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"Food is definited by culture -- losing one means losing the other. Today, parents don't know how to cook or what to buy, while children are increasingly unaware of where food comes from. And the average age of the American farmer is fifty-seven years old. We are a country that is quickly forgetting how to grow its own food. Either our national identity will be defined by box stores, microwave meals, and fast-food chains, or we'll reclaim that which defines our communities and our culture, safeguarding our culinary traditions for future generations." - Douglas Gayeton

This edition of the Food List focuses on chefs and restaurants committed to building a sustainable food movement and on the resources that make their kitchens more sustainable.

Committed to good food, Chefs Collaborative shares with us their fundamental principles and common vision in inspiring an eco-concious culinary community.

As key players in the economy of a community, a chef plays the middleman between farmers, fishermen, and their community members. Chef Barton Seaver articulates the importance of supporting local fishermen and eating down the food chain. The short film Trash Fish shows us the many delicious ways of doing this.

Focusing on “creating a sense of time and space,” Chef Sean Brock brings us into the fields of South Carolina to draw enthusiasm to local, seasonal cuisine. The Perennial Restaurant takes eating in season to the next level with their “living pantry” and demonstrates the beauty of a compost circuit.

As an integral part of our understanding of food and cuisine, we tie up this week’s theme by taking what chefs have taught us home with a beak-to-tail recipe in Duck 5 Ways!

Let us pay tribute to the chefs that inspire us by putting what we’ve learned into action.

This week's terms

Farm to Table

The farm-to-table movement advocates for local, seasonal, fresh and organically-produced foods and has been promoted by both farmers and chefs as a means to connect consumers to the source of the ingredients in their meals. Farm-to-table restaurants stock their kitchens directly from local farms or their own gardens, and educate diners about the stages of the food cycle and the effects that their choices have on people, animals, economies and the planet.

Eating in Season

"Food is sensual and spiritual. It connects us with the land, the community, our bodies, the seasonal rhythms and the planet. Eating foods in season offers us a visceral connection to where we are now.

In a world where we can buy just about any produce, year round, it may seem innocent to be thrilled when the first ripe local peaches appear, or the morels or apple cider in the autumn. Yet these things ground us in place and time and help us mark the passing of one phase and celebrate the arrival of a new season." - Toseland Canon, Ethical Foods

Compost Circuit

Local restaurants save food scraps for their local produce supplier which is then turned into compost to be used for the next seasons harvest.

Eating Down the Food Chain

Including keystone species, like sardines, in our diet would result in ingesting less heavy metals and a reduction in the overfishing of a larger fish species, like tuna and swordfish. Over 40% of the protein fished from the world’s oceans are keystone species. They are used to feed pigs and chickens (and even farmed fish). By shifting our eating habits, we can turn these fish into a healthier protein source.

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