Bigger, faster, cheaper: so often that is the demand of our industrial food system. But there are so many people working to build something else. What if the food we eat supported thriving communities, economies, farmers and workers? What if it could nourish us, and the planet, too?
Our staff and editorial board share some of their favorite foods (and drinks!) that offer their own answer to those questions – and are delicious, too.
Find them online or at your favorite natural food store!
TWIN OAKS TOFU
As a vegan of twenty years, tofu has long been a staple in my diet. Tofu gets a bad reputation for being bland but I love to show people that, properly prepared, it’s delicious. Twin Oaks tofu is produced using organic soybeans grown in Virginia where it is made. Twin Oaks is a worker-owned cooperative that seeks to encourage collectivism and democratic decision-making. Their 100+ members pool what they earn through their community businesses, and that is just another way the makers of this glorious tofu are changing the food system. –
FREY VINEYARDS ORGANIC ZINFANDEL
Frey Vineyards has been a pioneer in the organic wine industry for almost forty years. The first organic and biodynamic winery in the U.S., Frey Vineyards has an amazing selection of organic and biodynamic wines. My favorite wine is their biodynamic Zinfandel. It is a bold red wine, perfect for winter evenings. Additionally, the Frey family has been a strong advocate for organic standards and GMO-free agriculture. –
SWANTON BERRY FARMS ORGANIC STRAWBERRIES
Organic strawberries from Swanton Berry Farms are by far the best strawberries I have ever tasted. They are fresh, organic and union-grown. It makes sense that Swanton strawberries are the tastiest, since their farmworkers are treated with respect and dignity through union contracts, living wages and good health care. This is the way all of our produce should be grown! –
CAFÉ MAM ORGANIC MOCHÓ BLEND
With so many choices of coffee, my personal favorite morning wake-up cup is Café Mam. Arabica beans, native to Ethiopia, are grown in the Mam region of Chiapas, in the Sierra Madre mountains, by organic, small-scale farmers. With a belief in honoring and healing the earth, sustainable development, education in organic agriculture, and so much more, Café Mam is setting a high standard for ethical coffee production. Their love of the land can be tasted with each sip. My personal favorites are the Italian Roast and Mochó Blend. –
EQUAL EXCHANGE PALESTINIAN FARMER BOX
Last spring, I took a chance and placed an order for a box of food that I knew I would not taste for nine months. It paid off, and I got to sample the most delicious, rich dates I had ever tasted, as well as some of the most flavorful almonds – when shelled, each tasted like it had the essence of two or three ordinary almonds concentrated inside. Equal Exchange is a long-time leader in the fair trade movement, and this project is an innovative way to engage eaters directly in supporting small-scale farmer supply chain development. I am looking forward to seeing some of the treats from this box show up in their regular product line-up – and for more opportunities to engage in these kinds of projects. –