April 2010 Archives

Two voices of Organic Farming

Being a student at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) is a gift in my life for which I'm enormously grateful. It has re-founded my perspectives and my gusto for life. One of the things I've realized is how central to community are media like books, films, TV, social media. That cooking and media are converging probably should not be a big surprise to me but I do find it intriguing.

I have lots of questions and desires. When Rick Bayless travels throughout Mexico, showing cooking artifacts, pointing the camera at the Mexicans cooking on beautiful artisan equipment, I'd like more entry into the people....and to hear the Mexicans "speak for themselves."

I want to reorganize my schedule so that I have more time to read Internet postings about the cooperation between the media-recognized organic farm movement and the "Traditional Native American Farming Association."

I wish I had been able to meet Rachel Carson. She should be given a posthumous award for elevating the English language, melding scientific writing with poetic strength. She is what books were made for.

And finally, I wish that my mole sauce would "sing."


Film: "Living Downstream"

Commenting on the post about Rachel Carson, Mary told me about Sandra Steingraber's writings. Her book, "Living Downstream," is now a film. The 90-minute HD documentary is just now released and beginning to play in festivals and community venues. I'll explore when it's in San Antonio.


Alice Waters and Rachel Carson

I am just blown away by Alice Waters and Rachel Carson. Well, blown away at first, but then anchored, educated and invigorated. Rachel Carson made words sing -- and in so doing breathed soul into the organic farming movement.
"It is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility."
She led the winning fight to ban DDT. Through her beautiflly written words, she propelled the organic agricultural movement by framing it philosophically, scientifically and aesthetically.
Read: "Silent Spring."

Alice Waters took her experience of the French Bourgouise Cuisine, morphed it into the delicious, wholesome, innovative cuisine that's in community with nearby organic farmers. Can't wait to dine at her Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkely. Her Chez Panisse Foundation is doing more to improve the nutrition of school lunches, and for a longer period, than The Naked Chef in his ABC Network TV series. He would do well to invite her to lead one of his shows. That would be "real."


The inventor of Cuisine Minceur (Haute Diet Cuisine), published his diet cookbook in 1976. Below is one of his recipes, "Fresh Tomato and Spinach Tarts with Thyme." I like to read the recipes, menus, really, in his cookbook side by side with "Food For Life, Recipes and Stories on The Right To Food." The reason? A chef is called to live artfully in an ever-shrinking, communications-driven world, and to interpret the most elemental of life's moments, eating. To be tuned in to the global community and concerned about both, dieting and justice, is natural. I'll post later about Alice Waters and also Houston's own, Monica Pope.


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