Last night, Nicola Twilley visited our CommunITP class as we talked about markets, food, structuring experiences, and diversifying groups. Before class, we read her fascinating blog Edible Geography.
During class, she opened her package from Quarterly, a community she’s part of, and shared her process her writing and convening groups.
Nicola told us she never wanted to be confined to a category as a writer, and how she uses food to tie together disparate topics. “If you write about food, you can write about anything.”
From a blog carnival in January on GOOD called Food for Thinkers to a new Food Studies series on Grist, she brings together those whose writing doesn’t often appear near each other, and then she goes further, organizing events with the Foodprint Project (with Sarah Rich) and Studio X NYC (with Geoff Manaugh) where people from opposite sides of the room speak with each other.
Talking about a new project that comes out of the Foodprint LA event and is in partnership with the Mayor’s office there, she spoke to the desire to collect data on one specific food, and where and how it’s purchased in one city; “No one really knows how a city feeds itself.”
Thanks for being our first guest speaker of the semester and setting the bar high, Nicola!
I loved this article that featured a unique opportunity for meat eaters and vegetarians to dine together and both feel satisfied with their food. From the article:
And, although the meat-eaters ate meat, and the non-meat-eaters didn’t, the vegetarian dishes were interchangeable with their meat all the way from tartare to marrow on toast.
What’s more, the vegetarians didn’t have to make do with substitutes - Quorn, Tofurkey, Texturised Vegetable Protein, and the like.
I think often when meat-eaters think of vegetarian options, they think of salad or uninspired side-dishes, lackluster and unoriginal. For some people, having the opportunity to eat in a restaurant and see delectable vegetarian dishes that looked basically the same as their meat counterparts must have been a real eye opener. (Plus, I have to say that I prefer potatoes to marrow and noodles to shrimp puree any day!)
I am reminded of a cookbook I love called Veganomicon. Obviously the dishes are all vegan, but it is a great book regardless of your eating preference because it uses vegetables in new an interesting ways so they become much more appealing than, say, steamed broccoli. I think people would be a lot healthier in this country if they had exciting meal ideas when it came to vegetable preparation. Both this cookbook and this meal experience aid in this endeavor.