Archive for the ‘Food Politics’ Category
Never before have I been to an event like that of Cochon 555, held this past weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The seemingly dull college town of which Oklahoma State University claims as its home, is located an hour’s drive north of Oklahoma City and seemed quite the unlikely destination to hold such an affair—that is until one understands the magnitude of what OSU is attempting to accomplish. As has been noted here and here, Cochon 555 is competition held in ten destinations around the country. It invites five chefs from various regions that focus not only on quality ingredients, but chefs that also source those ingredients locally—pigs in this instance—and pride themselves by utilizing every part. Ideally, the chefs choose farms to work with that supply heritage pork to their respective restaurants. Then, they compete first for the regional prize, Prince of Porc, and eventually the grand prize at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, King of Porc.
A number of people have asked me to follow up on an older post I wrote regarding the possibilities of pasturing geese in an environment that makes them *think* they are migratory birds instead of domesticated, all in hopes of instilling a natural form of gavage and therefore a more ethical form of foie gras.
One of the things to which I was most looking forward on our tour with Craig Haney at the Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, was getting an update on their pastured foie experiments which they’ve been conducting for about a year now. They’re working with Toulouse geese in the effort—Toulouse being the breed that Eduardo de Sousa has had so much success with. I patiently waited through the lamb explanations and then the chickens, and the pigs, until I could stand it no longer and blurted out: “So how’s the foie coming along???”
Yesterday, the UK Telegraph ran an article entitled, “Scientists create GM tomatoes ‘which stay fresh for a month longer than usual’.” (Yay!) The article goes on to discuss the breakthrough in lengthening a tomato’s shelf-life by three times (!) by “turning off” the genes that are linked to the production of a couple of enzymes that cause the fruit to begin the ripening process. If the method and procedures pass the stringent UK laws that would enable farmers to plant GMO products, it could make for quite the boon in profits for their industrial agriculture system.