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Talking About Food

January 31, 2014

It stands to reason that if you are reading a food blog, you care at least a little bit about food.

One of my big personal challenges is that I also want to reach people who don’t care about food and try to change their minds. That’s hard to do in this day and age of customizable media, where people curate their own information feeds. It’s also hard to change people’s minds in a town like Albany, where folks are stubborn and set in their ways. Hard, but not impossible.

I’m not convinced it can be done with a newspaper, because the medium isn’t well equipped for addressing the reader’s resistance to an argument. Yes, you can read the letters to the editor after the fact. But that’s a little too far removed from the original thesis.

What about radio?

I mention this because Albany has a public radio station with a massive reach across the region. And they have recently started dedicated an hour a week to food related topics on an afternoon talk show.

It airs Friday from 2pm to 3pm. And you can listen on an actual radio or stream it live online. Today the topic is vegetarian and vegan cuisine. This is a huge weak spot for the Capital Region, and the better preparation of plants is a huge theme in the wider culinary world these days. I’ll be curious to see if the host or callers address any of these facts.

But I give them credit for trying.

I only heard the first episode of this new Foodie Friday feature. Steve from the TU was on with chef Dale Miller. And Steve did an admirable job demonstrating why things like local seasonal foods matter. Still, it was heart wrenching to listen to the callers and hear their overall lack of awareness as to the state of food in the region. We don’t have to go into the gory details.

Do you know what would be awesome? If you folks called in and started asking smart questions that helped bring awareness to some of the serious issues plaguing our restaurants.

If you are nervous about speaking on the air, or don’t think you can get through on the phone, you can leave a question on the website, and most likely it will get read on the air. Or you can Comment on the Vox Pop status update at WAMC’s Facebook page. They even respond to tweets at @WAMCVoxPop.

That’s pretty cool.

On the subject of great vegetarian and vegan food, I’m hoping to get back to Goldie’s in Asbury Park soon. And one of these days I hope to make it to Vedge in Philadelphia. That place looks simply amazing.

I would be quite surprised if anyone mentioned the 100% vegetarian and delicious South Indian street food at Parivar in Albany. Maybe the vegan dishes at Karavali will get a mention. I would certainly hope that chef Ric Orlando’s seitan “wings” will get a plug.

But if someone says that Antipasto in Clifton Park is a good choice for vegetarians, I’m going to start screaming at my radio. There’s a lot of bad vegetarian food out there. And most of it has something to do with pasta. This place was the only option for vegetarians in the Capital Region for a long time. But I found their vegetarian sausage to look and taste disgusting, and their pizza was redolent of burnt tires. I wish I were exaggerating.

Hopefully this radio show can start helping to reveal that there are better things out there, hiding in plain sight, just under most people’s radar.

Please tune in, turn on, and get fired up. Have a great Super Bowl weekend. Go Seahawks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 31, 2014 11:44 am

    I remember going to Antipasto’s years ago and it was ok. Stopped by this summer and it was dreadful. I am very happy that we now have other, more tasteful choices available in the capital region.

  2. February 3, 2014 12:48 pm

    I’ve pitched a bunch of food stories/discussion ideas to the good folks at WAMC numerous times, but they’ve yet to ask me to stop in for a chat on the air. Glad to see they are doing something though :)

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