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Local Food: We Still have Lots of Work to be Done

Local Food: We Still have Lots of Work to be Done

There is something special about gathering with a local group of friends for dinner. I belong to a dinner book club that every month and a half or, so we meet at someone’s house to share a meal.  How delicious to taste and hear the back story of each members’ prepared dish. Then, we circle the chairs for a discussion of a timely book written about food.

FriendsOne summer evening standing around the kitchen talking about food with Peter Schaar (photo by Giana DePaul)

Dishes come from the book topic or recipes, or old favorites that reflect your culture, or what is being harvested out of their garden plot. The idea is to slow down and spend some time in the kitchen with fresh ingredients. Knowing where the ingredients come from, researching and risking a new cooking method and sharing with others tends to culminate on a lazy Sunday evening at the Slow Food Book Club.

Figs Drizzled with BalsamicGiana DePaul shares her backyard figs. Yum! (photo by Giana DePaul)

Every time we meet, we decide on the next book in keeping with the tenants of Slow Food to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair:


Believe that delicious nutrition is a right for everyday life
Cultivate joyful connections to community and place
Advocate for diversity in ecosystems and societies


Protect natural resources for future generations
Help people and the environment depend on each other
Promote food that is local, seasonal, and sustainably grown


Build local cooperation and global collaboration while respecting all laws
Require no prerequisite or credential for participation
Fight for dignity of labor from field to fork


Farmers Kim at Moss Haven Farm

Farmer Kim at Moss Haven Farm (photo credit FB page)

Sometimes there is a special guest that brings the latest about their work with our local food system in North Texas. Recently, Farmer Kim (Aman), school garden educator, with all her enthusiasm for reaching the youth through growing sustainable food spoke about being a USA delegate at the Slow Food International Congress in Chengdu, China.

As Farmer Kim talked about global issues of food, technology and environment, she said, “We still have lots of work to be done here in Dallas!” Farmer Kim is right, especially when it comes to educating the youth for change!

This book club is a spin off of the Slow Food’s chapter formed in 2003 when there was one or two farm to table restaurants, a couple of farmers markets and school gardens and the East Dallas Community Garden.  We’ve seen movement forward with new chefs, young farmers and growing projects, Edible DFW, food documentaries, community and school gardens…and we still have lots of work to be done!

Eat good, clean, fair food, YES, but also get involved through volunteering, leading, supporting, sharing information and staying in touch with what is happening around you. There is a movement a foot to reinvigorate a larger DFW Slow Food, so stay tuned.

Need ideas of how to get involved in the local food movement?
Contact me here and I will help you connect.


Recent books read by the book club:

Growing Tomorrow: A Farm-to-Table Journey in Photos and Recipes: Behind the Scenes with 18 Extraordinary Sustainable Farmers Who Are Changing the Way We Eat by Forrest Pritchard featuring the Texas Honey Bee Guild

Real Food, Fake Food by Larry Olmsted

Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods That We Love by Simran Sethi

Eat Your Greens – The Surprising Power of Homegrown Leaf Crops by David Kennedy

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

The Widow Clicquot by Tilar J. Mazzeo

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories by Laura Shapiro.