September 15, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef
Charleston, SC has been one of my favorite food cities for years. I went several times when I was the Executive Chef at Meriwether’s in the early 2000’s, and enjoyed each visit more than the last. The food was amazing, and the chefs really pushed the envelope on the ‘new southern’ cuisine.
I had a chance to go back a few weeks ago for the first time in at least eight years. I hate to say that I was really disappointed. Don’t get me wrong, the food was still good….it was just the same food that was there a decade ago. In addition to the food being the same, it’s like the sustainability & local movements have just bypassed Charleston.
Join us for this hands-on workshop starting at 2:30 in the garden behind Founders.
We’ll learn about the different kinds of basil and pesto and then we’ll pluck from our own Garden!
From 3:15 – 3:45 we’ll gather in the dining room and watch how pesto is made. Everyone who joins us for this pesto-fest will get a container of pesto and recipes you can use it in. And it’s all FREE! We will feature the pesto we make during this workshop at dinner – we’ll serve tortellini two ways: warm with pesto cream sauce and cold with pesto vinaigrette.
See you next Wednesday!
We welcomed the good folks at Reynolda Farm Market in Winson Salem today with their first delivery. They brought in some of the nicest tomatoes we’ve ever recieved. We look forward to a long relationship with them. Look for a profile of their market and owners in an upcoming addition of the Guilford Green Blog.
Reynolda Farm Market
Red Bell Peppers – Kaison, VA
Beets – Durham, NC
Gren Bell Peppers – Kaison, VA
Red Delicious Apples – Stuart, VA
Honey Crisp Apples – Ayers Orchards, VA
Cantaloupe – Kaiser, VA
Honey Dew – Kaiser, VA
Eggplant – Durham, NC
Peaches – Denton, NC
Yellow Squash – Lewisville, NC
Zucchini Squash – Lewisville, NC
Cherry Tomatoes – New Market, TN
Cucumbers – Lewisville, NC
Red Potatoes – Caswell Co., NC
Snap Peas – Lexington, NC
Tomatoes – Lewisville, NC
Eastern Carolina Organics
High Country Heriloom Apples – Raven Rock Farms – Watauga County, NC
Ison Muscadine Grapes – Benjamin Vineyards – Saxapaw, NC
Tara Muscadine Grapes – Benjamin Vineyards – Saxapaw, NC
Organic Purple Basil – R Farm
Organic Arugula – R Farm
Organic Golden Zucchini – Faucette
Goat Chevre – Celebrity Dairy – Silar City, NC
And the usual…
Hyrdoponic Lettuce – Flora Ridge Farm
Milk, Half and Half, Heavy Cream and Butter – Homealnd Creamery
Flour, Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Sausage and Bacon – Neese’s Country Sausage
Whole Eggs – Pride of the Morning
Try a local apple!
Hunge Heirloom Apples – Raven Rock Farms
Field Peas – Cottle Organics
Purple Basil – Faucette
Yellow Squash – Heaven / Watauga
Zucchin Squash – Heaven / Watauga / Faucette
Slicing Tomatoes – Cane Valley
Cherry Tomatoes – New Market Farms
Fresh Goat Chevre – Celebrity Dairy
Hyrdoponic Lettuce – Flora Ridge Farm
Ground Beef – Tomahawk Farm
Flour, Grits, Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Half and Half, Heavy Cream, Buttermilk – Homeland Creamery
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Concho is the latest addition to the Guilford College Sustainability crew. You may have heard of chipper/ shredders, but Concho is very unique type of shredder/ grinder. More specifically, Concho is a Compost Shredder/ Grinder. Concho was built by Lindig Manufacturing Corp. in the 1970s. You can imagine our excitment when we stumbled across the craigslist add for the Concho Compost Shredder/Grinder as we’ve been looking for a way to further breakdown or sift our finished compost. We’ve also been on the hunt for a way to more finely shred some of the materials we put into our Eartub, particularly the corn based compostable cups, plates, and flatware that we use at our catered events. We think Concho can accomplish both of these objectives. We have found that the compostable disposables we use do break down in the Earthtub, but not very quickly. Also when a very large amount of these materials are put into the Earthtub, they tend to float on top, and the auger is not able to pull these materials into the active compost.
So after a bit of haggling with the craigslist seller over the phone, we drove out to Clemmons, NC to pick this thing up. We didn’t really know what to expect, as the seller didn’t really know much about it. He was in the construction business and they had found Concho abandoned on a job site. All he knew was the make and model and that it had a 7 HP Briggs and Statton motor. He had received one inquiry from Pennsylvania who was very interested, and told the seller that these pieces of machinery were pretty rare and that Lindig was not in business anymore. The interested buyer had decided that it was too far to drive though, and he hadn’t had another offer until we came along.
So we got concho back to campus we relative ease, but weren’t exactly sure how to use it. We knew we wanted to feed our compostable disposables through it, but didn’t know how to do it without making a huge mess, because as you can see the materials feed out of the very bottom of the unit, very low to the ground. But with a little ingenuity and our trusty forklift, we were able to raise Concho above the Earthub hatch, and feed materials directly into the Earthtub. We’re hoping this will add a more favorable element to our mix.
With summer growing season in full swing, we have a plethora of offerings for all of our locavores on campus.
We are pulling produce from all over the state: delicious watermelons from the east and mountain peaches from the west. We’d also like to welcome back Eastern Carolina Organics this week with Heirloom Apples, Black Cherry Tomatoes, and other local treats including fresh goat cheese from Celebrity Dairy in Silar City, NC.
Frank Massey will also be in on Saturday with a load of his fresh ground grass fed beef.
Eastern Carolina Organics
Buncombe Heritage Apples – Raven Rock Farms
Mountain Boomer Heritage Apples – Raven Rock Farms
Organic Sweet Italia Red Peppers – Timberwood Organics
Organic Black Cherry Tomatoes – Timberwood Organics
Organic Butternut Squash – Cottle Organics
Plain Goat Chevre – Celebrity Dairy
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian
A recent MG conference call about essential fatty acids got me thinking. How many people actually know what essential fats are? More specifically how many people know the difference between omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids? The consumer information is confusing and often misleading. We are told to choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats and eliminate trans fat, simple, right?! Well actually it’s more complex then that.
There are specific types of unsaturated fats that are essential…meaning we cannot make them on our own and must ingest them through our diet. Two essential polyunsaturated fats are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for normal body functions such as controlling blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with benefits like protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. Omega 3 fatty acids are thought to reduce inflammation, which is thought to contribute to various diseases such as heart disease & cancer. More recently, omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with decreased rates of depression.
The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) & alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids come mainly from the fat of cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, and bluefish. Cold-water fish contain the two critically important omega-3 fatty acids, (EPA and or DHA). There are vegetarian sources that contain the omega 3 fatty acid ALA. These sources include walnuts, canola oil, flaxseeds & some green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach & salad, which contain a precursor omega-3 (ALA) that the body partially converts to EPA and DHA. It is recommended that we consume one omega 3 fatty acid source per day. If you do not consume any fish products, you may want to speak with your doctor about essential fatty acid supplementation. Omega 6 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for health. Omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in the Western diet; common sources include safflower, corn, cottonseed & soybeans oils. These oils, specifically soybean oil are often used in processed foods such as cookies, cakes & snack crackers. Research has suggested that we are consuming too much omega 6 & not enough omega 3 fatty acids. This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases that stem from inflammation such a coronary artery disease & various cancers. Too much omega 6 is thought to promote inflammation, but there is some evidence to suggest otherwise. There are benefits to omega 6 fatty acids such as lowering LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol, hence providing protection against heart disease. So there is benefit to consumption of omega 6 fatty acids, but we have clearly been consuming too much in the form of processed foods. For now the solution is quite simple: increase your intake of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids (consume more fish & vegetables) and reduce your consumption of processed foods.
A few weeks ago I had the very distinct pleasure of spending the day on Lorax Lane in Pittsboro, North Carolina, the home of Piedmont Biofuels , and a number of other green enterprises. They occupy an abandoned industrial park, which I was told is actually an old missile manufacturing facility. In any case, they’re not making warheads anymore, but they are manufacturing tangible social and technological change in the form of biodeisel, locally grown organic food, social action, and an array of sustainable goods and services.
The rest of Lyle’s tour was a whirlwind through the biodiesel process. One thing was clear: Lyle knows his stuff, and quality control is priority number one. He has saved samples from each lot number since day one. Education is also a top priority at Piedmont. He ensures that every member of the coop knows what they are getting into when they start running biodiesel in their vehicles. Here’s a few pictures of some their reactors and holding tanks. In the second one that’s the grease collection truck in the foreground.
Guilford’s Environmental Coordinator Jim Dees, and myself were down at the Eco-Industrial Park for a tour and also to do some investigating for a few different projects, one of which is getting our off road tractors and mowers running on off-road biodiesel, and others which we’ll talk about later. We also happened to be there on Friday which at Piedmont Biofuels is also Local Lunch Friday. Each Friday they trade off cooking responsibilities and gather around the table for a locally sourced, delicious, and nourishing meal. Now I’ve been to some pot lucks in my day, and this one was pretty exceptional. Fresh baked bread, beautiful local greens and hot house tomatoes, kale and white beans. It was quite the feast.
Before lunch we were lucky enough to catch Piedmont Biofuels founder and VP of Stuff Lyle Estill between breakfast with Governor Bev Purdue, and putting on his distribution garbs to go out on a delivery run. Needless to say Lyle is a busy guy, but he was gracious enough to make time to give Jim and I a quick but very informative tour of his facility. Lyle started by showing us their very own B-100 community trail location where their co-op members can fill their cars with locally processed Biodiesel. Their location is actually a straw bail structure that encases the tank, metering system, and pump. It is also powered by a small solar array and heated by the structure’s passive solar design. Very cool stuff. Pictured below is Lyle himself showing Jim the ins and outs of the system.
As I mentioned before, Piedmont Biofuels plays host to an array of different sustainable businesses, and one of the ones we were most interested in was Carolina Worm Castings. We met Ben of CWC and coincidently Brian Rosa of the NCDENR Composting Division. We were very interested to see his operation as we’re in the process of expanding our compost system and are considering vermiculture as a sort of a final finishing stage, to help speed up the curing process. Carolina Worm Castings is a new addition and occupies some hallway space in the main building. While we were there his worms were not too happy, but it was still a cool operation to see. We also received some leads from Brian Rosa on some used Earthtubs, and also got some tips from him on how to improve our system.
The next stop on our tour was the home of HOMS which is a manufacturer of all natural insect repellents and pest controls. They have a great selection of locally produced pest repellents for your home, pets, and garden.
We were also able to meet the good people at Eastern Carolina Organics, which is also housed on Lorax Lane. Eastern Carolina Organics is a farmer-owned produce distributer that deals only in locally grown organic produce. Born out of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association in 2004, ECO has grown into a private, farmer and manager owned LLC, working with over 40 growers and over 100 customers. They are an invaluable source for North Carolina food service operators like myself that serve local produce.
After Lunch, as Jim and I were hitting road back to Greensboro, we couldn’t help but feel like we were leaving an alternate universe. Piedmont Biofuel’s little corner of the world, nestled deep in the pines of Pittsoboro, NC is a bustling think tank of sustainable thought and design. It truly was an honor to spend a day in their world. We can only hope that one day Greensboro, and cities all across America will have their very own Eco-Industrial Parks.
Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting with North Carolina based environmental artist Bryant Holsenbeck. In the fall of this year she will be visiting Guilford and doing an installation in the Gallery sponsored by Guilford’s Theme Year in Sustainability: Green and Beyond using only used, recyclable materials. I am in the process collecting a huge amount of number ten cans and any oddly shaped glass bottles for the project. We think it’s going to be something similar to what is pictured above, but with more height and some different mediums.
She was really an inspiration to talk with. Currently she’s embarking on a year without disposable plastics. She’s blogging about it here, and her most recent entry actually features myself and a picture of Jim Dees and our Earthtub. She’s also got some really great works for sale on her site. I might have to pick up a few of her handmade journals. Very cool stuff.
Meatless Mondays gains ground. Mario Batali to implement Meatless Mondays in all 14 of his restaurants nation wide. From Huffington Post:
No stranger to boar sausage, or to a finely braised veal shank, Mario Batali however isn’t the first name that pops to mind when you think about vegetables. And that’s what’s so interesting about his decision to embrace Meatless Monday in all of his 14 restaurants across the country.
“The fact is, most people in the U.S. eat way more meat than is good for them or the planet,” maintains Batali. “Asking everyone to go vegetarian or vegan isn’t a realistic or attainable goal. But we can focus on a more plant-based diet, and support the farmers who raise their animals humanely and sustainably. That’s why I’m such a big believer in the Meatless Monday movement.”
Meatless Monday is all about incorporating more vegetables into our diet. It’s about moderation, just one day a week, trying new plant-based recipes and sampling delicious ways to bring more veggies into our lives.
And it’s catching on. Batali is joining early adopters, political leaders and celebrities such as Michael Pollan, Al Gore, Sir Paul McCartney, Simon Cowell and Gwyneth Paltrow; the entire Baltimore Public School System, nearly 30 college campuses and 100 blogs; and 8 international programs spanning Brazil to Taiwan.
“We’re delighted that Maestro Mario is helping to move the movement,” declares Sid Lerner, founder and chairman of Meatless Monday, an initiative of The Monday Campaigns. “If anybody can entice meat lovers to enjoy their veggies as well, it’s Batali!”
So how’s Mario going to do it? Every Monday every one of his 14 restaurants will serve at least two vegetarian options, whether entrees or pastas or pizzas. In addition, many of the restaurants will designate these dishes as Meatless Monday options, using Mario’s new MM logo (below). With this simple gesture, Mario will send a powerful message to other chefs and restauranteurs that we can all start the week right by eating our veggies.
Stay tuned to Huffington Post Food because later this week Elizabeth Meltz, Mario’s sustainability director, will post descriptions and photos of the actual Meatless Monday dishes created by his chefs for today’s launch…