Restaurant (that will be open for business in Alpena in 2018), prepared several courses and sourced 88% of this Certified Local Food Event (CLFE) from area farmers and producers from the Alpena Farmers Market including Wolf Creek Acres, Presque Isle Farm, and Alpena General Store. This was hopefully Alpena’s first of many Certified Local Food Events to come.