Archive for July, 2009

Cheese In The Heart Of Texas

Monday, July 27th, 2009

 cheese1

The ACS opens their Festival of Cheese to the public.

The American Cheese Society comes to Texas for the first time in 26 years.  The annual conference is for members only, but if you are lucky enough to be in Austin on Saturday, August 8 you can attend the Festival of Cheese.  This is the premiere cheese event in the United States.  It showcases all of the cheeses entered in the Annual Judging & Competition including some great Texas cheese.  The festival will feature more than 1,000 artisan and specialty cheeses from producers throughout North America and it promises to be the most outrageous display of cheeses you have ever experienced.  The festival is at the Hilton Austin at 500 E. 4th street on Saturday August 8 from 5:30 to 9:30.  Tickets are $75 each and are available on the ACS website.  Availability is limited.

The Locavore Dairyman

Thursday, July 16th, 2009

Todd Moore's Guernsey at the 2009 Fort Worth Stock Show

Todd Moore's Guernsey at the 2009 Fort Worth Stock Show

The Locavore movement is being promoted in some interesting places.  Last week Plano dairyman Todd Moore (Lavon Farms) hosted the national convention of the American Guernsey Association in Richardson Texas.  The meeting had some unusual events.  Texas was a first as a venue (Todd is one of only four Guernsey farmers in Texas).  The national sale was held on the stage of the Eisemann Center for the Performing Arts.  And then there is the locavore connection.  For the gala dinner on Saturday night Todd worked with two Dallas area chefs to create a dinner with  locally sourced ingredients.  The convention also opened the dinner to the public so that folks interested in dairy farming or just interested in learning more about where their food comes from could have dinner with the dairy farmers.

Read a more complete review of the dinner here

Milk price is a huge issue with the farmers.  Todd Moore is trying to find is own solution to that problem.  He turns his milk into his own value-added products.  Todd and his business partner Edgar Diaz own Lucky Layla.  The creamery in Garland turns Todd’s high quality Guernsey and Jersey milk into premium artisan dairy products including a variety of cheese and an awesome drinkable yogurt.  You can find the yogurt at Whole Foods and Central Market.

How Small is a Small Chicken Farm?

Monday, July 13th, 2009

If you saw the film Food Inc. you saw the dark houses required by large chicken processors.  The Illinois River watershed in eastern Oklahoma is one of the largest areas in the U.S. for producing broilers (birds raised for meat) raising more than 8 billion pounds of turkeys and chickens annually.   The Oklahoma Attorney General recently filed a lawsuit against a dozen Arkansas poultry processors accusing them of polluting the watershed with bird waste.  Farmers claim if the suit succeeds it could drive small farmers out of business.  Some of these farms are hundreds of acres with over 100,000 birds.  When does a small farm become big?  Read more here and here.

Destroying Crops for Food Safety

Monday, July 13th, 2009

Organic farmers plant bio-diverse buffers around their crops to harbor beneficial insects as an alternative to harmful pesticides.  In California the trend now is to destroy parts of fields in an attempt to create a sterile buffer all in the name of food safety.  Large customers fearful of E. coli are now demanding crop isolation as a way to prevent contact between crops and potential carriers of E. coli.  Can agriculture be sanitized?  Read more here.