Brillat-Savarin is an Asshole, but You Should Read Him Anyway

15th September 2014

by Bo McMillan

As I passed through the “fucks,” “anuses” and other rote commentary nigh essential to anything by Anthony Bourdain, a comment not penned by the author himself but another reader caught my attention:

“If you love Anthony, know that he took everything he does in terms of writing from Brillat-Savarin.” (This is heartily paraphrased.) Outrage ensued. I would track down this Brillat-Savarin and defend my hero to death.

It’s taken me almost a year, but I’ve finally encountered the man who called himself “The Professor.” And I have to say, as a food-lover to all food-lovers, that prick (yes, he is a prick) is indeed essential.

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Food 101: Hogs, Dining Halls and “Real Food”

5th September 2014

by Abby Reimer

photography by Alexandria Huber

We went to Fair Local Organic’s “Food 101” last night. Speakers, from UNC-Chapel Hill professors to a local meat distributor, discussed North Carolina’s food system.

Here’s what you missed:

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Dr. Steve WingAssociate Professor, Department of Epidemiology

Industrial food production is a big deal in North Carolina— eastern North Carolina has the densest area of hog production and three of the top ten turkey producing counties in the country.

Industrial food production makes food cheap. But this cheap food comes at an environmental, social and health cost, said Wing.

“The mass food supply here in this country comes from these facilities and that’s why food is cheap,” Wing said. “The food is cheap because the workers pay with their health, because the people who live near these communities pay with their health and their quality of life.”

CAFOs, concentrated animal feeding operations, harm nearby communities by storing and praying fecal matter, Wing said.

“They (CAFOs) are not present where people with political clout live,” Wing said. “And that means wealthy people and white people.”

On Sept. 3, environmental agencies filed a complaint with the EPA’s Office of Civil Rights claiming that North Carolina’s hog-industry regulation discriminates against minority communities in eastern North Carolina.

Dr. Rudi Colloredo-Mansfeld— ProfessorDepartment of Anthropology

“Farmers’ markets, knowing your farmer, local food is great. But that’s not going to change things.”

For Colloredo-Mansfeld, who studies local food systems, broad university and business partnerships are the only way to change harmful industrial food systems.   

Larger businesses, like Lowes Foods, can give farmers the stability they need to make the change by creating large and efficient distribution networks, he said.

“In trying to make this change, we need to get out of Chapel Hill and get out of this bubble we get into as Tar Heels and work with partners and work with businesses,” Colloredo-Mansfeld said.  

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Jennifer Curtis—Co-CEO, Firsthand Foods

Curtis is an unlikely owner for a meat company: a woman when most in the industry are men, a former vegetarian and environmental activist.

But she saw the danger in industrial farm production and wanted to do something different: buying whole animals, all pasture raised without antibiotics, from over 50 regional farmers.  

Firsthand Foods’ meats are about two times more expensive than industrially produced meat, Curtis said.

But demand is growing.

“All meat is not bad,” she said, referring back to CAFOs. “We’re always going to be ambivalent about eating animals. What I want you to think about is being a discerning customers.”

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Scott Weir— Aramark District Manager, Carolina Dining Services

Serving 4.3 million meals every year, Carolina Dining Services has a huge sway on the central North Carolina food system.

16 percent of dining hall food counts as “real food,” Weir said.

According to Fair Local Organic, fair food is either fair, local, humane and community-based, or ecologically sound.

Even with partnerships with sustainable food businesses like Firsthand Foods, Carolina Dining Services must rely on broadline food distributors, like Cisco, for over 70 percent of campus food, Weir said.

Campus Dining Services plans on increasing its “real food” use by one percent each year, Weir said.

Weir said feeding UNC-Chapel Hill sustainably, and keeping waste down, is a challenge.

“It’s not a linear answer, there’s a lot of gray, Weir said.  “It’s not black and white.”

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Melissa Tinling—Food Corps

Tingling got her start in FLO at UNC-Chapel Hill and now works for Food Corps in Guilford County, a nonprofit organization focusing on children’s nutrition.

The National School Lunch Program provides schools with $2.75 for every free lunch. That goes down to 70 cents for food after overhead, Tingling said.

With millions of children in the U.S. getting most of their daily calories from schools, this just isn’t cutting it, Tingling said.

To combat childhood obesity and malnutrition, hands-on food education and a strong local food economy is necessary, Tingling said. 

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4th May 2014

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by Abby Reimer

photography by Alex Dixon

Solving the riddle of healthy-food accessibility is a difficult task—one that is deeply layered and complicated. A group of students at UNC-Chapel Hill believe they’ve found the answer to healthy-food inaccessibility on campus, which they call an urban food desert. They are developing The Sonder Market, a student-run cooperative grocery, but are they targeting the right market?

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Speakeasy

4th May 2014

by Emily Storrow

photography by Kylie Shryock 

The Crunkleton is a bar that walks the line. Its interior is rustic, yet refined, and it operates with a classy humility. Owner Gary Crunkleton constantly strives for that balance, and sources inspiration from surprising places—including his own ADHD, childhood memories of going to church and years as a Deadhead.

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A Food Guide to Amsterdam

3rd May 2014

by Della Romano

Uneven rooflines—some jutting out onto the street, others sinking into the structure and still others crooked. Massive windows on each building allow a peek into the lives of the city folk. Canals between every other street reflect the cityscape. You’re in Amsterdam.

 Beyond a gorgeous city, you’ll find a culture based on liberties and freedom. Having fun in Amsterdam is a requirement, and it’s easy to satisfy. Although not known for its food, the Netherlands does not disappoint in cuisine. The flavor combinations are not particularly unique or unexpected, but what the Dutch cook, they cook well.

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Here are some of the more traditional foods you’ll find in Amsterdam:

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The Solution to Ballooning Poultry

22nd April 2014

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writing and graphics by Alex Dixon

When Ba-Da Wings closed in Carrboro in the fall of 2013, it had consistently raised its chicken wing prices. And it wasn’t just Ba-Da, wing prices were, and still are, increasing, forcing restaurants to shift the price to consumers or close completely. But now, restaurants are increasingly capitalizing on a trend to fight thinning margins and volatility of chicken wing prices.

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Tiramisu: A family recipe

8th April 2014

by Della Romano

image Grandma’s handwriting scribbled on a notecard is barely legible. Trying to decipher each letter, desperately hoping that’s a capital T meaning Tablespoon. Also wondering if she copied this recipe down correctly from my aunt. Ingredients are measured by the metric system—in grams and liters—instead of our customary ounces and cups.

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Bean-to-Bar:

25th March 2014

A Q and A with Hallot Parson, co-founder of Escazú Artisan Chocolates

by Max Gandy

photography by Sami Jackson

Since 2005, Hallot Parson and Danielle Centeno, co-founders of Raleigh’s Escazú have been striving to humanize chocolate by selling “bean-to-bar,”a practice used to ensure consumers that the chocolate has an identifiable geographic origin. Escazú sources its cacao from only Latin America, the closest source to the US, and recycles the unused parts of its beans, most notably by selling the bean husks for local brewing. Carolina Eats writer Max Gandy spoke with Hallot Parson about his experiences with cacao, what sets Escazú apart from other artisanal chocolate producers and the 2005 trip to Costa Rica that inspired his career change.

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(Danielle Centeno and Hallot Parson, co-founders of Escazú)

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4th March 2014

Alan Sukirin, owner of Mozzarella Kitchen, and João Ritter. Ritter plans on bringing in $2000 by March 8 and shutting down the restaurant from Sunday to Thursday to renovate the restaurant with his friends. Carolina Eats will cover the renovation and Ritter’s investment plan.




Alan Sukirin, owner of Mozzarella Kitchen, and João Ritter. Ritter plans on bringing in $2000 by March 8 and shutting down the restaurant from Sunday to Thursday to renovate the restaurant with his friends. Carolina Eats will cover the renovation and Ritter’s investment plan.

Alan Sukirin, owner of Mozzarella Kitchen, and João Ritter. Ritter plans on bringing in $2000 by March 8 and shutting down the restaurant from Sunday to Thursday to renovate the restaurant with his friends. Carolina Eats will cover the renovation and Ritter’s investment plan.

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