Earth Day 2021: Food For Thought

“You can’t have a serious conversation about food without talking about human rights, climate change, and social justice. Food not only affects everything, it represents everything” ~ Mark Bittman

Happy Earth Day 2021! I am continually inspired by the passion and hard work that our farmers and so many in the generous food and beverage industry are doing to uplift our communities and make this world a better place.

Today I would like to highlight some of the individuals and companies that I have featured in this space in the past. I think Earth Day provides the perfect opportunity to re-visit the numerous meaningful impacts that they are having on sustainability, agriculture, climate change, food insecurity and food justice. Their daily efforts are causing ripple effects, near and far, and will continue to for years to come. They truly are planting the seeds for the future. I hope you are as inspired as I am by their innovative work. Click the links above the photos to read more about their contributions.

Chef Danielle Leoni – Owner of The Bread Fruit & Rum Bar in Phoenix and Big Marble Organics. She is a James Beard Award Nominee and Sustainability Champion.

John Paye – Liberian Agricutural Project

Meet Your Farmer: Tony Root

Farm to Table Sustainability Stories: Iron Shoe Farm

Tattersall Distilling: Leading The Way In Sustainable Spirits

Bushel Boy Farms: A Minnesota Story of Sustainable Agricultural Innovation

I am also sharing several dishes/beverages that were prepared with sustainable, locally sourced ingredients from some of our marvelous local producers. Because food grown nearby has to be transported far less miles prior to showing up on our plates, it maintains its freshness for a longer period of time and is better for the environment, and ultimately for us. When we are able to forge connections with our local producers, restaurateurs and farmers the whole community wins.

Korean Beef Bowl made with Iron Shoe Farm ground beef, topped with an egg from the Larry Shultz Organic Farm

Grilled T-bone steaks, roasted tomatoes and broccolini. The pasture raised Hereford cattle is from Iron Shoe Farms where they practice rotational grazing and the cows are fueled by spent grain from Lupulin Brewing.

Lemon bread made with spent Kernza flour from NETZRO where the mission is to “reharvest valuable nutrients recovered from our process for plant, animal and human health in the form of ingredients that are placed back into the food economy”. The bread was made with a combination of the Kernza flour and Doubting Thomas Farms whole wheat flour. The farm is located in Moorhead, MN. They are “your farmers, providing good food for a healthier people, community and world”

Burger made with Peterson Craftsman beef and topped with herbed goat cheese, fresh pea shoots, sliced red onions, harissa mayo and sliced Bushel Boy Bubba tomatoes.

Kernza Whole Grain salad with roasted butternut squash, bacon, crumbled goat cheese, fresh arugula and pomegranate seeds. The grains for this salad are from Perennial Pantry.

Featured Image: Earth Day Salad made with kale, fresh blueberries and pomegranate seeds. Before serving, I topped it with Salad Girl Citrus Splash. All of these ingredients were purchased at Lakewinds Food Co-OP.

The theme for Earth Day this year is “Restore Our Earth”. Per Merriam-Webster, The formal definition of restoration is: an act of restoring or the condition of being restored: such as bringing back to a former position or condition. Restoration is usually suggestive of a long process and if we are to work towards the necessary changes to achieve it, we need to treat every day like Earth Day. We can be the conduits for change. Our actions and choices can move us towards a more equitable, environmentally sound and sustainable world. The future is in our hands.

Donation opportunity: Pitch In For The Kitchen

If you are looking for an avenue to donate funds to those experiencing hunger issues, please check out Minnesota Central Kitchen. This organization was formed in March 2020. “What began as a COVID-response initiative of Second Harvest Heartland to address immediate hunger, unemployment, and food rescue needs, steadily evolved into a collaboration of more than 100 partners working together to nourish our community. In our first year, we’ve provided more than 1.3 million prepared meals across the Twin Cities Metro area”

“Farm to Table…Ocean to Fork…and Vineyard to Glass.  We cast our votes in favor of the planet one bite, one sip at a time” ~ Lisa Patrin

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