Food Heritage and History

Responding to Famine in the Horn of Africa: Learn from Past Mistakes

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: The Huffington Post  / October 1, 2008

In mid-September, John Holmes of United Nations announced that the mounting famine in Ethiopia and other countries in the Horn of Africa may dwarf the severity of similar famines in the 1980s and 1990s. While humanitarian concern and speedy on-ground action are surely justified, we must ask why this famine is being predicted to be more devastating than others in the past, ...

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Chile Peppers

by Ira Flatow
http://www.sciencefriday.com/program/archives/200809192
September 19th, 2008

Listen to this Interview

In this segment, live from Tucson, Arizona, we’ll take a scientific look at the chile pepper, from the chemistry and biology of a pepper’s burn, to the psychology of why some people like it hot. Southwestern Arizona is part of the “chili belt” where most U.S hot peppers get their start. But growing chiles is no low ...

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Apples of Our Eyes, Nose and Mouths

When the leaves of New England begin to glow with crimsons, purples and golds, many of us remember that it’s time for crimson, purple and gold apples to be picked, packed, sequestered in storage sheds, or processed into cider, butter, sauces or pies.

Apples exemplify that taste of the fall for many of us, but just what kind of apples we taste depends upon just where exactly we live, and how well we know our neighboring orchard-keepers.

Some eight hundred kinds of ...

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Where Our Food Comes From – Video

Gary Paul Nabhan weaves together Vavilov’s extraordinary story with his own expeditions to Earth’s richest agricultural landscapes and the cultures that tend them. Retracing Vavilov’s path from Mexico and the Colombian Amazon to the glaciers of the Pamirs in Tajikistan, he draws a vibrant portrait of changes that have occurred since Vavilov’s time and why they matter.

In his travels, Nabhan shows how climate change, free trade policies, genetic engineering, and loss of traditional knowledge are threatening our food supply. Through ...

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Parque de la Papa: Vavilov’s Dream for Potatoes?

For a quarter century, the breed of ethnobotanists I’ve hung with have proposed through countless lectures and publications that crop diversity can best conserved in situ, in the cultural landscapes managed by the traditional farmers who have long been its stewards. Now, in the highlands of Peru, a dream has come true, one that would have made the late Russian seed conservationist Nikolay Vavilov giddy with delight. Vavilov himself visited the Andes some seventy years ago, during an era when ...

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Slow Food Nation – Re-localizing Food

Watch Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine, at the recent Slow Food Nation celebration in San Francisco. Along with other panelists, Nabhan talked about the challenges re-localizing food, and the social and environmental impacts of a local and global approach to food.

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Of Moulds and Men

Recently appeared in Resurgence Magazine, by: Gary Paul Nabhan

Biodiversity is not just “out there” – in the rainforests, oceans and wetlands – it is here, on our plates.

I DID NOT know it by such lofty terms as food biodiversity back them, but as a child in a household of Lebanese immigrants to America, I viscerally knew that we had items in our backyard, cupboard, pantry and refrigerator that our neighbours did not. The yoghurt or lebna made by ...

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Renewing America’s Food Traditions: A search for forgotten delicacies

By Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: Eating Well – July/August 2008

I was once asked what I would do if I had to choose to eat just one of America’s distinct heritage cuisines exclusively. Would I head to the Mississippi Delta to try the crayfish, rockfish and gumbo of Creole and Cajun dishes, or to a New England Yankee farmstead to savor one of the region’s many heirloom cider apples, roasted root vegetables, mutton or cheeses? Would I travel ...

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A Different Kind of America

APM – The Splendid Table

Time: 51:13 minute audio
Date: July 4th, 2008
Publisher:
APM

Lynne Rossetto Kasper’s The Splendid Table was named “1999 Best National Radio Show on Food” by the James Beard Foundation, and “2000 Best National Syndicated Talk Show” by American Women in Radio and Television.

 

 

 

 

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Saving Endangered Species One Mouthful at a Time

NPR – All Things Considered

Time: 6:18 minute audio
Date: May 11th, 2008
Publisher:
NPR

NPR talked to Gary about his new book, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods. You can read the entire article, by going to this page.

 

 

 

 

 

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An Unlikely Way to Save a Species: Serve It for Dinner

By KIM SEVERSON
Published: April 30, 2008

SOME people would just as soon ignore the culinary potential of the Carolina flying squirrel or the Waldoboro green neck rutabaga. To them, the creamy Hutterite soup bean is too obscure and the Tennessee fainting goat, which keels over when startled, sounds more like a sideshow act than the centerpiece of a barbecue.

But not Gary Paul Nabhan. He has spent most ...

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Earth Day

You could feel that spring had come to the Berkshires after a long and gray winter. Wherever we went around Great Barrington, farmers and gardeners were hoeing the ground, planting seeds, adjusting water lines, patching up chicken coops, or moving livestock between pastures. By noon on Saturday, many of us congregated at the Route 7 Grill near Great Barrington, to sample and discuss the foods and brews unique to the Berkshires, and ponder what they meant to our society as ...

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Weekday – The Diversity of Seeds

The Diversity of Seeds

Time: 54:01 minute audio
Date: January 8th, 2008
Publisher:
KUOW – 94.9 FM

Steve Scher talked to Gary Nabhan in January (KUOW) about the Diversity of Seeds, and you can listen to it at KUOW or below. Gary joins the program about 31 minutes into the clip. Listen to the entire show. It is very educational!

 

 

 

 

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Taking Stock of Successes with Local Foods

It was a wild way to break in the New Year, sharing local game and fish with hunters who donated their venison, pronghorn antelope backstrap and javelina “pork roasts” to their friends at the Cattle Baron in Flagstaff, Arizona. As we were sitting waiting for the first meat to come out of the roasting pit, I began to daydream about whether such an event would have even been “on my screen” some twenty years ago, as the local foods movement was ...

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Some Like It Hot

Listen to this Interview

CURWOOD: Those red hot chili peppers that appear next to entrees on many restaurant menus today can mean different things to different people. Some might consider them a hot, yet savory, challenge, while others see them as red flags – a warning to sensitive taste buds.

Whether you like your food spicy or not is a personal choice, but as Gary Nabhan contends, it’s also likely to be ...

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The Geography of Flavor

Bringing a European Idea Down to Earth: Producers, Farmers Pin Hopes on the Appeal of ‘Terroir’

By Jane Black Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 22, 2007; Page F01

It was a risky move back in 2004 for Arlin Wasserman to launch his Minneapolis consultancy, Changing Tastes. His expertise: the esoteric concept of “terroir,” a French term that literally translates as terrain but has come to mean the way foods and wine express the soil, climate, ...

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Localvore Hero

Talking maple syrup with a Southwest grow-it guru

by: Suzanne Podhaizer (08/08/07)

Gary Paul Nabhan has hunted wild peccaries, pit-roasted cactus flowers, and won a MacArthur “genius” fellowship. This past weekend, he was the keynote speaker at the 12th Annual Vermont Fresh Network Forum. The theme of the gathering was “Eat It to Save It” and focused on bringing back indigenous foods, such as heirloom veggies and heritage animal breeds that are becoming extinct. ...

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Long Before the First Thanksgiving

By: Gary Paul Nabhan, RAFT founder

Gary Paul Nabhan is a MacArthur Fellow, cofounder of Native Seeds/SEARCH, and author of numerous books and articles on ethnobotany, nutrition, and plant conservation.

Try to recall the most remarkable lunch you’ve ever had in a grade school. Mine was remarkable not only because of the food that was served, but also because of the people—both young and old—with whom I ate. It was the people’s cultural traditions and their link with their distinctive ...

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Deepening Our Sense of What Is Local and Regional Food

Now that Time magazine has done a cover feature article on the local foods movement and a book on the same topic by bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver and her family is poised to climb up the New York Times top-ten non-fiction list, we might want to ask what actually is it that we want to promote by using phrases like “ Buy Fresh, Buy Local”. I can assure you that there will be increasing criticism of the so-called local ...

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