TLD Expands Statewide

Bill Palladino, Economy, Press Release

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For Immediate Release

Date:               January 10, 2015

Contact:          Bill Palladino, bill@localdifference.org, (231) 590-1685

Taste the Local Difference® Announces Statewide Expansion

TRAVERSE CITY – Taste the Local Difference®, Michigan’s local-food branding and marketing program, will expand its services to farmers, food processors, food purveyors, and communities across Michigan starting in January 2016.

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The Local Food Economy

Economy, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

Local food has become a burgeoning industry over the last few years as more consumers begin to question where their food is coming from. While it’s true that ‘local’ was popular decades before the rapid globalization of our food system, the local food industry we see today is actually a new one with different players, complexities and market opportunities that make it unique. That is why, at least for now, there is only limited data available to help explain what’s happening.

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Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub

Bill Palladino, Economy, Find Local Food, Specialty Producers

Taste the Local Difference is excited to announce we are now the Leasing and Program Managers of the Grand Traverse Food Innovation Hub, a new facility comprised of 12,000 square feet of modern food manufacturing and production spaces available for lease at below market rates.

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Fresh, Local Produce is Worth the Wait

Economy, Find Local Food, Get Involved, Tricia Phelps

In northern Michigan we get through the long, cold winters by looking forward to spring.We appreciate each season because we’ve experienced its absence.To eat seasonally builds this same excitement around the food we eat because locally grown and raised products come and go at different times.

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Jobs in the Industry- Spring/Summer Edition 2015

Economy, Get Involved, Retail, Tricia Phelps

We’ve had so many fun summer job opportunities come across our desks that we’ve decided to share them all in one place.  These are food jobs, farming jobs, plain-old awesome jobs. If you’re looking for a continual update on cool jobs in Northwest Michigan be sure to like Awesome JOB ALERT n.mich on facebook.

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A “Fresh” Perspective

Economy, Film Reviews, Food Policy, Learn More, Tricia Phelps

A Review of the Film “Fresh”

By Tricia Phelps

There are countless documentaries making comments on the current state of our food system. They each differ in varying degrees of tragedy, omission, honesty and optimism.  “Fresh” became part of that ever growing panoply of films in 2009.  The film’s director, Ana Sofia Joanes, sets “Fresh” apart by providing a well-balanced account of the dismal realities in industrial agriculture while layering the narrative with promising, inspiring and practical solutions that are beginning a movement.

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Non-GMO Oils for Your Kitchen from Local Farms

Economy, Farmers Markets, Retail, Specialty Producers, Stories, Tricia Phelps

By Tricia Phelps

“The focus for Grand Traverse Culinary Oils is keeping it local.” – W. Koucky

Grand Traverse Culinary Oils, owned by William Koucky of Traverse City, just released bottles of their locally grown, locally produced canola and sunflower oils. The cold-pressed oils are made with non-GMO seed, grown here in northern Michigan.

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Bob Russell Resilience Reading Project

Books/Films, Economy, Food Policy, James Russell, Learn More
Taste the Local Difference and the food & farming movement in northern Michigan would be in a very different place if it were not for the passion and skill of Bob Russell.   His passing this summer left a hole in our communities.  This post from MLUI’s James Russell announcing the launch of a new initiative designed to honor Bob’s memory and keep the resilience passion burning in our region.

Where’s the Local Beef? Beefstock TC

Bill Palladino, Economy, Event, Food Policy, Proteins

Beeftock TC 2013 – By Bill Palladino

Pigstock TC 2013 stretched itself across three days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in late October. Pigstock hopes to instill in people knowledge of the slaughter. A connection to the beast(s) we tend to consume without understanding whence they came.
Michael Ruhlman described the first part of the slaughter experience during 2012 Pigstock, “The pig was lifted mechanically with a tractor lifter and brought to a bathtub filled with 180°F water, in which the hog was scalded, then removed to a table to have its fur scraped off. It was then relifted so that Christoph could demo the dressing, doing it slowly, showing us all the organs and viscera as they emerged, all of it to be used. When the pig had been sawn and cleaved in two, Christoph cut a strip of backfat from the pig, then cut small pieces of it for us to taste. Warm, chewy but tender, neutral in flavor, succulent. It was kind of like taking communion of the pig.” (Read his entire post from 2012 here.)

Voting for Local Proteins

Economy, Event, Get Involved, Proteins

By Tricia Phelps

There isn’t much more local than mid-term elections.  In that spirit we look this week at how your food purchases are acting as defacto votes for things you bring home in your shopping bag.

Support for local food often highlights the dollars we spend locally, but the other side of the equation also warrants recognition; the dollars spent elsewhere which leave the community without economic benefit. Those dollars aren’t reinvested locally, they’re earned, they’re spent, and they’re gone. With every dollar you spend, you’re asking for more of what you’re purchasing. Your dollar is your voice and your vote

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I was reminded of this at a luncheon with Michael Ruhlman during the recent Pigstock TC events October 22 – 24.  Ruhlman, author and  “cook”, and  Michael Polcyn, author and “chef” were both in town to espouse all things pig.  Ruhlman encouraged attendees to use their dollars with intention. When we spend our hard earned dollars on local beef, pork, or fowl, we’re asking for more of it, but the equation works both ways. Even with dollars spent on the occasional McDonald’s Happy Meal, we’re asking for more: more soda, more chicken nuggets and more cheap plastic toys.

In terms of dollars, an opportunity lies before us in the realm of local proteins. The annual Pigstock event focuses on the versatility of the Mangalista pig along with processing techniques and the craft of charcuterie. But emphasis was also placed on the dollars we haven’t, yet, captured locally. The opportunity to use your dollar to impart change is right in front of you. Every dollar spent is a vote. A chance to say, “I want access to more local proteins,” or “I want to eat local organic produce year-round.” Take the time to notice whether your dollar is communicating the message you truly stand behind.

While there is certainly room to grow in capitalizing on local proteins throughout Northern Michigan, we are grateful to have partners like these who offer us the best in local beef, meats, poultry & fish.  Next time you’re in the market for proteins to feed your family, find one of these TLD purveyors and ask them for their selection of locally grown proteins.

Burritts Fresh Market

Maxbauers Market

Duerksen’s Turkey Farm

Gallagher’s Centennial Farm

Oryana

Oleson’s

Rodger’s Grass Fed

Leelanau Piedmontese

Grain Train Natural Foods Market

Bargy’s Beef