Posts Tagged ‘local’
Today we are thankful for Alice Waters and local food. We’re in an exciting time where food is in the spotlight and people are realizing that local tastes better. This shift towards farm to table restaurants, grocery stores (woo hoo!) and food trailers is in part thanks to chef Alice Waters. Back in 1971, Waters decided (with no prior chef experience) to open a restaurant.
In an old house in Berkeley, CA, Waters opened the doors of Chez Panisse, and has been helping shape the local food movement ever since. Her inspiration came from studying abroad in Paris during the 1960s. As she traveled around the country, she realized that the best flavors came from what was made, grown and sourced from France.
Taking this idea of local food tasting better, Chez Panisse menu consists of simple, local food prepared with a lot of love. Since opening, the restaurant has grown and fostered relationships with growers in California. Using weekly trips to the farmers market as inspiration, the menu is shaped by what’s available and what’s in season. And while Waters acknowledges the challenges of eating local (where are the bananas?), she urges people to get creative, “Eating locally is so particular. You have to accept that fact and celebrate what does really grow.”
Waters has taken the idea of a local, sustainable diet and moved it from the restaurant into the classroom. Seventeen years ago, Waters teamed up with Neil Smith, a principal at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School to transform an acre of asphalt into an Edible Schoolyard. They then added in a kitchen element, and by year five, the teachers at this public middle school taught ten 90-minute classes a week in both the garden and the kitchen. Since then, they’ve added chickens to the land, and now grow more than 100 varieties of seasonal vegetables, herbs, vines, berries, flowers and fruit trees. Best of all? They have served over 7,000 students. The work they are doing for the farm to school movement is huge, and if you’re seeking inspiration, go check out the multiple projects they’re working on to bring real, local food to the classroom.
Alice Waters is an inspiration. As a business whose ethos is to bring local, sustainable and seasonal food to our community, it’s not surprising that Waters was one of the main influencers for opening in.gredients. Last year at the Think Beyond Plastic award ceremony, one of our founders, Christian Lane, got the chance to meet Alice Waters. While discussing local food, Waters congratulated us on the work we’re doing, and encouraged the growth and expansion of in.gredients. To say we were flattered is an understatement. It’s not everyday you get kudos from a national local food leader.
When we look into the work of Alice Waters, our hope is restored. She’s living proof that with a lot of work, a lot of love and a strong passion and commitment to what you believe in, you can change the way people view and value their food. This Thanksgiving, raise your glass to individuals around the world who are bringing local back to the table.
Today we are thankful for our early adopters. We are grateful to the folks who looked at our business model and mission statement and said to themselves, “Yes, this is something I believe in.” Whether this support came in the form of funding our Indiegogo campaign, helping us dig our garden beds or shopping here since day one, we are thankful for each and every one of you.
The founders of in.gredients took the conventional grocery store model and flipped it on its head. In a country where over 40% of our food goes to waste and so much unnecessary packaging fills the shelves, in.gredients exists as an alternative. We are a small grocery store that serves our community sustainable, seasonal and local food. We believe in our farmers, ranchers and artisans and think that our money should stay within our community. in.gredients isn’t about convenience. We are about innovation and shifting the way people shop and interact with their food. So today, we are thankful for all of those that believe in what we are doing.
In 1962 a man named Everett Rogers published a paper titled, “Diffusion of Innovations” This paper sought to explain how, why and at what rate new ideas and technology spreads through consumers. Shaped like a bell curve, this idea shows that there are a small number of early adopters, and these are the folks that catch wind of an innovative idea, acknowledge its purpose, and sign up. From there, more and more people catch on and eventually this idea becomes a part of everyday life.
Source: Alta Street
While a majority of the real life examples apply to technology (DVD players, Apple iPods, etc.), this is a theory that can be applied to any innovative idea. In Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, he asks the question why some leaders, businesses and organizations are so great at inspiring action and change. Referencing great leaders from our past, he suggests his Golden Circle idea. According to Sinek, every single person and organization knows what they do 100%, but very few people and organizations know why they do what they do. Not many organizations have pinpointed what their purpose is. Instead, they think from the outside in, first answering what, then how and finally why.
What makes inspiring innovators different, is that they answer the why first. They inspire by making believers out of their followers. As Sinek puts it, “The goal is not to do business with everybody who needs what you have. The goal is to do business with people who believe what you believe.” These believers, they are the early adopters. They are the ones that will dive head first into the business before anyone else. They are the people who funded us before we opened, volunteered countless hours to help us build the store from the ground up, and continue to shift with us as we grow and adapt our business.
Today, we are raising our glasses to our early adopters. The people who heard about in.gredients, saw that we were pioneering the idea of a zero-waste grocery store, accepted that it would be a work in progress, and have supported us ever since.
Thank you for believing in us, we wouldn’t be here without your continued support.
Thanksgiving is a week away, and we have so much to be thankful for. We are honored to serve a community that values real, local food. We are inspired by all the people in our neighborhood who come together and make this place such a wonderful place to work. in.gredients wouldn’t be here without your support, so to kick off this week of giving thanks, we extend our gratitude to our customers.
A few of our regulars have captured our hearts. They are here almost every day, and have become a part of the in.gredients family. If you’ve visited the store, a few of these folks are probably familiar to you (Zippo is the unofficial store hound.) These are faces we adore, and we sat down them to find out why they are “in.”
Get to know your neighbors. Support local. Be a part of this amazing community!
Describe yourself in 3 words: easy-going, adventurous and fun
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? It has a little bit of everything, and you don’t have to walk far for it.
How did you hear about in.gredients? I lived across the street!
Why do you come back? I never left… haha. And all my friends are here.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It’s dog friendly, and I like the zero-waste idea. I also love the familiar environment.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Pleasant.
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be? I’d be a kiwi… a hard exterior with a sweet inside.
Describe yourself in 3 words: new, music, experiences
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? Without a doubt, it’s the community, the people and the neighbors.
How did you hear about in.gredients? I watched it get built and then came on over.
Why do you come back? The staff! They are the nicest. in.gredients exceeded my expectations, the store has so much more stuff than I initially thought it would have. I do almost all of my grocery shopping here, it has everything I need.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It gives our neighbors a place to be. It’s our pub, our grocery store and our play house, all in one place.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Tasty
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or a vegetable, what would you be? I’d be a green bell pepper because I can go with anything!
Describe yourself in 3 words: funny, smart & lazy
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? The people
How did you hear about in.gredients? I moved in across the street right before you opened.
Why do you come back? I like it here. It’s full of good people and fun.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? The prepared foods, the events and the selection.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Community
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? An avocado. It’s delicious and green is my favorite color!
Describe yourself in 3 words: crazy, cat, lady
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? My neighbors
How did you hear about in.gredients? I moved in right next door.
Why do you come back? The staff. Everyone is encouraging about healthy food, and don’t make you feel stupid if you don’t know something. They aren’t patronizing or intimidating.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? It’s a great place to hang out. My friends and community are here.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Family
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? Cheese doesn’t count as a vegetable?
Describe yourself in 3 words: charming, gentle and sweet
What’s your favorite part about the neighborhood? All the people and dogs!
How did you hear about in.gredients? Jake told me.
Why do you come back? To visit my pals.
What are you favorite things about in.gredients? The events.
If you were to describe in.gredients in one word, what would it be? Friendly
Last but not least, if you were a fruit or vegetable, what would you be? A pear… I’m soft and sweet.
We set a lofty goal when we embarked on our zero waste mission. Luckily, we work with amazing local farmers, ranchers and artisans who share in our vision. We realize our vendors are up to their eyeballs in work, and are so grateful when they take the extra steps to help us reduce waste.
Today we received our first shipment of Vital Farms eggs in reusable containers. In the past, we’ve received them in cardboard boxes and egg cartons. While these were collected and given back, we knew we could improve the system. Now, with the help of Vital Farms, we’re getting our eggs delivered in milk crates and reusable plastic egg cartons. Each week we will wash and store these crates and cartons, and return them with our weekly delivery. It’s a pretty neat system, if we do say so ourselves.
We owe a big thank you to Vital Farm founders Matt and Catherine, who met one of our managers a few weeks ago and turned around as a zero-waste delivery partner within days of hearing our idea. Vital Farms, founded in 2007, started out on a 10 acre piece of land south-east of Austin. They now work with small family farms from California to Georgia in order to produce pastured eggs year-round.
Vital Farms cares about their chickens. With fields full of grass, legumes and insects available to the birds, plus certified organic Coyote Creek feed to supplement their wild diet, plenty of outdoor space and a nighttime shelter with clean nesting boxes, these chickens are well taken care of. The founders have gone to great lengths to make sure each of their farms meet this high standard, sometimes requiring 6 or more farm visits per year.
We’re happy to support Vital Farms, and can’t wait to see how our next zero-waste endeavor goes.
Did you know that we source over 95% of our produce from Texas? We believe in Texas farmers and think a farm to table diet is not only feasible, it’s also delicious! We have teamed up with Traveling Recipes to bring our community free culinary workshops that focus on plant-based dishes featuring Texas produce. We are able to offer these workshops for free thanks to the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Specialty Crop Block Grant, which gives us the opportunity to promote produce grown in Texas.
We met everyone at in.gredients so folks could pick up their beverages of choice (what’s a workshop without wine?), before heading down to the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). SFC’s new space is less than a mile from in.gredients, and has a beautiful fully equipped kitchen that was perfect for the workshop. After introducing ourselves and why we were there, we got to cooking!
Chelsea from in.gredients and Andi Jo from Traveling Recipes had done all the shopping and initial prep work, but beyond that it was all up to the participants to chop, grate, blend and cook the six plant-based dishes. With different stations set up around the kitchen, everyone spent two hours getting well acquainted with a wide variety of Texas produce.
After all the hard work we all sat down together to eat the fruits of our labor, and enjoy a meal together. It was a wonderful evening, and we can’t wait to host the next one! Stay tuned for the next workshop, as we hope to host them on a monthly basis!
This workshop’s menu included:
Super Loaded Salad
Raw Veggie Pad Thai
Spaghetti Squash Pasta
All of these recipes will be listed on the Traveling Recipes website within the next few days, so keep checking back if any and all of those dishes have you drooling.
Daily 1 Reflections:
I expected the first day to be harder than it was. Aside from a brief wave of nausea during a short bike ride and a few pangs of hunger here and there, I felt well and energized. For snacks in the afternoon I had a few pieces of fruit – a huge honey crisp apple, a couple small satsumas, and a persimmon – plus some raw organic cashews. For my raw dinner “appetizer”, I dipped a few different raw veggies (carrots, broccoli and mushrooms) into the ceviche-style Tomatilla Heaven Salsa we sell at the store. Quite delicious and worthy of a return after the cleanse is over. The hardest part was later coming home to a decadent potluck dinner that a few friends and roommates had put together and only being able to eat the raw salad that I had made.
On many Saturdays I indulge in a large brunch of hearty homemade pancakes and a big cup of coffee, and I clearly wasn’t going to be doing so this weekend. Prior to committing to the cleanse, however, I promised my girlfriend I would make her a delicious breakfast on her first morning back after two weeks of traveling. Let me tell you, whipping up some delicious (smelling!) sweet potato cornmeal pancakes and a big maple latte took some serious discipline. I managed to sip on my lemon tea and drink my bottle of Vitality without giving into the temptations, but I wouldn’t wish the experience on anyone.
Late last night I figured I should soak some raw pumpkin seeds so I could dehydrate them today. So before I left for work, I coated them with spicy goodness and popped them in the dehydrator. I haven’t had a headache at all. My energy level is low-medium, but if I keep snacking I’m fine. What’s hardest is working around food and seeing things I just want to stuff in my face. At least when you’re at home everything is hidden in cabinets. I ate the same thing for lunch today because it was easy and available. I might look up a recipe for a raw zucchini hummus and do that for dinner tonight.
I went to my massage and it was much better than last time. My muscles were easier to work with, less crunchy and painful. I did still have to get suction cupped to work with my fascia, but it hurt was less than before. She noticed I have some lymph fluid behind my knee, which could be contributing to some of the discomfort. She worked on it but I’m also going to do some lymph exercises to help flush that out.
I snacked on an apple and nuts earlier, and had my Renew juice as an evening treat. I didn’t eat until about 9 pm, but it was marvelous. I made a raw zucchini hummus (substituting dulse flakes for salt) which I ate with leftover carrots and celery. I bought some amazing garlic dill sauerkraut and had that as a side along with my spicy pumpkin seeds.
For past cleanses I was always able to do them during down times when I didn’t have to work. This has proven to be interesting and challenging trying to balance both responsibilities. Tomorrow I have a day off which I can dedicate to giving my body what it needs, whatever it is asking for.
Recently we reached 11,011 likes on Facebook (woo hoo!) To celebrate, we asked our followers to share with us the 11 reasons they love local food.
We are so blessed to be in a community that so wholeheartedly embraces the beauty that comes along with local, sustainable and seasonal food.
Y’all shared with us amazing lists (and photos!) that we can’t help put pass them along. Take the time to read why our community loves local food, and please feel free to share your lists. The more the merrier.
- in.spires the community to make sustainable decisions
- in.corporates small businesses into larger economies
- in.volves the local population in the worldwide food movement
- in.timidates the big food corporations
- in.troduces new ways of thinking
- in.centivizes local entrepreneurs to follow through on their ideas
- in.creases awareness of the impact food has on our environment
- in.cludes opportunities for the community to become more self-sufficient
- in.toxicates the locals with unbelievably good craft beer
- in.justice is exposed when local food proves there is a better way
- in.novation proves to be in.finite when it comes to using real in.gredients
- Keeps Austin Weird!!!
- Love knowing the people who grew/raised my food
- It has taste unlike most mass-produced food
- The fresher the food the more nutrients I get in my body
- Support local economy
- Support people who are stewards of the environment
- Reduced carbon footprint
- No nasty GMO foods
- Opportunity for bulk purchases (as my salsa and canned tomato stash can attest)
- I have visited the farms and felt the dirt that nourishes me and seen for myself how the animals are treated
- Brings back good memories of childhood visits to my grandparents farm – sitting in the middle of the strawberry patch eating the berries straight off the plant (competing with my sister to see who would get through her row fastest), or shucking corn with my grandpa (and nibbling on a few ears)
- The friendships I have made with people I have met at the markets, at food swaps, and at restaurants and stores that carry local produce.
- Incredibly fresh
- Less fuel required for delivery
- Can meet your farmers!
- Supports the local economy& Supports small farmers
- Fosters a close relationship with local community
- Encourages creative business models
- Encourages creative approaches to cooking
- Allows you to experiment with interesting local produce (prickly pears! loquats!)
- Allows you ensure that everything you eat is ethically produced because you can trace the origins of everything on your plate.
- Local food = supporting local farmers/ local economy
- Less carbon in the atmosphere from moving around food!
- Local food is super fresh and delicious
- It ensures you’re eating only what’s in season.
- Fresh food is more nutritious!
- It’s a step toward food self-reliance.
- There is more variety!
- Is free of GMOs!
- Represents Austin’s food culture
- I love knowing where it came from, and visiting those places!
- Lastly, It feels great to make good choices about what you put into your body!
- Getting to know my farmers
- Often sustainably grown
- Fewer food miles (less carbon/water waste)
- Outdoor markets
- Supporting my home
- Fresh food
- Makes me food conscious
- Often it’s native to the region
- Supports education!
- The colors
- Low carbon foot print
- Meeting the farmers
- Eating in season
- The price tag
- Promoting it
- Teaching it
- Growing it
- Community it creates
- Farmers markets
- The people involved