Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Food Movement Matters for Each of Us

By Carolyn Dimitri

We now have an entire day – Food Day – devoted to honoring food, much in the way that we have traditionally recognized our parents on Mothers Day and Fathers Day. And food is worthy of this type of recognition, because like our parents, food sustains our life.

To be blunt, like you, I love food. I find great pleasure in the act of eating, from the people I dine with, and the act of shopping for and preparing food.  Yet, while all aspects of the meal preparation are pleasurable activities, to me, food is much more than the components of a meal and even more than the ritual of preparation. And it is in this sense that I love food.

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Bethesda Green and Full Plate Ventures Team up for a Series That Brings Foodies Together

By Jenn Burka

On September 19, I participated in the culminating event of Full Plate Ventures and Bethesda Green’s “On the Farm, Around the Table.” Sponsored by 15 organizations with links to Food Day’s core principals, the program featured three meals committed to providing healthy and sustainable foods. The event was a warm and inviting dinner with a group of individuals from a variety of professions. Mitch Berliner from the Bethesda Central Farm Market was in attendance (you can read more about his Market here), and Montgomery County Council member-at-large Hans Riemer was there as well.

For Food Day, many of the individuals in attendance will be participating or leading activities related to these topics. The Bethesda Central Farm Market will have a booth dedicated to Food Day that weekend. The movie “Ingredients” will be showcased at Church in Bethesda. Rather than focusing exclusively on the “bad guys” of agribusiness, the movie looks at the successes within the food movement, highlighting those that are making a change and ways that the individual can help. The movie will be shown at 7:00pm and a discussion with local businesses and initiatives is to follow.

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The Venga Bus Is Coming: How a Social Media Site for Restaurants Teamed up with DC Central Kitchen for a Charitable Cause

By Jenn Burka

When I interviewed Winston Lord about his “Stuff the Bus” campaign through his company Venga, the first topic of conversation was the Vengaboys, a band I enjoyed in the 1990s. He told me about this video which had a huge impact on Winston’s creative juices.

Ed Henry and the Venga Bus

This past May, Winston launched Venga as a one stop social media tool for Washingtonians to determine where they want to eat and socialize. The site and
the accompanying app advertise daily deals as well as news about 140 restaurants in the DC area. The site is catered towards what is best for restaurateurs and foodies and combines some of the best elements of groupon and twitter. Winston has spent eight months talking to restaurant owners about what they wanted in an on-line app, and he formed an advisory board with celebrity chefs such as Jose Andres and Spike Mendelsohn to help him develop the site so that it meets the needs of restaurants. Since Winston has never worked in the restaurant industry, the advisory board allows him to turn to a panel of experts to answer restaurant related questions and problems.

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Ode to Farmers’ Markets

By Jenn Burka

Markets where farmers sell the food they grow are not a new concept. Back before big agribusiness and international food trade, markets were the standard way of buying daily staples. The modern concept of farmers’ markets stemmed from both a renewed interest in fresh, local food and a desire to support small family farmers faced with the challenge of competing against farming tycoons.

The Gardena farmers’ market in Southern California, which opened in 1979, may have been the first modern day farmers’ market. Since then, the concept of farmers’ markets has taken off, and in the past fifteen years, the number of markets in the US has increased substantially:

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Challenging the Reins of Fast Food

By Jenn Burka

At first glance, this commercial seems like merely a nostalgic look at early McDonald’s advertising. It’s a carefree and simple marketing strategy: appeal to the mothers of the family. Mother’s want to see happy kids eating quality foods in a pleasant environment.

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