Globally Aware: Shopping Outside the Big Box in the Philippines

The first time I went to the supermarket as a newly minted Metro Manila resident, I threw items into the shopping cart as if our old SUV was in the parking lot, waiting to haul two weeks' worth of groceries home. Only after I had paid and was staring at eight bags with the combined weight of a full-grown man did I remember having walked to the store.


Later, as I glared at modestly sized cupboards that refused to hold any more jars and cans, it was easy to blame our compact space for being too small. But the truth was that my old buying habits were simply too big for our new home.


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Hail Hummus!

As we welcome summer into our lives with open arms, it's also a time to welcome wonderful, crisp and light foods into our bellies. Minnesota has so many delicious options to choose from. We are also a Minne-gold mine when it comes to hummus. Our farmer's markets, co-ops and gardens are full of tasty options for your own homemade hummus. I was shocked at how easy it is to make at home, and ever since that day, I have been hooked on the stuff. It was not time consuming or difficult and you can create enough variations to keep this go-to food fresh and fun for your palette.

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Ringing In a Summer of Good Eating with Chowgirls Killer Catering

I’ve always been lukewarm about solstice celebrations. While the winter solstice almost seems like a cruel joke – “welcoming” sunshine and longer days as we brace ourselves for four more months of blizzards and frigid temperatures – summer solstice is more joyful, but still is accompanied by that nagging thought in the back of my head. Wait! Summer has barely started – already we’re celebrating its peak? What about all my big plans of farmers market trips, bountiful garden harvests, dinner parties… 

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Organic Valley Creamers Add Joy to My Morning Coffee

If we've eaten together in the past few years, I might have told you that eating more local, organic, and sustainable food has considerably enhanced my experience and relationship with food. This is absolutely true.

I might also have told you that eating local, organic, and sustainable food doesn't mean depriving myself of anything, that I never feel like I was missing out. This is mostly true. I used to love sushi, for example, but nowadays I tend to avoid it. But of all the foods I've given up in my quest to eat better, the loss of flavored non-dairy creamer has hit me the hardest.

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Woody Tasch Talks Revolution and Slow Money with the Sustainable Farmers (and Eaters) of Minnesota

Thoughts of revolution were in the air at the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota’s twentieth annual conference, The Routes of Sustainability: Food, Farming & Fellowship, held February 18 - 19 at the College of St. Benedict. SFA MN is a farmer-led organization that works to connect farmers with eaters across the state.

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Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply Helps City Folk Grow Their Own Food

When I see a 3/50 project sign in a store window, I know that I have the opportunity to support a small, local, independent business. (The 3/50 project encourages consumers to pick 3 independent businesses that they would miss if they were suddenly gone and commit to trying to spend $50 per month at one of those businesses or others like them.) Just such a sign greeted me when I stopped in at Egg|Plant Urban Farm Supply for the first time. 

My original trip to Egg|Plant was to pay for a class about using my new Pickl-It lacto-fermentation jars that I got through a group buy with some friends. That was when I met Audrey Matson, one of the store’s owners.

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Paneer and Other Magic Tricks You Can Do in North Dakota*

I’ve learned that when you have to go around a room and introduce yourself by name and an interesting fact about yourself, it helps to be able to say, very casually, “I make paneer.” If you go on to explain that paneer is an Indian cheese, and you make it to use in some of your favorite curries, you will quickly see the room divide into two camps. One camp thinks you are crazy. The other wants to come to dinner.

In summer of 2008, at our neighborhood farmers' market, a man was beginning a cooking demonstration to promote his new cookbook, and the scent of sautéing garlic, ginger, and onion filled the air. My daughter, Cora, then two-years-old, was done with the market, having exhausted the thrill of buying her own carrot and tasting the cabbage leaves. We left, but I noted the book’s title.

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Understanding the Farm Bill: Digging Into the Commodity Programs

Now that we’ve discussed nutrition and conservation programs in the Farm Bill, the time has come to direct our attention to the elephant in the room: agricultural subsidies. The commodity programs represent 15% of Farm Bill spending, which is $42 billion, the second largest Farm Bill allocation (you’ll recall that nutrition spending is the largest). And it’s a controversial topic that requires some careful consideration.

Since the commodity support programs are such an important topic, we’ll spend a few weeks on them. This time, we’ll try to understand how the commodity programs came to be and how they work, and next time we’ll talk more about their implications. 

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Simple, Good and Tasty's May Bookclub Selection: This Organic Life

 The simple act of putting a shovel into the ground and tucking in the first seeds (or seedlings) without doubt means you’ve already decided to do things differently. Feeding yourself – with the efforts of your own two hands and contributions of a mostly organic nature – is an exercise in science, nature, tradition, history, politics and not just a little bit of faith. Not such a simple act, after all. 

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A Fresh Start: Detox Your Bathroom and Laundry

A wise friend once said “awareness rocks!” I couldn’t agree more. When I started down the detox path myself, I realized that all of my researching, experimenting and learning about less toxic eating was coagulating into a new form of awareness. If I cared so much about how hard my poor liver was working, I reasoned, I should probably find a way to bring all of this glorious non-toxicity into the rest of my world as well. What we consume certainly plays a big role in how we bring toxins into our bodies, but the air we breathe and what touches our skin matters too. With this in mind, I started looking around my house for sources and solutions.

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