Jen Crowley and Tami Systma hosted an "Eat Local" cocktail reception on the jdek of the JW Marriott last week for the 2009 alumni class of Leadership Grand Rapids - "The Sexiest Class Ever!" Anja Mast, the "co-earthtaker" of Trillium Haven Farm in nearby Jension, and JW sous chef, Joel Wabeke (kitchen alumni of Fat Duck in England and Journeyman Cafe in Fennville, Michigan), collaborated in presenting the class with an hors d'oeuvres menu using Trillium Haven Farms and JW's chef garden products. Consequently, the JW is one of Trillium Haven's biggest customer and supporter in West Michigan.
Anja shared with us the value of community supported agriculture (CSA) as it pertains to sustaining a healthier and stronger community. Chef Joel presented the class with the JW's philosophy of supporting local agriculture as a sustainable and profitable model for the JW's signature restaurant, six.one.six.
Here are some "food for thought" from the flyer The Highland Group designed for our group:
* If every household started spending just $10 per week of their current grocery budget on local foods, we'd keep more than $37 million each week circulating within Michigan.
* Since 1900, 75 % of vegetable varieties have disappeared worldwide.
* Farms of 27 acres or less produce ten times more dollar value per acre than larger ones.
* Every dollar that stays in a community has three times the effect of a dollar that goes to a distant corporate HQ.
* In the U.S., four companies pack 83.5% of beef and 66% of pork, and crush 80% of soybeans.
* Global food prices increased almost 50% in 2008.
* 75% of the world's food is generated from just 12 varieties of plants and five animal species.
Watch a Flick:
Food, Inc. (2009)
The Future of Food (2006)
King Corn (2007)
Watch Something Online: