Posts Tagged ‘FRESH’

Posted on October 5, 2010 - by


Hey everyone! We here at FRESH wanted to let you know that we are partnering with on October 10, 2010 to promote the 10/10/10 Global Work Party initiative. The 10/10/10 Global Work Party is a global event to raise awareness about carbon emissions and encourage folks to work towards a greener future by participating in community projects that will cut carbon. The day will also be used to pressure political leaders to take action on climate policies that promote clean energy and ways to reduce emissions.

Join with FRESH and during the 10/10/10 Global Work Party to change carbon emissions and bring awareness to the benefits of eating sustainably. Things such as putting up solar panels, planting a community garden, or hosting a bike workshop can be great ways to provoke community awareness and cut carbon in the environment. The website ( has other great ideas that you can do in your community during this global event and well as a listing of events happening in your area.

Together, we can make a statement and take strong steps to improving the environment we live in.  On 10/10/10 we hope to you will join with and FRESH to send the message to our countries leaders that, “If we can get to work on solutions to the climate crisis, so can you.”


Posted on September 16, 2010 - by

Cinema Politica FRESH Screening

Post by: Ezra Winston, Cinema Politica

Note: Post below was written by Ezra Winston, Founder of Cinema Politica, a very cool, non-profit media arts network of campuses and communities that organize free screenings of Independent films. They’re doing it the grassroots way, which we at FRESH are obviously fans of. :)
-Lisa from FRESH


Fresh was screened by Cinema Politica as part of a sustainable food festival at Concordia University under the Montreal night sky on Monday night (Sept 14). More than 300 people crowded the terrace, snuggling in for the show (with popcorn and hot chocolate), despite the lack of chairs for everyone. It was a fabulous screening – so many people stayed after and talked in groups about the film, as well as sustainability, food security, organics, farming, and more. The film provided new information for some, compelling support for the organic and sustainability movement, while for others it reinforced a resolve to keep organizing, to keep building community, and to keep fighting corporate food and farming culture.

A lot of people had asked us why we weren’t showing Food, Inc this semester, and after watching Fresh I think many understood why we passed on that film. Food, Inc is well-made to be sure, but the underlying message is hardly transformative: at one point the film basically advocates shopping for organic foods at Wal-Mart!! Fresh on the other hand explores the many community-based, small-scale alternatives for growing and buying.

And that’s what makes Fresh such a great film for Cinema Politica: it’s a film about presenting solutions and celebrating the champions out there doing the hard work of taking back the commons. Progressive, radical and alternative food and farming practices are under-represented in the mainstream media, a muzzling effect that keeps solutions and alternatives out of the public sphere (and therefore out of policy). Films like Fresh ensures that these issues, problems, and those committed to tackling them, have a voice.

The outdoor screening of Fresh at Concordia had people buzzing, plotting, planning and committing to push against the industrial food complex toward a sustainable, equitable and community-oriented future.

Cinema Politica is proud to collaborate with a documentary that can facilitate that kind of engagement, energy and inspiration. And thankfully there are more screenings to come…


Posted on September 15, 2010 - by

Interview with Lia Huber of Nourish Network

“Women Nourish Us” is FRESH’s femme-focused blog series. Every week, we turn to a leading woman in the good food movement for ideas and inspiration. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lia Huber about her new and impressive endeavor, The Nourish Network.

Lia  Huber is the founder and CEO of the rich-content website, Nourish Network, and its companion small group coaching program, My Nourish Mentor. Lia is also a widely published food writer and recipe developer, for magazines like Cooking Light, Prevention and Health, and a rising presence both on-screen and in-person. In any format she tackles, Lia brings passion—and fun—to her message of nourishing body, soul and planet with every bite.

I was reading that you lived in Greece for a while. Is there a Greek dish you make at home now – from memory?

I used to work in my ex-fiance’s family restaurant. I started out as a salad girl. I still make a mean Greek salad – which is helpful – especially now at this time of year when there are so many tomatoes and cucumbers. I also make souvlaki. I just made souvlaki the other night with tzatziki – with that yogurt cucumber dip. And this potato dip – skordalia – that’s an awesome, awesome dish. They serve it traditionally with salt cod fritters. Dip it in or spoon it on top…

You have a greeting on your website’s front page that says, “If you’re looking to enjoy a healthy body, a comfortable weight, and an eco clean conscience, while getting more pleasure from your food, you’ve come to the right place,” which I found really intriguing. I’m wondering what eco clean conscience means to you, since it’s potentially a kind of intimating phrase that people might not know how to decipher…

I define that as a way of eating that matches your values. There’s a whole sector of people now who are very well versed in the sustainability realm, but there’s an even bigger chunk of people who are really confused by it. It’s disheartening that people have to go to the fish counter and feel uneasy about buying fish, or walk through the produce aisle and be like, “should I buy organic, should I buy – what should I buy?” Or eggs! Let’s take eggs. There’s a recall and people are all of a sudden terrified to buy eggs. Food shopping now is a really stressful experience.

There’s the health aspect, but now I think there’s also this value aspect, where more than ever people are now going, “Wait a second – I want food that’s safe for me and my family. I want food where the animal hasn’t been completely mistreated. I want food where I know people haven’t been mistreated.” I feel like there’s a deep-seated, bubbling up in people, where they don’t even know exactly what they are looking for, or what they’re questioning, but they want to eat in a way that gives them a clean conscience.

The other thing that I noticed in my research and that I thought was a pretty deep intention on your part – personally – was that you talk about wanting to help people find fulfillment. I’m wondering what being fulfilled means to you personally, and how you think your work helps people find fulfillment for themselves.

As a teenager, I used to really eschew the word contentment. I used to think it meant you were sitting around, twiddling your thumbs. But, as I’ve gotten older (and wiser!), I’ve discovered this richness around contentment, this richness around digging deeper in every moment… I find this a lot with my daughter, where you’re in that moment, I have this choice of being like, “hang on, honey, I gotta check my email,” (which I do sometimes), or to sit down and look her in the eye and meet her where she is. And that applies to food.  We have to feed ourselves three times a day – roughly – in our world, in our society, we eat three times a day. And that’s three opportunities we get each day to to either be nourished by that experience and have it be something deeper than just what we put in our bodies, or just a to-do to get past. You know, “I have to make dinner!” rush. It enables us to connect to where that food is coming from…it’s a sensual experience to be grateful for the food that’s coming to my plate. And then in preparing it, becoming present in preparing your food.

If you’ve ever gotten heirloom tomatoes – my husband once cried when he cut open an heirloom tomato because it was so beautiful. They are just so lovely.

And then the two-fold experience of eating, where you’re connecting with your body, and also those you are sharing it with others. It’s a huge spectrum of being filled – ful/filled at very deep levels. I guess that’s what I mean by being fulfilled.

I was hoping you could explain what “grow food” is and what you think adults could pack into lunch boxes in mid-September.

Well, one of the issues with kids is that no matter how healthy a lunch you pack, they’re gonna go for the chips or for the cookie, first. And so, my daughter’s teacher came up with this term of “grow food,” where the kids have to eat their “grow food” first. And the cool thing is, Noemi has gotten excited about it. So when I’m making her lunch or we’re getting dinner together, we have a conversation about “which of these are ‘grow food’?” She understands that these are the foods that are helping her grow. When she has the cheddar bunnies, yeah they taste good, but she knows that they aren’t ‘grow food.” It’s fun, because it’s giving this healthy food this caché, this specialness to it.

So, in terms of what to pack. I think that quesadillas and omelets are two awesome, sort-of overlooked items for the lunch box. Because quesadillas, just a simple bean or cheese quesadilla with a whole grain corn tortilla, are good and healthy with whole grains and protein, and it’s great finger food. Or I’ll make like a little mini omelet with whatever we have on hand. I’ll just chop up greens and sauté them and then put a scrabbled egg in it. It gets nice and firm at room temp, and you can cut it up into triangles or whatever, which is how a lot of cultures eat a frittatas or omelet sort of things.

Bottom line is you want food that tastes really good.

Nourish Network, I imagine, was an incredible endeavor to create. What in the past or now has been hugely challenging for you personally? Was there something frustrating or disappointing in the process of making it come together?

{Laughs} Everything’s been a challenge! Actually….Nourish Network….I’d been a writer and recipe developer for twelve years for major magazines, so I had “chops.” But, I did not want to write a recipe, I did not want to do a cookbook for a long time, because I wanted to really find my calling before I did that – before I stepped out and did a book. And about two years ago, I did find my calling after lots and lots of soul searching. I’ve also been a branding consultant for many years, so I thought, I’m going to work on my own brand. “What is the message that I’m supposed to bring to the world?” Big question. It really got distilled down to, “I want to nourish people. I want to teach people how to nourish themselves.” That bubbled up and it turned into a book proposal.

Well, that book proposal went out to the world the week the market crashed. And the whole idea was that I was going to have this book proposal go out and use the advance from the book to pay for Nourish Network, for the website development. But the publishing industry just went “craultpltz!” and imploded on itself and nothing ever happened with the book. But I decided I still wanted to move forward with the development of Nourish Network. So, then I started having big conversations with my husband, “OK, are we ready to dip into savings and max out credit lines?”…to do all this stuff to build this? Bless his heart, man, he’s been an amazing support through all of this. But, it’s been all on our own resources, through a very, very difficult time, to do anything, let alone something that is not easily package-able. So, it’s been a challenge to simply do this, to rally the resources to do it.

There were sometimes during our beta launch {the website} where I’d just lie there at night and think, “This isn’t going to work. What are we going to do?” because there were a lot of technological problems then. There’s definitely those nights of not sleeping, thinking “What if all of this is for naught?” But, it always comes back to, this is what I’m supposed to be doing. There’s kind of no choice for me, because this is my calling.

What is really exciting right now – or a new initiative – with Nourish Network?

My Nourish Mentor is so exciting to me. Being somebody who would write an article…and then a year later it would go to print…it’s incredible to be so much closer to the impact. Nourish Network got a little closer, with people’s comments and the member area, so there’s a closer aspect to it. But, My Nourish Mentor takes it even closer, where literally for six months I’m walking with people through this transformation process. It’s been unreal to hear people’s stories, how people are changing their whole relationship with food. It’s just amazing.

We’re doing this with individuals, but we are also doing this with corporations. So companies are starting to offer Nourish Mentor to their employees.

Interview by Jamie Yuenger

To get in touch with Lia or learn more about her work, visit the The Nourish Network website.

*If you believe in the power of women’s words and our growing sustainable food movement, please spread the word about our Women Nourish Us blog series via email, Facebook & Twitter ( If you would like to host a screening of FRESH for your friends or organization, please – be in touch!


Posted on September 2, 2010 - by

FRESH Is Going Global

FRESH has a number of international screenings coming up. It is really exciting to see the FRESH movement spreading around the globe. Check out this video blog to learn more!

Here is a listing of the upcoming international film festivals that FRESH will be shown at. Click to find out more:

Taipei Golden Horse Film Festival

CNEX Documentary Film Festival

Kinookus (Cinetaste)

Tutti Nello Stesso Piatto International Food, Film & Video Diversity Festival

24th Leeds International Film Festival

If you are hosting a FRESH screening outside of the United States, we want to hear from you! Email me with your story,


Posted on May 10, 2010 - by

FRESH is coming to Congress!

The National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association and FRESH are sponsoring a special screening of FRESH for our legislators.
Has FRESH inspired you? It will also inspire those who make our laws.

The food safety bill is in front of the senate right now.  FRESH will educate our legislators on the benefits of a local food system threatened by S 510. Let’s get our Senators and Representatives there so they can see and understand the unintended consequences S 510 would have on our small farms.

WHEN: Friday May 21, 2010, 4:30-6:30
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building Foyer
WHAT: Special screening of FRESH for legislators and staff

Ana Joanes, FRESH Director and Producer, and star Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will introduce the movie, take questions after the screening and speak to legislators on the importance of preserving access to our Fresh foods and the farms those foods come from.

Learn more about FRESH and see a trailer on the FRESH homepage.


1. Please help by donating to cover expenses! We are a VERY small team and want to make this screening as dynamic as possible by having Ana Joanes attend.  You can help us do this by donating just $3!  Donate Now!

2. If you’ve already talked with your senators about S 510 please follow-up with the staffer you spoke to and ask them to attend the screening of FRESH.  If you haven’t yet contacted your representative, you can find yours by entering your zip-code here.

Questions or for more information please contact Liz Reitzig or 301-807-5063


Posted on May 7, 2010 - by

Feasting for a Cause: Meritage Farm to Table Dinner & Fresh the Movie

Guest Post by: Lori Fredrich of Burp! Where Food Happens

FRESH is more than a film, it is a reflection of a rising movement of people and communities across America who are re-inventing our food system. Directed by ana Sofia joanes, FRESH celebrates the farmers that are really making a difference — individuals like Milwaukee’s own Will Allen, whose vision and guidance has made Growing Power one of the most successful urban farming projects in the nation.Fresh is about inspiration — not scare tactics.The film offers a practical vision for the future of sustainable agriculture — and empowers ordinary people to take action that incites real (and lasting) change.

FRESH is currently being screened in selected cities (and homes) around the nation. And the screenings are being accompanied by a series of great events promoting local eating and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainability is at the heart of our food philosophy here at Burp! So, when the good people at FRESH asked us to be the official bloggers at one of their farm to table restaurant events, how could we resist? Of course, we had no idea that our dinner at Meritage would be one of the best we’ve eaten in the Milwaukee area.

Sure, Meritage has a Zagat rating of “Very Good to Excellent” with comments ranging from “a welcome addition to the West side” to “can’t wait to go back.” They’re soon to be named among the “Top 25 Restaurants” this week by Milwaukee Magazine. And yes — friends have recommended we eat there many-a-time in the past… but we failed to heed their call. Silly Peef and Lo!

When we arrived at the restaurant, we were seated promptly. The host even granted our request to be seated at the window, where we’d have better natural lighting for our photography. Our waiter, Peter, was an absolute joy. Friendly and knowledgeable, Peter put his 25 years of restaurant service experience to work from the get-go. He started off by walking us through the prix fixe farm-to-table menu:

  • Spinach salad with buttermilk apple cider vinaigrette
  • Portabella mushroom pizza with feta cheese, spinach, and roasted tomatoes
  • Our choice of entrees: Bison ribeye with roasted fingerling potatoes and vegetables OR Vegetable paprikash with tofu, broccoli, carrots, and celery root
  • Meritage’s signature dessert: Chocolate Lover’s Cake

The spinach salad arrived at the table with a glass of Charles DeFere Brut — a delicate, yet concentrated, champagne with elegant bubbles and a pleasantly toasted aroma. It paired beautifully with the spinach salad — which featured locally grown (and stored) apples, local greenhouse spinach and red onions, with a delightfully sweet-tart buttermilk dressing.

The portabella mushroom “pizza” also paired nicely with the champagne. Composed of a grilled portabella mushroom cap, tomato-based sauce, sauteed spinach, roasted Roma tomatoes, and feta cheese, this dish reminded us of the sort of starter you’d find served in a Napa Valley eatery. The dish was bursting with flavors — salty, sweet, and briny — with the flavor of freshly cracked pepper lingering on the finish. Even the bed of watercress on which the “pizza” was served seemed to complement the dish swimmingly.

Our entrees were similarly impressive.
The vegetable paprikash was a virtual cornucopia of late winter vegetables — celery root, broccoli, carrots, and tofu — encircling a mound of rustic mashed potatoes. The sour cream-based sauce was perfectly balanced, with just the right amount of paprika, giving the dish a warm, yet sweet, flavor. The wine pairing, an Argentinian Malbec from Nieto Senetiner, turned out to be a well-rounded, honest wine with a surprising amount of character. Soft spices and pungent blackberry flavor mellowed into an oaky finish that seemed to balance well with the warm notes of the paprika.

The grilled bison rib-eye was perfectly cooked to a medium-rare — and covered in richly flavored sauteed wild mushrooms. It was accompanied by a generous helping of sweet, roasted fingerling potatoes, more of the roasted Roma tomatoes, and a luscious pile of roasted celery root. The dish was paired with a Wisconsin gem — Big Mouth Red by Stone’s Throw Vineyard — a wine bursting with cherry flavor, augmented by a bit of pepper on the finish.

And then there was the dessert: Chocolate Lover’s Cake. Although we were nearly too full to move, we couldn’t resist this sumptuous treat. Layers of flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, and chocolate ganache came together in a chocoholic’s dream that was further topped with whipped cream and a sprig of mint. It was even more perfect when paired with Ramos Pinto Porto Riserva (Portugal) — an unfiltered ruby port with sweet cherry notes and plenty of complementary chocolate flavors.

Throughout dinner, Peter was happy to guide us through the menu — answering questions about the various farms that had supplied the dishes we ate, and running back to the kitchen to check on items about which we had questions. Turns out Peter himself grew up on a farm in Dubuque, Iowa, where his father farmed and his mother gardened and captured the summer bounty by canning and preserving. He learned first-hand what “farm to table” meant — and it’s fed his passion for the restaurant business. His eyes shone as he spoke about his boss, Chef Jan Kelly.

“There’s no Milwaukee chef better than Kelly…” he crooned, “she has the restaurant business in her blood, and there’s no one who pairs flavors quite like she does.”

Peter also introduced us to Chef Kelly, herself, who took the time to talk with us about her philosophy in bringing farm-fresh produce to her restaurant table.

Kelly has been involved with “restaurant supported agriculture” programs for almost three years now. She was a founding member of “Braise RSA” — the brainchild of David Swanson — an organization which provides the infrastructure for local farmers to easily distribute and sell to restaurants and businesses who support local food in Southeast Wisconsin. She also supports local farms and businesses like Growing Power, Sassy Cow Creamery, Simple Soyman, Yuppie Hill, Pin-Oak Ridge Farms, and Lakeview Buffalo Farm.

“These are not corporations,” Kelly commented, “they’re people. And we’re supporting families, not just buying product.”

Kelly suspects that up to 70% of the food she serves at Meritage is sourced either locally or regionally — which is pretty fantastic, considering we live in Wisconsin (a lovely place, but not one known for its long growing season).

“This is the hardest time of the year,” she confesses, though judging from the meal we’d just finished, she’s doing pretty well. “Braise is great,” she added, “but Growing power gives us balance during the winter months — fairly soon we’ll be able to get green tomatoes from their greenhouse.”

Ah — the thought of fried green tomatoes made us feel a little bit woobly inside. And we couldn’t help but feel excited when she told us that they’d be growing Chinese long beans for Meritage during the next growing season.

We chatted for almost a half-hour as we sipped our locally roasted Alterra coffee. It was difficult not to feel utterly welcome — as if we’d been invited into Kelly’s living room for a visit. Of course, that might not be so far from the truth. In fact, our night ended with a hug from the Chef… and the feeling that we’d just done something pretty awesome.


Of course, one night of awesome only goes so far… we need to stick with it… which is exactly what FRESH is all about. One person at a time, making little changes that have a big impact.

Here are a couple of things you can do right now to bring a little bit of “FRESH” into your own lives:

We’ll be back next week to tell you all about the movie. And talk a bit more about things we can do to really make a difference. One little bite at a time.

Disclosure: We were not paid or compensated in any way for writing this post.  We were asked to write about the experience by the crew over at FRESH, but the opinions are our own. In other words, the experience really was that awesome — which makes it all the easier to share.


Posted on May 7, 2010 - by

FRESH Farm to Table Dinner: La Merenda

Guest Post by: Haute Apple Pie

Buying local is nothing new. 100 even 50 years ago, buying and eating local wasn’t a choice. Everybody had to do it.

When you put it that way, “local” is far from a new concept but the buy & eat local craze is sweeping the nation and the ladies of HAP are excited about it. We recently attended a “Farm to Table” dinner hosted at La Merenda, an international tapas restaurant and a true Milwaukee gem. The dinner was hosted in promotion of the movie “FRESH,” a documentary exploring the world of sustainable farming and shedding light on what has become the industrial agriculture market.

A member of Braise RSA, La Merenda is a local restaurant with a focus on buying local. With an eclectic mix of flavors from around the world, you would never guess many of the ingredients come from our own backyard. Local businesses like Sweet Water Organics, an urban farm that uses hydroponics to grow crops, make it possible for restaurants like La Merenda to support the cause.

Executive Chef Peter Sandroni prepared a four-course meal, with every ingredient hailing from Wisconsin…not an easy task for April in Wisconsin. Wisconsinites are lucky at this time of the year to escape spring snowfalls. But Sandroni mastered his courses with the freshest of ingredients and bold flavors that kept us wanting more. When we asked about our favorite seasonal dish, the Butternut Squash Ravioli, we found that not only does he buy local for that dish as well, but Sandroni houses the squash in the basement of his house to ensure he has enough! We were also treated to sustainably produced wine at each course, expertly paired by local sommelier, Nate Norfolk.

Don’t think that you can make a restaurant style meal using all local ingredients? Check out the menu and you’ll be amazed at what you can find.

Course 1: Toasted Goat Cheese Salad
Honey Goat Cheese: Montchevre Belmont, WI
Mixed Greens: Sweet Water Organics, Milwaukee
Pancetta: La Quercia Norwark, IA
Wine: 2008 Tangent Sauvignon Blanc – Edna Valley, CA

La Merenda Toasted Goat Cheese Salad

Course 2: Spinach Ravioli in Rosemary Cream Sauce
Spinach: Pinehold Gardens Oak Creek, WI
Ricotta: Grande Cheese Brownsville, WI
Cream: Sassy Cow Creamery Columbus, WI
Rosemary: from Peter’s house!
Parmesan: Sarveccio Plymouth, WI
Wine: 2005 Vitanza Chianti Colli Senesi – Tuscany, Italy

Course 3: Braised Pork with Mushroom and Blue Cornmeal Polenta
Pork: Wilson Farm Meats Elkhorn, WI
Prosciutto: La Quercia Norwark, IA
Carrots: Tipi Produce Evansville, WI
Onions and Mushrooms: River Valley Farm Burlington, WI
Blue Corn Meal: Pristine View Farm Hillsboro, WI
Half and Half: Sassy Cow Creamery Columbus, WI
Asiago: Belgioso Denmark, WI
Wine: 2008 Ecologica Syrah/Malbec – La Rioja, Argentina

La Merenda Milwaukee Braised Pork with Polenta

Course 4: Chocolate Hickory Nut Crème Brulee
Chocolate: Omahene Milwaukee, WI
Cream: Sasssy Cow Creamery, Columbus WI
Eggs: Yuppie Hill Farm Burlington, WI
Hickory Nuts: Twin Hawks Hillsboro, WI
Wine: NV Lautenback’s Orchard Country Sweet Black Cherry – Fish Creek, WI

La Merenda Chocolate Creme Brulee

Similar to Food Inc and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, FRESH digs in and asks viewers to reconsider where their food comes from and why they buy what they buy.  Without being all doomsday-style, FRESH will definitely make you think twice about what you eat and how even small decisions with your dollar might cause corporations to listen up.

We were also thrilled to see a fellow Milwaukeean, Will Allen of the Growing Power urban farming initiative, play a prominent and truly inspirational role in the film.  If you thought “farm” and “city” can’t go hand-in-hand, think again.  Based in a rough Milwaukee neighborhood, Growing Power’s two acre headquarters is home to 6 greenhouses, aquaponics stations, beehives, hen houses, goats, a compost center and more. We can’t wait to check out their goods at the Fox Point Farmer’s Market and hope to pop by HQ sometime soon.

How do you get involved with this Fresh movement? What are your favorite “fresh” places to eat? Share your ideas here or get more involved by hosting your own farm to table event with ideas from the FRESH community.