In 1784, Thomas Jefferson struck a deal with one of his slaves, 19-year-old James Hemings. The founding Father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose” – to master the art of French cooking.
In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom. Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in U.S. history. As James apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so they might be replicated in American agriculture.
The USDA is helping fund an effort to get products from local farms into the kitchens of large institutions in the region, such as colleges and hospitals. Officials say the demand for food from closer to home continues to grow, but the infrastructure to supply it has not kept up. WAMC”s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports
The 38th annual summer conference of the Northeast Organic Farming Association is taking place today through Sunday on the UMass Amherst campus. One of this year’s keynote speakers is Jeffrey Smith. Smith is a consumer advocate who for more than a decade has been sounding an alarm about genetically modified organisms, or G-M-O’s, in food. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Smith.
We head to the kitchen of The Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, MA to learn from Peter Platt how his establishment is using locally found and grown food in their menu. They participate in Berkshire Grown’s Farmed + Foraged program and events.
A key Connecticut lawmaker says efforts to enact state legislation requiring labeling of genetically modified food died in the face of threatened lawsuits by food producers. WAMC’s Lucas Willard reports…
Representative Richard Roy, the House chairman of the Environment Committee, said Thursday that he unsuccessfully lobbied House Speaker Christopher Donovan and Governor Dannel P. Malloy. The legislation got no further than his committee.