Collaborative Conservation

Ranching to Produce Tacos Sin Carbon: The Low Carbon Foodprint of Grass-fed Beef and Sheep Production in the Semi-Arid West

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, Duncan Blair, and Dennis Moroney
Published: February, 2010

Should the issues of fossil fuel use, carbon emissions generated from the food system and their contribution to global warming influence how ranchers manage their operations and how they sell their livestock for beef? Perhaps ranchers who are consistently good land stewards are doing enough already, so that asking them take on the issue of what happens to their livestock once it leaves the ranch may be asking too ...

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The Bazaar World of Spice Trade – A Report from Asia Minor

I feel a familiarity, even a universality, whenever I enter a spice market in any part of the world: an Arabian souq, a Mexican mercado, a Turkish carsisi.  It is not just my familiarity with the spices themselves that makes me feel this way. Many of them have traveled thousands of miles across land by camel, or water by dhow, to reach marketplaces in all for corners of earthly universe. This is the ancient form of the global economy, and ...

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Drought drives Middle Eastern pepper farmers out of business, threatens prized heirloom chiles

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: January 15, 2010

This marks the launch of Climate Change and Food Culture, a series of posts by Gary Nabhan about how climate change threatens to stamp out some of the globe’s most celebrated foodstuffs, and along with them the farming and cooking cultures that created them.

Most Turks live on the water’s edge in the far western reaches of their vast country. But many of the spices that perfume the air in Turkey’s ...

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The Further Adventures of Hadji Ali

Last spring I was invited to join forces with a Turkish documentary TV and film maker named Ardan Zenturk in a retrospective on Hadji Ali, the first Arab of the Islamic faith to become a naturalized citizen on the invitation of the U.S. government. I had already written about his time in Arizona in the Journal of Arizona History and in my book Arab-American, which won the Southwest Book Award; the chapter on Hadji Ali was posted on the ...

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Ruminating along the Spice Route in Turkey

When one travels, it is hard not to be struck by just how much of the world’s food biodiversity has found new homes and adapted to new places over the centuries. Visiting markets in Turkey for the first time in my life, I am amazed at how many Old Friends from the New World show up in the Turk’s souks or spice bazaars: cayenne, bell, paprika and cherry peppers, Jamaican allspice, chocolate, vanilla, tomatoes, squashes, fint corns and beans.

Soon after ...

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Let 2010 Be the Year of the Heirloom Apple

While the Chinese will be celebrating 2010 as the Year of the Tiger, we in America have historically had no tigers except those in zoos and circuses. But what we once have had many of—heirloom apples—are now in danger of becoming as rare as tigers are in Asia. Of some 15,000 to 16,000 apples varieties that have been named, grown and eaten on the North American continent, only about 3,000 remain accessible to American orchard-keepers, gardeners, chefs and home ...

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10 tips for living gracefully in the desert

By: Gary Nabhan Special To The Arizona Daily Star
Published: January 3, 2010

• Each time it rains, follow the flow of water through where you live, and see how it can be encouraged to nurture the most life.

• Find what is edible within a quarter-mile of where you live, track its seasons of edibility, and incorporate it into your diet.

• Make an interspecific peace pact with the wildlife that lives closest to you to “do no harm.”

• Reduce ...

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Holidays: Days of Feasting, Days of Fasting

The end-of-the-year word is out: one in seven American families is having trouble putting food on the table, just as we try, each in our own way, to celebrate the Holidays. But what does it mean to celebrate and feast on a Holy Day with hunger at the highest levels it has been in years? With the economic downturn of the last year, far more of our neighbors have had to rely on food banks and food stamps than at ...

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Rare foods experts visit St. Augustine for pepper

By: Richard Villadoniga
Published: November 5, 2009

Gary Nabhan, of the Renewing America’s Food Traditions Alliance and an award-winning writer on food biodiversity, visited St. Augustine recently to research St. Johns County’s datil pepper.

Several years ago. Nabhan first nominated the datil pepper for the Slow Food Ark of Taste, a “Hall of Fame” for rare but flavorful regional foods. Now he and two colleagues are looking at how climate change is affecting food supply, particularly with regard to its ...

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Debate Flares on Limits of Nature and Commerce in Parks

By: Leslie Kaufman
Published: October 31, 2009

POINT REYES STATION, Calif. — It seems a perfect marriage of nature and commerce. As boats ferry oysters to the shore, pelicans swoop by and seals pop their heads out of the water.

But this spot on the Point Reyes National Seashore has become a flashpoint for a bitter debate over the limits of wilderness and commercial interest within America’s national parks.

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Forgotten Fruits

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: October, 2009

The morning sun is just peeking over the ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains when my friend Jim Veteto and I spot a tall, old-looking apple tree arching over the side of the road. We swerve our rented PT Cruiser to the shoulder and get out. I’m hoping that these apples are Nickajacks, a rare variety that’s native to the highlands of western North Carolina, so I climb onto the ...

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APM – Marketplace

Sowing seeds that will take the heat

Publisher: APM

As the planet warms, fewer crops will survive the summer heat. Yet the world’s population will keep growing. Some scientists are responding by keeping seeds on ice for future generations, but one Arizona seed farm is cultivating them in the desert sun. Sam Eaton reports.

 

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What we got here is a failure to collaborate

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: July 20, 2009

On July 10, President Obama announced his nomination of Jonathan Jarvis as the next director of the National Park Service. Jarvis has worked for the agency for 30 years and directed its Pacific West region since 2002. Many of his colleagues contend that he not only has scientific training, but is tenaciously committed to the “right values” — that is, protecting wilderness and averting change in natural ecosystems. They hope Jarvis ...

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Place based foods of the borderlands weather the economic downturn – not just for the elite

This last week, I went out into the desert to find an old friend in her trailer-turned-artesanal kitchen. My friend is an Hispanic woman who lost her job after 9/11 in a borderlands community that lost thousands of more jobs during the mortgage fiasco two years ago and the more recent economic downturn.  And yet, despite all the discouraging turns that have occurred in the Tucson, Arizona economy over the last decade, I did not hear discouraging words  in Esperanza ...

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Finally, a burger with a taste of place

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: June 22, 2009

Some 12 million people visit the Grand Canyon every year, but any “foodies” among them tend to be disappointed when they arrive at the rim.

Where in all this luscious landscape, they ask, is anyone serving food that tastes of this place? Why do so few restaurants in Arizona’s canyon country feature the range-fed beef or lamb, vegetables, fruits or other seasonal fare produced by local farmers and ranchers? Except at the ...

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A Talk with Gary Paul Nabhan at ASU English

A talk with Gary Paul Nabhan, Arab-American writer and food and farming advocate. Nabhan spoke at a fundraising event to support opportunities for undergraduate English majors at Arizona State University. “Seeding the Future” is sponsored by ASU’s Department of English in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, to benefit students majoring in English by funding opportunities for research, presentations, and travel during their undergraduate experience at ASU. Nabhan is the author of “Where Our Food Comes From,” “Renewing America’s ...

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Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Foods

Taste Here What You Can’t Just Find Anywhere, And See

For millennia, the Santa Cruz River Valley has been a natural corridor for the seasonal migration of birds as well as other wildlife, and for the cultural diffusion and exchange of foodstuffs. It harbors the northernmost populations of wild peppers known as chiltepines, but the first culinary use of chilies north of the present-day U.S./Mexico border was also recorded in one of its prehistoric villages. Other wild plants that have been ...

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Americas Apple Traditions Renewed

Perhaps it was hard at first to know whether the “antique” in the phrase, “antique apple experts,” referred to the apples or to the experts. But when the Hall of Famers of the Heirloom Apple Kingdom gathered on March 19th at the University of Wisconsin Arboretum outside of Madison, it was clear that the so-called “old-timers” invited had much to say about the current status of and future prospects for old-timey apples. Between them, they had more than 350 years ...

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