In Our Summer 2014 Issue
LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER
This summer, Edible Milwaukee goes back to the source.
For some of us, it’s hard to know where to start with food. We’ve been eating it every day, multiple times a day, for our entire lives – but lately, food is taking on new meaning. These days it has to. We all eat, but the number of farmers in the U.S. is dwindling rapidly. We are increasingly familiar with exotic ingredients, but we don’t know where they come from or what they require to produce. Cooking shows are everywhere, but no one cooks anymore. There must be something beyond taste that draws us in to food.
I learned these statistics and more at this year’s Edible Institute in New York City. Every year, Edible publishers from across the U.S. and Canada come together to dream about the future of food and media. At the end of the publishers’ conference, Edible Communities holds the EDDY Awards, honoring the best editorial and advertising from within our network of over 85 publications. This year, our fledgling magazine proudly took home one of them: Best Editorial – Food or Cooking Focused, for our Winter 2013 article, “Where the Wild Foods Are.”
After the EDDY Awards, the conference opens up to the public and the party really begins. Writer Mark Bittman led off with a keynote, suggesting that the single most important thing people can do to improve their diets is to cook more. That it’s not enough to produce more food locally – it’s equally important to distribute it effectively through hubs, co-ops, and grocery stores. He reminded us that the best human diet has yet to be determined, but the worst is the absence of food. And another basic claim: without new farmers, who will grow what we eat? Hearing these food leaders was energizing not for the questions they asked, but for their pragmatic approach to answering them.
While researching Edible Milwaukee’s summer edition, we seem to have come up with one possible answer: try going back to the source. In this issue, we learn more about Groundwork Milwaukee, a program introducing kids to gardens throughout the city. We join the buzz around urban beehives. We get to know three local food and restaurant mentors, whose renown lies not only in their own accomplishments, but also in what they’ve enabled others to achieve. We travel out to Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm in Delavan to explore a lamb farm with its own processing facility on site. On the beverage side, we delve into hops, the ingredient that hits you in the face every time you take a sip, but until recently was nearly impossible to find as a Wisconsin crop. Lastly, we have an op-ed about the primary ingredient required for everything: water. Like many of our resources, it’s something Milwaukee has in abundance, yet we are largely ignorant of its importance.
Whether your goal in eating is to improve your health, to bring your family around the table, to help invest dollars in our local economy, or a combination of all of the above, dig deeper into the roots of your food.
-Jen Ede, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief