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SOS: Truly Interesting

March 24, 2013
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Mrs. Fussy is still away. Luckily I was able to call on my work wife to come over for dinner on Friday night, while my real wife was out working. I think Albany John got stuck working too. It was a bummer because Young Master Fussy really loves geeking out with him, and I thought they could bond over the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books.

At least I was able to finally get my Sardinian cheese tasting completed. That means my head cold is gone. I can taste things again. It’s like a miracle.

I’ve also been working steadily on finishing my far-too-old bottle of Meadows of Love Absinthe to make room for a new bottle of Quackenbush Still House Rum. I’m a real fan of unaged rums, and to have this one made in Albany from an ancient recipe and Caribbean molasses will be a real treat.

But today I’m sharing none of that. Today is a round up of press releases and other news that others have wanted me to pass along. I’m actually amazed at how interesting some of these items are this week. One of them even has a beautifully shot video.

The Academic One About Food That Totally Excites Me


Published by Harvard University Press, book has far-reaching implications for contemporary debate on food safety, labeling, and regulation

ALBANY, N.Y. – The $12-billion-a-year kosher food industry is the subject of Albany Law School Professor Timothy Lytton’s latest book, Kosher: Private Regulation in the Age of Industrialized Food(Harvard University Press). Professor Lytton examines the kosher industry as a model of private sector regulation in the midst of growing public concern over the government’s ability to regulate the food industry.

In Kosher, Professor Lytton argues that the expanding popularity of kosher food is a reaction to anxiety about the industrialization of the nation’s food supply, similar to the surge in enthusiasm for organic and local food. More than 12 million American consumers purchase kosher food each year (only eight percent of whom are religious Jews). More food is labeled kosher than is labeled natural, organic or premium.

Book webpage:

According to Marion Nestle, author of the bestselling books Food Politics and Safe Food, as well as a professor at New York University:

“Kosher is one terrific book. It’s a wonderfully entertaining account of the squabbles, finger-pointing, and cutthroat competition that turned kosher certification from scandalous corruption to a respectable—and highly profitable—business. Today, if a food is labeled kosher, it is kosher, which is more than can be said of most claims on food labels. You don’t have to be Jewish to appreciate the fun in Timothy Lytton’s presentation of an unusually successful case study.”

Professor Lytton is the Albert and Angela Farone Distinguished Professor of Law at Albany Law School and teaches courses in regulatory policy, administrative law, and torts. He is also author ofHolding Bishops Accountable: How Lawsuits Helped the Catholic Church Confront Clergy Sexual Abuse, also published by Harvard University Press, and editor of Suing the Gun Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Gun Control and Mass Torts.

ALBANY LAW SCHOOL is a small, independent private school in the heart of New York state’s capital since 1851. As the oldest law school in New York and the oldest independent law school in the nation, the institution offers students an innovative, rigorous curriculum taught by a committed faculty. Several nationally recognized programs—including the Government Law Center and the Albany Law Clinic & Justice Center—provide opportunities for students to apply classroom learning. Students have access to New York’s highest court, federal courts, the executive branch and the state legislature. With more than 10,000 alumni practicing in every state in the country, and several continents, Albany Law’s graduates are a close-knit community and an extraordinary resource for the law school and its students. Visit

You Said Something About a Video

This isn’t actually a press release per se, but I did get a note from Jessica Galasso of Mildred’s Meadows about the new project she’s undertaking. It sounds exciting, and it even came with a video.

Now that you’ve seen the video, you can check out the Facebook page that has all the details.

So Speaking of Seeds…

Technically this wasn’t a press release either. Rather it was a note I got in my inbox from Slow Food International. But it’s about time to sow seeds. While I won’t be doing it, some of you probably are. And if you are, you should really at least consider the following.

The story of the U.S. can be found in the story of our food. It’s the story of self-determination and preservation in the face of forced removal told in the Cherokee Trail of Tears Bean. It traces a Lucanian immigrant’s journey from Basilicata to Connecticut in the sweet and creamy Jimmy Nardello’s Sweet Italian Frying Pepper.

And these stories, in the face of industrialized agriculture, are under threat of extinction.

The only way to save these heirloom vegetables and fruits – and the stories they tell – is to grow them, eat them, and share them with others.

Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste program helps you discover which varieties are in danger and find the seed purveyors and producers – like our friends at Seed Savers Exchange, Rolling Hills Herbs and Uprising Organics – who are keeping these foods alive.

Use the promotion codes below to order your Ark of Taste seeds and starter plants before April 18, 2013 and get up to 15% off.

Seven generations from now, people will know the sweet surprise of biting into an Aunt Molly ground cherry or the winter decadence of an Amish Pie Squash pie because you, and thousands of others, grew them and saved the seeds.

Whether it’s in a terracotta pot on a fire escape or in a three-acre backyard, grow Ark of Taste vegetables and fruits this year and be part of the story of saving these heritage varieties.

Thank you for believing in a better future for food and farming.

With gratitude,

Kate Krauss
Managing Director
Slow Food USA

P.S. Check out the full catalog of endangered foods protected by the Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste program and our regional guide to see what originated in your area.

If you were interested in those savings codes, here they are below:

15% off
Ark of Taste seed packets
Use code slowfood3

15% off
Ark of Taste starter plants

10% off
entire seed catalog
Use code SLOW

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