Connection between gluten insensitivity and Roundup?

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Each month I get my happy chickens and eggs from Longfied Farm, a sheep farm near Altamont. Nestled in a small barn near the house is a huge stone oven, where owner, Gary Kleppel bakes the bread that they sell at the Delmar Farmers Market. Now a full-time farmer, Gary recently retired from teaching Ecology at the State University at Albany. HIs book, Emergent Agriculture, is a hopeful look at the link between small farms and sustainability.

Gary’s not the kind of guy to float conspiracy theories or embrace food fads, so I was stunned by his recent blog post, which links gluten insensitivity to Roundup. Who knew that Roundup (or glyphosate) is widely used to dry wheat before it is processed into flour? What this means is that every commercial wheat product you eat, from crackers and pizza dough to pasta, has been sprayed by glyphosphate. It doesn’t get washed off because the point is to dry the grain. Glyphosphate can interfere with digestion and has been linked to a whole raft of common and increasing human health issues. Is it possible that the reason for the surge in gluten intolerance is not modern versus ancient grains, but instead the invisible chemical stew that surrounds us?

Get the whole story here: Are you really gluten intolerant? Or have you just been eating too much Roundup lately?

 

Portraits are hard to do!

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I was approached about a portrait commission during a recent show. I hesitated because I don't really "do" portraits. I had painted a genre-type painting that included a figure, which a lot of people seemed to like, but I wasn't very confident about capturing a likeness where it mattered. I reviewed a lot of snapshots and spent some time with a charismatic young girl whose ideal pet is an African hissing cockroach. Eventually we settled on a photo of the girl feeding Birdeelee, a rescue who had become imprinted and would hang out on the patio waiting to be fed.

I struggled with just about everything. Getting the head to be that of a young child. Dealing with the background, which needed to have some reality but also needed to "step back" to give focus to the figure. The light in the photo was indirect, so I didn't have any obvious drama. As a result, I looked at a lot of impressionist portraits along with John Singer Sergeant -- a did the best I could. Now on to landscapes!

Book Review: Wisdom of the Last Farmer

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August 1, 2018

A celebrated organic farmer of peaches, grapes, and nectarines in California, David Mas Masumoto is also a gifted storyteller and chronicler of the considerable challenges and rewards of organic farming. Masumoto’s memoir, Wisdom of the Last Farmer, Harvesting Legacies From The Land (Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schuster, New York, NY 2009), is a tribute to his father, whose dogged persistence created the “perfect peach” celebrated by Alice Waters at Chez Panisse. It wasn’t an easy path.

To read more visit the book reviews at: knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com 

 

Book Review: Heirloom Grains

If you're an avid baker, wanting to take your bread baking to the next level or perhaps a locavore looking for the next food frontier in taste . . . or if you’re simply interested in learning more about the grains we take for granted, then Sara Pitzer’s Homegrown Whole Grains, Grow, Harvest & Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn & More(Storey Publishing, North Adams, MA, 2009) deserves a place in your library.

To read more visit the book reviews at: knowwhereyourfoodcomesfrom.com

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Book Review: The New Bread Basket by Amy Halloran

I can remember the moment a fresh local ingredient changed my life as a consumer. It was an apple, sampled from the tree during an excursion to Indian Ladder Farms in Altamont, near Albany in upstate New York. Besides being crisp and juicy, the apple’s flavor exploded and then lingered on my tongue, like nothing I had ever experienced. It led me on a path to eating almost exclusively from farm stands, farmers markets, and CSAs: fresh and local became a guidepost.

Amy Halloran’s aha moment was an oatmeal ganache cookie bar made from oats and wheat grown near where she lived in upstate New York’s Rensselaer County. She set out to find the source of the flavor and fresh grainy taste. The New Bread Basket, How the New Crop of Grain Growers, Plant Breeders, Millers, Maltsters, Bakers, Brewers, and Local Food Activists Are Redefining Our Daily Loaf (Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, Vermont, 2015) is the outcome of her quest to investigate the regional grain revival happening in New York State and New England.

To read the full review and other great stories, visit KnowWhereYourFoodComesFrom.com

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Book Review: What DO Philosophers Eat?

I’ll admit to skipping over the philosophy section when browsing bookstores. On the book buffet, philosophy sits there next to seitan or black-eyed peas – virtuous, yes, but surrounded by more enticing, tastier options. But Philosophers at Table, On Food and Being Human (Reaktion Books, London, UK, 2016) by two American professors of Philosophy, Raymond D. Boisvert of Siena College in the Capital Region of upstate New York and Lisa Heldkeof Gustavus Adolphus College in St Peter, Minnesota is a welcome surprise.

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To continue the buffet metaphor, this book is kale salad with quinoa, sweet potatoes, and pepitas — bright and packed with ideas but readable and not densely written. The authors set out to challenge the common separation of soul and body, a central theme of modernity with roots in the Enlightenment. It’s a big project in a small book packed with sparkling prose and new ideas.

Philosophers at Table allows us to see food as a way to restore the connections within ourselves and between others. You can read the review at the wonderful website: KnowWhereYourFoodComesFrom.

Mysteries Buried in the Kitchen...

Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Maratin

It's been awhile! But though I haven't been posting, I have been busy. I'll update my paintings soon, but in the meantime, here's a book review I did for a wonderful site: KnowWhereYourFoodComesFrom. I recently helped the publisher clean up expired links and was amazed at the depth and breadth of local food coverage. Looking for a CSA near you (even if you live in Bozeman, MT)? Check. Traveling and want to find a good farm-to-table restaurant or farmers market? Check. So I was thrilled when asked to contribute a book review. 

Reviewing Sasha Martin's memoir, Life from Scratch, was a joy -- starting with the very first page. She's an engaging writer with a passion for food. She writes a successful blog, globaltableadventure.com, which started when she decided to expand her horizons in middle America and cook a meal a week from every country in the world. But though the memoir that grew out of the blog, it is much deeper and more meaningful. It became an intensely personal exploration of childhood trauma, confusion, and loss. You can read my review HERE.