Author Archives: Chef Michael

A Living System at Each Level

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Each component of the global food system depends on a healthy planet. What is a healthy planet? It is not just the absence of air pollution, global warming, landfills, deforestation, oil spills, etc. A healthy planet, and therefore a healthy global food ecology (socially, politically, environmentally) also boils down to healthy dirt, nutrient-rich soil and water, microbial symbiosis… all sorts… Read more »

Urban Farming: a Viable Solution

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One of the most promising possible solutions to an increasingly at-risk world food system is the concept of urban farming. Already a popular initiative and social movement in many cities, urban farming brings people closer to their food and vice versa. We already have heard compelling arguments from Authors like Pollan, and seen undeniable evidence via ethnographic studies of non-Western… Read more »

Contemplating Climate Complexity

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The people that will suffer the most by climate change will have had the least to do with causing it… that is a truly disappointing and sad reality. It is difficult to think about how to place myself within that spectrum from cause to effect, responsibility and helplessness. I try to make ethically sound decisions and support initiatives to address global… Read more »

Comparing Nations

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Taking a look at Peter Menzel’s online Hungry Planet gallery ,  a photographic essay on the dietary habits of families all around the world… Making a side-by-side comparison of the food cultures of the two contrasting countries, Germany (an affluent one) & Chad (a developing one), stirs up a plethora of heavy economic, political, and social subject matter and disparities simply… Read more »

Sugar-coated: Your Politically, Economically, Globally Significant Grocery List

When we think of the types of exports that, in this modern 21st century day and age, significantly shape or change the course of a nation(s), food is not at the top of the list. Most attention, especially in common news media, focuses on the big post-industrial power markets of things like oil, gold, coal, copper, diamonds, weapons, electronics and… Read more »

Think & Act Globally

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“There will be 219,000 people at the dinner table tonight who were not there last night— many of them with empty plates.” – L.R. Brown1 Think about that for a minute… Every single day on average there are more than two hundred thousand more mouths to feed than the previous day. That’s eighty million more people each year. One might… Read more »

A Relationship Worth Saving

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As a professional chef, avid world traveler, and conscious global citizen, analyzing the industrialization of food is of particular interest to me, and equal parts fascinating and disturbing. Humans’ relationship to the food they eat, for most of history, was based on what food was available in a given geographic area. That same type of relationship continued as humans became… Read more »