A hundred years ago, most of the food we ate came from within 50 miles of our homes. But when people moved from rural to urban settings, large producers flourished and local food sources began to disappear.
In the 21st century, some people are trying to reverse that trend. The current farm to table movement promotes the idea of producing, purchasing and consuming food close to home, resulting in a boost to the local economy, a greener planet and a healthier population.
Starting in March and running to the end of May, the Capital Area District Library is hosting nearly 30 presentations on the theme of Farm to Table: Better Food for Better Health, designed to connect local residents to resources found nearby. Local experts will share their knowledge on topics such as raising backyard chickens, beekeeping, homesteading and composting.
“My family has always been interested in growing the food we eat,” says Corie Jason, an expert in raising backyard chickens who will make several presentations on the topic. “So much of our food comes from far away, both in distance and in our experience. I love that our community is concerned about educating people about that.”
Other local experts include Nina Santucci and Anthony Maiale, owner of the Purple Carrot Truck. They started their business in 2011 with the idea of buying fresh, high-quality ingredients directly from farmers and turning them into creative cuisine to sell from a mobile food stand. Only a year later they were named one of the top 20 Best Food Trucks in the United States by Smithsonian Magazine. “Our mission is summed up by our tagline,” Santucci says: “Eat fresh. Eat local.”
On Saturday, April 21, visitors to the Downtown Lansing branch will find the Purple Carrot Truck parked at the corner of Capitol and Kalamazoo, selling delicious lunches from 12-2 p.m. (cash only accepted). Then at 2 p.m., they'll give a presentation about their unique business.
For a complete list of presenters and topics, pick up a Farm to Table brochure at any CADL branch, or visit cadl.org/farm.
To do some reading on the topic of producing and consuming local products, library staff recommends these titles, available at cadl.org/catalog:
o The Farm to Table Cookbook: The Art of Eating Locally (2008) by Ivy Manning
o Edible: A Celebration of Local Foods (2010) by Tracey Ryder and Carole Topalian
o Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Food Movement is Changing the Way We Eat (2011) by Tanya Denckla Cobb
o Food Rules: An Eater's Manual (2011) by Michael Pollan
o The Conscious Kitchen: The New Way to Buy and Cook Food to Protect The Earth, Improve Your Health, and Eat Deliciously (2010) by Alexandra Zissu
The Capital Area District Library serves the Greater Lansing area with 13 branches and a bookmobile. For information about hours, locations, services or events, please visit cadl.org
or call (517) 367-6300.
This was printed in the March 11, 2012 - March 24, 2012 Edition