June 20, 2011

About the blogger and the blog

My name is Amanda Minoff, and I am currently a sophomore at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. I have lived in Northampton my whole life, and so I’ve had the privilege of sampling the best, freshest cuisine that the Valley offers. Over the past couple of years, I have become deeply concerned with the nature of our current food system—all of the risks to health, animal welfare, and the environments that it entails—and I have become interested in the prospect of achieving one that is more sustainable.
The value of local produce was instilled in me—even if subconsciously—from an early age. My family had a CSA share with the Food Bank Farm for many years, and over the past six years I have helped my mother maintain a vegetable garden. Recently, I have done significantly more research regarding the current state of agribusiness in the U.S., and I have involved myself with a number of events at Bowdoin that promote local, sustainable food sources. I traveled to a farm in Utuado, Puerto Rico with a group of twelve other Bowdoin students from March 15-22 where we worked on an organic farm and educated the students of a nearby school in the importance of organic agriculture. The experience left me with a greater appreciation for the occupation of farming and and a strong desire to continue working to promote sustainable agriculture.
Luckily, the Pioneer Valley is an ideal place to pursue any type of sustainable food initiative. Northampton, with its biweekly farmers markets and CISA's widely supported Local Hero movement, has proved itself to be a model in the local food scene. Many of the restaurants here, as well as restaurants in surrounding towns, are impressive in their support of local farms and their commitment to sustainability.

In this blog I will review local restaurants’ and farms’ efforts towards sustainability. I hope to shed some light on these commendable relationship between farms and restaurants that exist here in Western Mass. and show how buying and selling locally so profoundly impacts carbon footprint, animal welfare, and (perhaps most importantly) taste! 

Feel free to leave questions and comments directly on the blog, or email me at aminoff@bowdoin.edu.

Thanks for reading!


Tuesday market in Northampton, MA