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Back to the Future: Spelt in its Place

Spelt (Triticum spelta) near Allmendingen, Germany Source: Robert Flogaus-Faust This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

What do farmers in Montana’s Golden Triangle today and those living in the Fertile Crescent nearly 3000 years ago have in common? Dry climate, grasslands, livestock, and grain and pulses… The tilling, planting, growing, harvesting, threshing, and milling processes still all take place. The only difference is the technology.

Around 20,000 years ago humans were gathering and consuming grass seed as a protein source. And approximately 10,000 years ago eight plants became the basis of the origins of agriculture: the Eight Founder Crop – einkorn wheat, emmer wheat, and barley; lentils, peas, chickpeas, and bitter vetch; and flax or linseed. All of those crops are still grown today, though bitter vetch is not often consumed anymore.

What happens when you take freshly milled spelt from a local farm and make flat breads?

Is This the End of the Small Boat Fisherman?

Pete Knutson has always been the kind of guy to find a way around the hurdles and challenges life tosses his way.

Loki Fish Company has overcome the odds, because though skill, intuition, and luck, Pete started and built a successful small business by avoiding “killer” challenges every day.

Small food-based businesses have a special role in the way we eat – they bring diversity, innovation, sustainability, and vitality to local and regional food systems.

Big commercial fishing operations driven by “economies of scale” compromise quality in exchange for cost, degrading the value of the food they deliver.

Eggs, Eggs, Eggs! Beautiful Eggs!

During the height of the Pandemic, we were able to get these gorgeous eggs from Oddfellow Inn and Farm – delivered!! It was such fun to scoop the carton from front porch, open it with great anticipation, and see a rainbow of colors: pale green, khaki green, cream, brown, and white.

As these eggs became more popular, it became a game of website roulette to get an order placed. One day there, next day sold out. Check again – success! Scored a dozen.

And the following day, they showed up on the doorstep. Perfect! Social distancing maintained and healthy local food received.

Now that things are opening up again, the good news: these beautiful eggs are again available. It’s time to play website roulette again!

There is Something Wrong; Really Wrong!

Maintained on the backs of farm workers, meat processing workers, food service workers, and other invisible workers, our “American Food System” delivers cheap strawberries from California, Mexico, and Chile year ‘round, and chicken nuggets and hamburgers by the barrel full.

The workers who put food on our tables should not have to sacrifice their health, their bodies, or their families for a paycheck. What justice is there when I can enjoy the fruits of their labors while these workers can barely afford to feed their own families?

Join us on our journey to improve access affordable good food, justice for food workers, and health. Our goal: healthy workers, healthy consumers, healthy food animals, and healthy soil.

Our Daily Bread: It Takes Farmers, Millers, and Bakers

Most of the US forgets – or is simply ignorant of the fact – that the Northern Great Plains are a major part of the nation’s “bread basket.” They’ve been raised to think that wheat comes from Kansas.

The truth is that northern-tier states east of the Rockies produce millions of bushels of wheat, most of which is sold by the train carload to one of just a handful of huge commercial flour mills or is exported. In fact, 85% of the wheat produced in Montana – and 50% of the wheat produced in the US – is exported worldwide.

Montana-made artisan bread.

Our goal at GoodFood World is to stimulate discussion by reporting on the critical issues affecting the production and use of organic wheat and other grains, especially the challenges to small-scale organic family farms, millers, and bakers.  Have you bought locally grown grain, flour, or bread? Your comments and input are appreciated!

Eat Well, Be Well: What We Eat and Who Supplies It

Supermarkets and big box stores offer nearly 50,000 – or more – products for us to choose from to feed ourselves and our families. It turns out that is a big challenge to healthy eating.

A nation-wide analysis of U.S. grocery purchases revealed that highly processed foods make up more than 60 percent of the calories in food we buy, and these items tend to have more fat, sugar and salt than less-processed foods.

Selecting locally grown and minimally processed food items – good food – means more healthful and nutritious food on your plate. How do you know what is available to you?

Eating in Montana – Healthful Food or Junk Food?

Farmers markets and CSAs sprout up every spring along with the lettuce and tomato plants. Supermarkets across the country, from small family-owned stores to big box chains, are all offering organic options throughout the store, not just produce any more.

And we have more and more options to choose from in the “middle of the store.”

So, we all think – or would like to think – that we’re eating nutritious food. Do we even know what good “nutrition” is?