Slow food bloggers, Where art thou?

28 05 2010

Here at Extanz, we’ve cataloged thousands of food blogs and even contributed to a few ourselves. This particular sector of the blogging world is quite trendy – focusing on the hottest ingredients, techniques, restaurants etc. However, food bloggers seem to passing over an important trend (one even the First Lady is on board with) – that of eating locally & sustainably.

I’m a skier, but I’m also a foodie and an environmentalist. I cooked in high-end restaurants for years and love to experiment in my kitchen, my degree is in environmental policy, I eat organic/natural/free-range/grass-fed as much as I can (aka pay more than I can really afford). I also try to eat local – this proves slightly challenging in the winter given my location in Colorado and distaste for most root vegetables … but I do try. I’m much better at reading food blogs!

With all those food blogs out there and the growing popularity of the slow food (a movement with origins in Italy that emphasizes the importance of ‘good, clean and fair food’), local food and CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movements, you’d think there’d be quite a bit of related chatter on food blogs, right? Eating sustainably and healthy is a hot topic – Michelle Obama’s on to it, there’s books on it, been to a Whole Foods lately? It also produces far superior ingredients that should cause all us foodies to rejoice. I delved into the blogosphere to see which of these movements (if any) are trendy with the foodie bloggers. Here’s a snapshot of what I found (not quite the cornucopia I was looking for, btw):

  1. Of the thousands of blogs by influential food bloggers over the last 6 months, only 120 blogposts focus on slow food, local food or CSAs. Huh. I guess the mainstream food bloggers are still focusing on perfecting that bouillabaisse or the next big thing after cupcakes, rather than sourcing food locally and using the unique and fresh ingredients you get by doing so.
  2. While we hear about the slow food movement far more often than CSAs or local food across other mediums, the influencers in the blogosphere who are focusing on these 3 topics seem to be focusing more on the fundamentals of eating sustainably, namely CSAs and local food. A general Google search of the terms “slow food” and “Community Supported Agriculture” returns roughly the same number of results (~2.1 million). Of the entire food blogging community we’ve catalogued and are monitoring, the top 100 influencers have written about slow food 20 times in the last 6 months compared to 48 entries on CSAs and 52 conversations about local food.

So … who is talking about eating sustainably? Here are the top 3 blogs to follow for all things local, CSA-related, and slow food:

  1. Serious Eats: I ended up on this site last week while looking for a classic slice in NYC … little did I know it was the mecca for local food blogs. The three blogs below rank highest for our search terms, but peruse the entire site to satisfy your craving for slow food news.
    1. Carson Poole’s series on Meet Your Farmer and Meet Your Forager epitomizes influential bloggers focusing on local producers who feed the slow food movement.
    2. Caroline Cope of Umami Girl joins Serious Eats once a week for her Crisper Whisperer blog where she offers ideas for preparing your abundance of fruits and vegetables from your CSA or farmer’s market.
    3. Street Food Profiles travels around the country (and sometimes crosses borders) to feature local street food vendors where you can watch your food being made.
  2. SlashFood’s writers could independently support a CSA with the amount of CSA-sourced produce they’re cooking with.
  3. The Leftover Queen chronicles her efforts to use up her leftovers and healthy eating while focusing on sustainability, traditional foods, and seasonal eating.

Any ideas on why food bloggers are neglecting the sustainable eating movement when it provides them with some of the best food out there? I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts. In the meantime, check out your farmer’s market this weekend to join the movement!

Katie

P.S. While writing this, a snapping turtle emerged from the woods for the first time this Spring which provided an appropriate photo for a slow food conversation … the slow part, not the food part.

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Is Social Media Marketing the Green Way to Go?

23 01 2009

When typing “Green Marketing” into Google, I was looking for companies, blogs, news articles, websites, etc. about which marketing companies claim to be green.  All I found were marketing companies calling themselves “Green Marketing”, not because of their own sustainability or the reduction of their office’s carbon footprint.  When they say “Green Marketing” all they are suggesting is that they market green products and or companies.  That’s great and everything, but what is your office doing to be green?

When it comes to Social Media Marketing, if you ask me, it’s the green way to go.  I worked for a traditional PR/Marketing company for a short period of time and right off the bat, I think about all the promotional products we had made for our clients — chapsticks, magnets, visors, water bottles, notepads, golf balls, etc.  All materials that will be thrown into a landfill at one point or another, hopefully to be remembered by that dry lipped golfer that reached for your Brand X chapstick.  Thrown away.  That is exactly where the majority of traditional marketing companies’ efforts unfortunately go.  You pay x amount of dollars for a magazine ad, it’s thrown away, you pay x amount of dollars for a radio ad, gone in 30 seconds, you pay x amount of dollars for a billboard, taken down, replaced and thrown away.

Man, that’s a lot of garbage.  Social Media Companies like us here at Extanz don’t throw anything away. We don’t have to.  Everything we do, from writing blogs to micro-blogging, from setting up profiles and interacting on social media sites, blog commenting as well as creating and uploading YouTube videos. All these ‘products’ sit on the internet creating your long lasting digital footprint that can be found for years down the road.  How’s that for getting your money worth and saving Mother Earth?

Extanz is saving Mother Earth in several other ways.  For starters, we are constantly and primarily online; we rarely use any paper or print anything out.  The average American office worker prints 10,000 pages per year! Not us!!  We carry our handy laptops around in meetings to show what needs to be shown digitally.  Speaking of laptops, I use the new MacBook, which Mac is claiming to be the greenest laptop yet.  Saves energy, is made out of recycled, non-hazardous materials, minimal packaging, I could go on and on.  Yes, we use electricity to power these laptops and computers but here in Colorado we have the option to pay a little bit more to use wind power with Xcel Energy.  Extanz employees also work from home, so we do not have to pollute the air with our cars.  However, we are all avid bike riders and weather permitting, we travel to meetings on bikes. Not only that but our clients support online collaborations in health, create a whole new mind with innovative educational arts software, build/renovate/sell/support green homes and green home building and create community events. We love where we live.

So if you are a tree hugger, a greenie, a hippie, trendy, eco-friendly, green or just plain smart, you now know the kind of marketing that makes Mother Earth happy, keeps other green stuff in your pocket and leaves a lasting digital as opposed to carbon footprint!

Keeping it green (and real),

Lauren

Thanks for the cool pics bitzcelt and Frenchista aka Yann