Image: Adams Media
Happy Cinco de Mayo from Gratitude Gourmet!Edible Cocktails - From Garden to Glass by Natalie Bovis gives wonderful instructions on how to build your own cocktail garden and has the perfect recipe for today's holiday: Spiced Margarita Mezcaltini.Ingredients & Instructions: 1 slice jalapeno, 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 ounce agave nectar, 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, 1 1/2 ounces Del Maguey Mezcal (organic)Garnish: Chili Salt Rim1. Rim half a martini glass with chili salt. Set aside. Place chili red flakes, chili powder, dried lime zest, and 1/4 cup kosher salt into a food processor and grind until well-blended and slightly powdery
.2. Muddle jalapeno, lime juice, and agave nectar in the bottom of a mixing glass. Add grapefruit juice and mezcal. Shake well and gently strain into glass.
Photo: Mary Vincent
On April 23, 2013, Al Gore gave a riveting and engaging Stanford University lecture on the topic 'Peril and Opportunity: Solving the Climate Crisis and Reinvigorating Democracy', and he discussed a variety of food and agriculture issues during the 1st Annual Stephen H. Schneider Memorial Lecture. A full video of his lecture is below.
Al Gore highlighted several examples from his new book: The Future Six Drivers of Global Change. For background, the Drivers are:
- Earth, Inc Ever increasing economic globalization has led to the emergence of what Gore labels "Earth Inc." - an integrated, holistic entity with a new and different relationship to capital, labor (outsourcing and robo-sourcing), consumer markets, national governments than in the past. Over the last 25 years, coal production has increased 133%, but jobs have decreased 33%. By 2016 Foxconn, the Chinese manufacturer of Apple devices will replace 1 million workers with robots. Federal officials believe cybersecurity is a more important national-security issue than terrorism. In 1975, corporations spent $100 million lobbying - in 2010, they spent $3.5 BILLION. 50% of Senators and 40% of House Reps become lobbyists when they retire. "I.n yet another illustration of the dangerous imbalance in political decision making, a truly shocking 80% of all U.S. antibiotics are still allowed to be legally used on farms in livestock feed and injections in spite of grave threats to human health"
- Global Mind The worldwide digital communications, Internet, and computer revolutions have led to the emergence of "the Global Mind" which links thoughts and feelings of billions of people and connects intelligent machines, robots, ubiquitous sensors, and databases.
- Shift in Balance of Power The balance of global political, economic, and military power is shifting more profoundly than at any time in the last five hundred years - from a U.S-centered system to one with multiple emerging centers of power, from nation-states to private actors, and from political systems to markets. In 2013, the economy of developing nations will exceed that of developed nations for the first time.
- Growth A deeply flawed economic compass is leading us to unsustainable growth in consumption, pollution flows, and depletion of the planet's strategic resources of topsoil, freshwater, and living species. The GDP metric excludes pollution flows. A survey of global executives reveals 80% are not willing to trade long term sustainability for next quarter's earnings target. Over the last 40 years, we have lot more than 1/3 of the arable land on Earth.
- Reinvention of Life and Death Genomic, biotechnology, neuroscience, and life sciences revolutions are radically transforming the fields of medicine, agriculture, and molecular science - and are putting control of evolution in human hands. Almost all the seeds in the world now belong to one company - Monsanto.
- Relationship between Humanity and the Earth There has been a radical disruption of the relationship between human beings and the earth's ecosystems along with the beginning of a revolutionary transformation of energy systems, agriculture, transportation, and construction worldwide. Global warming pollution traps the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs in the lower atmosphere every 24 hours. More than 65% of the US suffered from drought conditions in 2012
Image: Sincerely Nuts
Image Credit: Ronco
Are you a fan of snacks without the extra salt, flavorings, colors and preservatives? Make your own healthy dehydrated foods by drying them in a Ronco Electric Food Dehydrator by just slicing the foods thin and placing them on the clear trays and you can have the use of those foods over the next few months without loss of vitamins or nutrients. Herbs and spices dry overnight. Banana chips and apple snacks dry in about a day. How about Edamame for a protein-rich snack.What are your favorite foods to dehydrate and let us know on our Gratitude Gourmet Facebook Page.
Credit: BAMCO Cheeseless whole wheat pizza
The first food service company to address how food choices can affect our shifting atmosphere, Bon Appétit has celebrated its Low Carbon Diet Day in conjunction with Earth Day since 2008. This year, in a hot new twist, corporate guests and students all across the country - ranging from eBay in San Jose, CA, to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and Gallaudet University in Washington, DC - will get a real taste of how climate change is already endangering certain food crops.
To prepare for this year's new theme, "Your Lunch is Heating Up!", Bon Appétit commissioned a review of more than four dozen scientific papers projecting how important crops such as corn, wheat, rice, fruit, dairy, and coffee will fare in a changing climate. Earlier thaws, later frosts, and higher-than-average temperatures; droughts like the ones in the Midwest; and new pests and weeds (ones that thrive in hotter and more humid temperatures) are already affecting these foods, and research indicates the pressures will not let up.
Bon Appétit's chefs will use cooking demos - for an almond milk-fruit smoothie, a cheeseless vegetarian pizza, or an edamame burger with carrot-peel topping - to discuss these global agriculture trends as well as encourage guests to choose planet-friendlier foods.
The goal of Low Carbon Diet Day, a tradition begun one year after Bon Appétit launched its Low Carbon Diet program: spur café guests to join the company in reducing their contributions to climate change. To help this process, the company created its Top 5 Low Carbon Diet Tips, which include "You Bought It, You Eat It - Don't Waste Food" and "Moooove Away From Beef and Cheese." Bon Appétit has reduced its own purchases of beef by 33% and cheese by 10% since launching the program - and many of the cheeseless pizzas first introduced on Low Carbon Diet Day have become beloved menu staples at its college and corporate accounts. Meanwhile, its new Stem to Root culinary program, from which the LCD Day carrot-peel-topped veggie burger is drawn, is the latest approach in its ongoing campaign to combat food waste.
On Low Carbon Diet Day 2013, Bon Appétit will also share the revamped, new version of its online educational companion to the Low Carbon Diet program. The EatLowCarbon.org website uses photos and picture quizzes to show which familiar foods are higher carbon and explain the science behind their carbon-dioxide equivalent emissions scores.
"Over the past six years, Bon Appétit Management Company has played a catalytic role in making thousands of corporate and university diners more aware of the relationship between food and climate change," says JoAnne Berkenkamp, local foods director at the Minneapolis-based Institute of Agriculture and Trade Policy, which is exploring the impact of climate change on agriculture in the US and around the world. "Climate change is not an abstract concept that exists in a distant future. It's here, and it's affecting our farmers, the food service industry itself, and many of the foods we love. Bon Appétit's work will spur people to think more about what's happening, and to get involved in reducing carbon emissions while building a food system that is more resilient in the face of a changing climate."
Did you know…America’s national parks include more than:
Find a Park Here http://www.nationalparks.org/national-park-week and have a picnic in the park as well!
- 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasures
- 17,000 miles of trails
- 43,000 miles of shoreline
- 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures
- 100 million museum items
- 12,000 campsites
Credit: Vegan Secret Supper
I'd like to introduce you to a wonderful cookbook called Vegan Secret Supper and a delicious recipe for Sesame Avocado Quinoa Pilaf with Fried Sweet Plantain, Caramelized Ramps & Minted Coconut Cream.Ramps, also referred to as wild leeks, have a short growing season in early spring, and are mostly prevalent on the East Coast. A mix between onions and garlic in flavor, ramps are mild enough to eat raw, and you can use the leaves as well as the stem. Makes 6–8 servings.Caramelized Ramps2 tsp coconut oil1 small bunch fresh ramps, greens trimmed off and setaside, and sliced in halfsalt, to tasteIn a frying pan on medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add ramps cut-side down and sprinkle with salt. When ramps have turned slightly golden, stir and reduce heat. Cover and cook until translucent and caramelized. Set aside.
Credit: Vegan Secret Supper
Sesame Avocado Quinoa Pilaf
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked quinoa
2 cups (500 mL) water
½ tsp salt
greens from the ramps (above), chopped
1 avocado, cubed
¼ cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro
In a saucepan on medium-high heat, toast quinoa for about 1 minute, stirring constantly before adding water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until water level is just beneath quinoa.
Cover and reduce heat to low, and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. On an unoiled baking sheet, spread quinoa to let cool evenly. In a large bowl, combine greens, avocado, and cilantro and add cooked quinoa. Add dressing (below) and stir until combined.
Dressing For Pilaf
½ cup Coconut sour Cream (p. 195)
2 tsp sesame oil
3 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
In a bowl, whisk Coconut Sour Cream with sesame and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
Minted Coconut Cream
¼ cup (60 mL) coconut milk
3 tbsp chopped fresh mint
In a blender, purée coconut milk and mint until smooth. Set aside.
Fried Sweet Plantain
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 sweet plantain, sliced into ¼-in (6-mm) thick
juice of 1 lime
salt, to taste
In a flat-bottomed frying pan on medium-high heat, melt coconut oil. Add plantain and fry both sides until golden brown. Sprinkle each side with salt and squeeze lime juice over plantains just before removing from pan. Drain excess oil from plantains on paper towel if you wish.
1 lime, cut into 6-8 wedges, for garnish
Place ⅓ cup (80 mL) pilaf in center of a plate. Top with 3 slices plantain and a couple caramelized ramps. Dot plate with Minted Coconut Cream and garnish with lime wedge.
Mary Vincent & Tezozomoc
NRDC announced the winners of the 2013 Growing Green Awards, NRDC’s annual celebration of the nation’s most dynamic food leaders, and I was very lucky to meet them all. Winners include the following, and an NRDC video is below telling their stories.
· Young Food Leader Brianna Almaguer Sandoval (PA): addressing food access by infusing urban areas with fresh produce in corner stores.
· Food Producer Russ Kremer (MO): tackling antibiotic resistance.
· Food Justice Leader Tezozomoc (CA): empowering marginalized communities with sustainable food equity and access projects.
· Business Leader Larry Jacobs (CA): championing business innovation in toxic-free organic agriculture.
I asked Larry about some of his latest work, and he's working on Semiochemistry which is finding ways to increase good insects. Additionally, a special NRDC Forces for Nature award was presented by Nell Newman, co-founder and president of Newman’s Own Organics, to Susan Clark, Executive Director of the Columbia Foundation, to honor her career-long efforts to advance the cause of sustainable food and agriculture in California and across the country. Susan has roused a robust and growing philanthropic community around the connections between food, health and the environment for more than two decades.
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