Posts Tagged ‘huffington post’


Posted on September 1, 2010 - by

Farming’s Indispensable Woman

“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. Be sure to check us out every Wednesday for a new write-in. Then pass the post!

Nicolette Hahn Niman is an attorney and livestock rancher.  Much of her time is spent speaking and writing about the problems resulting from industrialized food production, including the book Righteous Porkchop:  Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (HarperCollins, 2009, www.righteousporkchop.com ) and four essays for the New York Times. She is regular blogger for The Atlantic online, and has written for Huffington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and CHOW.  Previously, she was the Senior Attorney for the environmental organization Waterkeeper Alliance where she was in charge of the organization’s campaign to reform the concentrated livestock and poultry industry.  She lives in Bolinas, California with her husband, Bill Niman, founder of Niman Ranch, a natural meat company supplied by a network of over 600 traditional farmers and ranchers.  They now market the products of their ranch under the name BN Ranch.

A filmmaker recently asked me why so few women were involved in raising livestock. I paused before answering because the question surprised me a bit.  Over the past ten years, I’ve visited dozens of farms and ranches raising cattle, dairy cows, pigs, goats, sheep, and poultry in every region of the United States.  At every operation women were an absolutely essential part of the team.

At most of these farms, women kept everyone fed, dressed in clean clothes, and ran the household; they often kept the books.  Usually, they were also deeply involved with the stewardship of lands and animals.  These women are agile, nimble “Jills of all trades” who seamlessly flow from one varied task to another throughout their jammed packed days.

In my experience, women bring a unique sensitivity to animal husbandry, ensuring that each animal gets the individual attention it needs.  Our good friends Rob and Michelle Stokes run a cattle, heritage turkey, and goat ranch in eastern Oregon.  Both are skilled in the arts of agriculture and grazing, but during the kidding and calving seasons it’s Michelle who makes sure that every last goat kid and calf gets nursed and bonds to its mother.

And then there are the farms and ranches that are being taken over by women.  The latest Census of Agricultural shows that the number of women farmers is increasing.  One of these is my friend Cory Carman.  She graduated from Stanford with a degree in political science with no intention of ever returning to the cattle ranch she grew up on.  But when family circumstances drew her back to the ranch, she decided to stay.  Now she and her husband have taken over her family’s cattle ranch, which she has converted to a totally grass based operation.  She direct markets her beef on the Internet and sells it to restaurants.  “It’s a totally different beef industry today than the one I grew up in, which was totally dominated by men,” she told me recently.  She had the revelation when she sat down to talk about meat at a business meeting with two other women, both also in their thirties.

Women make up the vast majority of the membership in animal protection organizations.  Moreover, as an article in E Magazine noted, women have an innate environmental ethic.  It quoted Theodore Roszak, director of the Ecopsychology Institute, which studies the relationships between individuals and nature. While men traditionally viewed Mother Nature “as a devious female to be put in her place, to be tamed” by technology (just as they historically viewed marriage in terms of domination and submission), women have shifted the emphasis from using science to subjugate nature to finding ways to accommodate nature.  “Women in the environmental movement have always had sense of being on Earth’s side,” says Roszak.

It naturally follows that the more women are involved in farming and ranching, the better agriculture will be toward natural resources and farmed animals.  I’m proud to be among their ranks.

To get in touch with Nicolette or learn more about her work, visit her website where you can buy her book, Righteous Porkchop:  Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms (HarperCollins, 2009)

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 (http://fdl.me/d1nqNe). If you would like to host a screening of FRESH for your friends or organization, please – be in touch!

Share

Posted on August 18, 2010 - by

You’re The One

“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. Be sure to check us out every Wednesday for a new write-in. Then pass the post!

Seattle-based Kim O’Donnel is a trained chef, nationally recognized online food personality and longtime journalist.  She is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education and The University of Pennsylvania.  Formerly of The Washington Post, she has also written for Real Simple, Huffington Post, True/Slant, CivilEats and Smithsonian.com.  She is a regular contributor to Culinate, where she hosts a weekly chat.  In her work, she combines reportage and analysis on where and how our food is raised and grown with practical tips and advice on the kitchen life.

Kim recently attended the kick-off event at the White House for Chefs Move to Schools, Michelle Obama’s latest initiative focused on child nutrition and wellness. She is the founder of Canning Across America, a collective dedicated to the revival of preserving food.   Her first book, “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook,” will be released on September 14.


Dreams come true if you let them.

Two years ago this week, I was driving through Wyoming as part of a cross-country move from DC to Seattle. It would be another month before boxes would be pried open and my home office would be set up – and an idea for a cookbook would be hatched. Brainstorming is like breathing for me, and it’s what friends and family have come to expect as part of the package. Not all ideas stick to the wall, but this one, dreamed up in September 2008, followed me day and night, until I embraced it and said, You’re The One.

My flight of imagination safely landed onto paper and quickly morphed into semi-coherent thoughts that resulted in a book proposal. In less than one year, I had an agent and a book deal. And on the second anniversary of my cross-country sojourn, I have an advance copy of my book, The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook, in hand. I share this little tale not to toot my own horn, but as a reminder:

Dreams come true if you let them.

The book goes something like this: Heeding the call of lowering my cholesterol (and my carbon footprint), I, Miss Meat Lover USA, pledged to take one day off from my beloved roasts, chops and steaks. To keep the meatless momentum going, I developed a collection of 52 meatless menus, one for every week of the year, that works its way through the seasons. But let’s be clear: I am not a meatless missionary on some quest to convert the hamburger lovers of the world. Rather, my mission is to lure people back into the kitchen. I’m not interested in labels (flexitarian, vegetarian and so on), but I am working my darnedest every day to remind Americans that food is not something we watch being prepared on cable television, but dinner made from our hands, with salt, pepper and pots and pans.

In becoming a nation of food-obsessed non-cooks, we have fallen into a collective coma, a legion of unwittingly passive spectators that will eat anything set in front of us, no questions asked. By taking a pass at the stove, we have been elbowed out of the table, headed by genetically modified corn and soy barons with really big appetites for big money and little-to-zero interest in protecting the soil, the animals, the workers and the ever-hungry American consumer.

Of course I’d love for you to put my eat-less-meat idea to the test and buy the book, but more than anything, my dream is to get all of us cooking again. Meatless, meat-filled – it doesn’t matter to me. Let’s open that kitchen door, all together now, and ignite a flame for all to see. The results, I promise you, will be delicious.

Dreams come true if you let them.


To get in touch with Kim or learn more about her work, visit her website or take part in her weekly chat on Culinate. Feeling inspired to go meatless one day a week? You can pre-order her book here.

Photos on this page by Myra Kohn.

*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 (http://fdl.me/d1nqNe). If you would like to host a screening of FRESH for your friends or organization, please – be in touch!

Share

Posted on May 29, 2009 - by

Ana Joanes Interviewed on Huffington Post

Ana Joanes was interviewed by Kerry Truman, Co-Founder of EatingLiberally.org on the Huffington Post recently.

The front yard farming phenomenon is so hot now that People magazine recently did a story on it, “From Lawn to Lunch.” But when Michelle Obama tore up a patch of the White House lawn to plant a kitchen garden, she inadvertently fertilized another growing movement: a flourishing Agribiz campaign to portray kitchen gardeners and ‘good food movement’ advocates as dangerous zealots out to shove fresh, untainted, ie. aggressively wholesome foods down America’s collective throat and force us all to grow our own veggies–all without benefit of pesticides or chemicals.

Read the rest at Huffington Post or scroll down to read the whole interview here.

(more…)

Share

Posted on May 22, 2009 - by

Ana Joanes on Huffington Post: New Thinking on What We're Eating

Ana Joanes writes on Huffington Post about giving birth to FRESH and the coming birth of her first child.  Here’s what she writes:

I’m six-months pregnant. And about to give birth to a movie, Fresh (I think the proper term is release.) I’m ready to let this baby out into the world, but I’m not so sure I’m ready for the other, the crying-pampers-changing- 24/7-for-the-next-20-years baby.

Making a movie might or might not be a good preparation for motherhood (filmmakers out there: comments, thoughts?) but Fresh sure changed the way I feed myself during pregnancy and how I’ll feed my baby. It’s changed the way I approach life.

Read the rest at Huffington Post, or go below the fold to read the whole piece here. (more…)

Share