HP in NYC: Notable Food Experience #1

Hello from New York! I am here for a weekend of eating and drinking, with big plans for deliciousness; but today’s a regular work day, so I needed to grab a quick lunch to bring back to my desk.

I’m staying waaay downtown, between the Financial District and Battery Park, so there are lots of quickie lunch options catering to the buzzy workers and the bumbling tourists. A popular restaurant trend here (everywhere? big cities? for some reason, not C’ville) is the build-a-salad joint. I’ve eaten at a bunch here and in other cities, but I don’t recall ever seeing the word “local” used in signage, until today. That’s what drew me into Flavors.

Here are some descriptions from their website:

Healthy, fresh, natural

Organic where we can. Fresh & natural all the time.

Nothing about local. Googling doesn’t tell me anything about their local claim. Hmm.

It was a good salad, though.


New local food cafe in Charlottesville

Can’t wait to visit The Farm in Belmont! I’d seen it from the road, but thought it was just a coffee shop. They do sell (local) coffee, but so much more: local produce, local meat and dairy, local baked goods, as well as sandwiches, wine, and beer. Local, local, local. From The Hook article:

Much of the produce comes via Horse & Buggy Produce, which distributes food gathered from small farms in the area. Coffee comes from local roasters Shenandoah Joe, baked goods from Albermarle [sic] Baking Company on West Main, and milk, yogurt and other dairy from Organic Valley, Seven Stars Farm and Grass Point Farms. There’s tofu from Twin Oaks in Louisa, hummus, dips, salsas, pesto and fresh produce from The Farm at Red Hill, just down the road in North Garden.

I’ll try to get there this weekend and will let you know how it is!

Rainy day movie: Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. is a chilling documentary full of disturbing facts about the huge corporations that run the American food system.

Hooray for local hero Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms, a featured “good guy” farmer.

Quotes from the movie:

When we run an item past the supermarket scanner, we’re voting: for local not organic or not.

You can vote to change this system. Three times a day.

Buy from companies that treat workers, animals, and the environment with respect.

When you go to the supermarket, choose foods that are in season. Buy foods that are organic. Know what’s in your food. Read labels. Know what you buy.

The average meal travels 1500 miles from the farm to the supermarket. Buy foods that are grown locally. Shop at farmers’ markets. Plant a garden (even a small one).

Everyone has a right to healthy food. Make sure your farmers’ market takes food stamps. Ask your school board to provide healthy school lunches. The FDA and USDA are supposed to protect you and your family. Tell Congress to enforce food safety standards and re-introduce Kevin’s Law.

To learn more, go to http://www.takepart.com/foodinc


Cheers! (i.e., British kudos)

A couple shout-outs from HP’s recent trip to London…

Marks and Spencer’s Forever Fish campaign:

M&S has had a sustainable fishing policy for 12 years and 84% of the wild fish sold at M&S is now independently certified by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or undergoing MSC certification. But now M&S wants to take it further – and that is where Forever Fish comes in. Through partnerships with WWF and Marine Conservation Society, education programmes in primary schools and Fish of the Month promotions, the plan is to take the lead to make sure our sea life is protected for future generations to enjoy.

and Chop’d, which uses local ingredients where possible:

Wherever possible we work with the seasons. Every September we take the van down to Kent to pile it full of heirloom apples from Brogdale Farm, home of the National Fruit Collection. Every spring we gather bagfuls of wild garlic from the woods of West Sussex.

All our chicken comes from a single farm on the Essex/Suffolk border, is barn reared and meets farm-assured and ‘red tractor’ standards.

Chipotle does more, again

In the news today:

Chipotle to double its use of local produce

Chipotle says it will increase use of local produce

Chipotle expects to use more than 10 million pounds of locally-grown produce this year, instead of the previously-forecast 5 million pounds. The restaurant is already the leading restaurant company in serving naturally-raised meat.

Great Harvest Bread Co.

A Great Harvest Bread Co. just opened in HP’s town, Charlottesville VA. Yum. When we visited, we were pleased to see a notice announcing that the store sources its eggs locally, and Kath, the proprietress, told us she’s working on finding a local provider of sandwich meats. Looking around their website, there’s more good stuff:

For more than three decades we have been a friend to family farms located in Montana. We know our
wheat farmers on a first-name basis

And from the corporate website:

We also provide you with the best bread-baking wheat available by identifying suppliers who meet our strict standards for wheat quality and business practices. The Franchise Agreement requires you to buy wheat only from our approved suppliers, which maintains quality standards and helps you produce the freshest, most nutritionally rich and phenomenal-tasting bread!

Good luck to Great Harvest Charlottesville!

Another fast-food company doing the right thing


Kudos to Whataburger for joining the likes of Burger King, Subway, Sonic, Wendy’s, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr. Hardees and Quiznos in adopting a cage-free egg policy. Please be a responsible consumer and patronize restaurants and brands that do not rely on, and therefore promote factory farming.