Did you know that insects form part of the traditional diet of an estimated 2 billion people on the planet? And that even those of us who actively avoid all contact with bugs can’t avoid ingesting a pound or two of flies, maggots, and other bugs without knowing it every year? Insects aren’t the future of food–they’re very much part of our present reality!
In this episode, we spoke with movers and shakers in Southeast Michigan’s local food and land conservation scene. With the 8th Annual Homegrown Local Food Summit recently behind us, we discussed its growth over the years, and its developing importance to the community. Lindsey Scelera shared with us some of this year’s food victories as well as the victories that have come about in years past, including current Ann Arbor staples like Mark’s Carts. Keith Soster tells us more about U-M’s goals for locally sourced food and what they’re doing to get there, as well as how students can get involved.
We also learned about the importance of preserving Michigan farmland and helping our threatened farmers with succession and business planning to hand their farms off to the next generation of food growers, instead of losing them to development. Legacy Land Conservancy is just beginning a program called FarmNext to accomplish just that.
Join Keith Soster, Director of Student Engagement for UM Dining Services, Robin Burke, Land Protection Manager at Legacy Land Conservancy, Lindsey Scalera, MI Farm to Institution Campaign Manager from the Ecology Center, Nathan Wells, Master’s Candidate and food warrior at SNRE, and your hosts, Andrea Kraus and Alex Truelove for the love of food.
Our hosts Alex Truelove, Ed Waisanen, and Bailey Schneider wrapped up our three part series, “Please, Drink Sustainably” with a vibrant discussion on distilled spirits with distiller and marketing director at Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, Nick Yoder, and co-owner and operator of Cafe Zola in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Alan Zakalik.
Journeyman Distillery is an Organic Spirits Distillery, located in the EK Warren Historic Featherbone Factory, in Three Oaks, Michigan. They offer a variety of organic spirits such as vodka, gin and rum but mainly focus on whiskey. The spirits are distilled, bottled, labeled, and packaged at their distillery. Journeyman Distillery puts a strong emphasis on maintaining sustainability in their practices from their location in a historic reclaimed factory to their spirits. This distillery started four years ago and has focused on being a sustainable and innovative business ever since. The spirits are made using certified organic ingredients sourced from the local farmers. The Journeyman Distillery Tasting Room offers a variety of food items, all made with organic ingredients from local farms.
Nick helps Journeyman Distillery share the tales of its journey with the world. Nick is in charge of raising customer awareness and bringing consumers to the distillery to experience the spirits first hand. He pridefully proclaims to have extensive knowledge of spirits from his experience of distilling once a week.
Alan Zakalik has owned and operated Café Zola alongside Hediye Batu since 1996. Alan and Hediye deliberately choose their suppliers to ensure that they serve the highest possible quality of food and beverages. Alan emphasizes that they try to buy local and organic when possible. Café Zola has an exquisite bar menu and serves many craft liqueurs. Alan discussed traditional polish cherry liqueur making, something that anyone can do at home.
Sustainability in the local alcohol industry has remained a constant throughout this series. Producing distilled spirits requires more energy than beer and wine production, and almost of the water used in the distillation process ends up as waste. To combat this, many local distillers are purchasing grain from local organic farmers, reusing liqueur barrels, and turning their waste into energy.
Our second segment in the three part series, “Please, Drink Sustainably” takes our hosts Alex Truelove, Becca Baylor, and Rebecca Hardin to the vineyards of Michigan with the help of Black Star Farms‘ managing member and winemaker, Lee Lutes, and principal and co-founder of 5 Lakes Energy, Liesl Clark.
In this first episode of our three part series called “Please, Drink Sustainably,” our guests Kris Spaulding, co-founder of Brewery Vivant, and Brian Tennis, owner and operator of the Michigan Hop Alliance taught hosts Harry Rice, Becca Baylor, Ed Waisanen, and Alex Truelove all about the sustainability innovations in beer production happening right here in the mitten.
It’s the finale of our three part series on climate change. This week our hosts Becca Baylor, Ed Waisanen, and Alex Truelove investigate the implications of climate change on agriculture, especially on cherries in northern Michigan. They are joined on the phone by Jim Nugent, the director of the Leelanau Conservancy; Nikki Rothwell, the coordinator of the Northwestern Michigan Horticultural Research Station; and in studio by Dr. Paige Fischer, Assistant Professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment.
Continue reading Cherries of Change: Adaptation by Michigan Farmers
Growing Hope, an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit, helps people improve their lives and communities through gardening and healthy food access. Using a strengths-based approach, the Growing Hope team works to build peoples’ capacity to use community and school gardens as vehicles for positive social, economic, environmental and neighborhood change. They advocate for healthy food, manage an urban farmers’ market, and train youth and adults to make positive investments in their future.
This week Frank Fejeran (Chef) and Zack Zavisa (Bartender) of The Ravens Club take us on a savory trip through culinary and liquid media. Join us!
The journey begins with the delights and (occasional) challenges of sourcing the most local (and happily produced) produce, beef, and cheese, and continues on to the pleasures of creating (and drinking) classic and creative cocktails with small-batch spirits and house-made mixes – think fresh tonic, complex bitters, fermented fruits. Continue reading The Ravens Club: “Flavor is a Serious Matter”
Honey – it’s delicious, nutritious, and one of the most labor-intensive food products known to man. That is, if we give credit where it’s due – to bees and those who work to keep them flourishing!
This week: Rich Wieske, maker of meade and pollinator of the City of Detroit with Green Toe Gardens and Mike Bianco UM Bees Minister (one among many!) and bee activist join us in the studio to share their wealth of knowledge and buzzing passion for reversing one of the most disquieting developments of our time – the disappearance of the honey bees. Jim Johnson, Jennifer’s uncle and backyard beekeeper, joins in the conversation too, with his account of the sacrifices burgeoning beekeepers must sometimes make to keep their hives happy over the recently brutal winter months.
Listen in and learn what intrepid beekeepers like Rich, Mike, and Jim are doing to cultivate more and better hives of happy bees.
Interested in starting your own hive(s)? Check out a beekeepers association nearest you: