Monday, February 28


Broadcastr opens to the public today!

Working via the Broadcastr interface, the SFA is sharing its complete audio archive, adding our stories behind the food to an interactive, publicly accessible, online map of our world. Accessed via the Internet, or an iPhone/iPad/Android application, users of the service are able to experience their world through the voices of those individuals who’ve helped to shape it. People like tamale maker Elizabeth Scott in Metcalf, Mississippi. And Bo Whitaker, maker of blueberry wine in Mocksville, North Carolina. Our entire archive of oral histories will be available for listening. And, as our archive continues to grow, more voices will be added to our Broadcastr profile.

Broadcastr is naturally suited to travelers and tourists. Taking advantage of portable media, as users isolate clips or create playlists according to a certain location or theme, Broadcastr automatically streams selected audio into the user’s headphones as it would in a museum tour. This is a way to deliver SFA content to travelers without forcing them to look at a screen. It’s an audio guide to the world—the world of Southern food.

But that’s not all. Broadcastr is also a platform for the SFA to share news of upcoming events, feature oral history dispatches from the field, and share in-the-moment comments on how we interact with our region and its food. Imagine if Twitter had a speaking voice.

To interact with the SFA’s audio archive on Broadcastr, please visit

Thursday, February 24


Eddie Huang, outside of Taylor Grocery, during 2010 Symposium

There are many ways you may know of Eddie Huang. His restaurant in NYC, Baohaus (or the late Xiao Ye). His blog posts and Twitterfeed. Or you may have first been introduced to him in Gravy. Or at the Southern Foodways Symposium last October, where he was wok-cooking catfish.

Today, on, you can Meet Eddie Huang, Food Personality.

And then add him to your Twitterfeed. He's hilarious.

Wednesday, February 23


Most of you have heard by now that Joe York, our resident filmmaker, has been collecting footage for a new feature-length film, Southern Food: The Movie. But did you know he's been blogging about the project, too? Visit to meet some of the people and places that will be featured in the film. Places like Awendaw, SC, where the Green and Colleton families uphold a longstanding family tradition of having fresh game on the holiday table by going on a squirrel hunt every Thanksgiving.

A five-minute short on the Green/Colleton family squirrel hunt, along with a handful of other SFA films, will screen on Wed., March 2, at the SFA's Potlikker Film Fest: Charleston

Southern Food: The Movie is due out in the spring of 2012.

Tuesday, February 22


22nd Annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration
“Fields of Dreams: Sports in the South”
February 24-27
Natchez Convention Center, Natchez, MS

The Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration annually presents a theme-based lecture series enhanced by films, field trips, workshops, exhibits, book signings, concerts, and discussions.

On Friday before lunch, Debbie Moose will give a talk titled “So There’s a Game, Too? Tailgating, Food, and Fans,” with references to her book, Fan Fare: A Playbook of Great Recipes for Tailgating or Watching the Game at Home. The off-season is a perfect time to practice up; now's the time to get ready for next fall!

You can also hear Dr. Ted Ownby of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Ownby will give a talk titled "William Faulkner, 'The Bear,' and the Mysteries of Football: Sports and Identity in the Southern Renaissance." He'll be speaking on Thursday at 1:45p.m.

Tickets to the program and lunch at Stanton Hall are $25/per person. Click here to buy tickets and learn more about the Celebration.


I went to Mound Bayou, Mississippi, this weekend to attend a conference by Mississippi's Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. The keynote speaker was Will Allen, pictured above. Allen is a former basketball player and businessman who now works full time at Growing Power, a nonprofit that he founded. He's one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people, and he's also involved in the White House campaign to fight childhood obesity and bring better food to schools.

From their website: Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diverse backgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this mission by providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance through the development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute food in a sustainable manner.

Check out their website to see all the good work they're doing with youth, teaching them values of hard work, sustainable agriculture, and food justice.

Thursday, February 17


FOOD, For Thought, For Life Symposium
Friday, February 25
2:30-4:00 p.m.
Mississippi Public Broadcasting auditorium, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS

The Mississippi Humanities Council, with a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, is coordinating a year-long discussion on the ethics, aesthetics and politics of food. One such discussion is taking place Friday, February 25, 2011, at the Mississippi Public Broadcasting auditorium in Jackson.

You can attend the Food Symposium as part of the "studio audience" to hear a distinguished panel discuss significant issues related to food, from production to consumption to health and other outcomes of what we eat and how we eat it.

Panelists: John T Edge, Southern Foodways Alliance; Dr. Ralph Didlake, UMC Center for Bioethics & Medical Humanities; Shane McNeill, Office of Healthy Schools, MS Dept. of Education; Dr. Benjy Mikel, MSU School of Agriculture; Warren Yoder, Public Policy Center of Mississippi Moderator: Dr. Gary Myers, MSU Institute of the Humanities


New from Southern Spaces, curated by our friends at Emory University, is this brief and well-edited film journal.

Garden designer Ryan Gainey of Decatur, Georgia, is well known for synthesizing classical English garden design with vernacular Southeastern species and participating in seed preservation.

In this short by Steve Bransford, Gainey talks about the botanical life and offers a cultural history of figs.

Wednesday, February 16


The Slaw and the Slow Cooked: Culture and Barbecue in the Mid-South is a new book that is co-edited by James R. Veteto and Ted Maclin. James and Ted wrote the introduction for the Tennessee leg of our Southern BBQ Trail and recruited some of our colleagues to contribute to The Slaw and the Slow Cooked.

Joe York, now our resident filmmaker, was part of the SFA's very first trip into the field to collect barbecue interviews in 2002 and made the barbecue documentary Whole Hog for the SFA in 2006. A piece on the ecology of a barbecue sandwich is his contribution to the book.

Rien Fertel, who revisited our 2002 interview subjects in Memphis and rural western Tennessee for the Southern BBQ Trail, wrote a chapter entitled "Identity, Authenticity, Persistence and Loss in the West Tennessee Whole Hog Tradition."

SFA member and friend Leslie Kelly interviewed James R. Veteto for the State of Q, an online community devoted to all things barbecue, where you can learn more about The Slaw and the Slow Cooked.

Look for The Slaw and the Slow Cooked to appear in bookstores sometime this summer.

Tuesday, February 15


We all need break time during the work day. Ideally, I should get up from my desk to stretch and walk around outside. More often than not, however, I find myself Web browsing, too lazy to brave the outside cold.

A few months ago I came across a website by artist Mark Menjivar, who has created a wonderful series of photographs entitled "You Are What You Eat." Each image is of the inside of a refrigerator, and is titled by a description of the fridge's owner. The image above, borrowed from Menjivar's original site, belongs to a retired train conductor in Jackson, Mississippi, who started Meals on Wheels in his community.

On your break today, scroll through the twenty images Menjivar has posted here. You'll need to scroll down to click the arrows underneath his statement to move through the slide show.

Your fridge says a lot about who you are, how you live, and even where you live. What's in yours?

Tuesday, February 8


Eat sustainable seafood. How do you know if it's sustainable? There's an app for that. (You may remember that we shared news of the app Oysterpedia a few weeks ago.)

Created by the good folks at the Monteray Bay Aquarium, Seafood Watch may be downloaded for free via iTunes. It allows the user to search for responsible seafood choices in their locale, search for seafood by common names, and sort menu options by best choice, good alternatives, or avoid rankings. Click here to check it out.

Thursday, February 3


Photo by Gerry Melendez, AP

Oh, geez. Michelle Obama seems to have poked a stick at the South's "hornet nest." In a recent email announcing Charlotte as the location of the 2012 Democratic Convention site, Ms. Obama playfully added that the city has "great barbecue." You would have thought she said that vinegar-based sauce rules! The debate over the nuances of barbecue are far and wide, and--bless her heart--Michelle Obama stepped right in the middle of it with one, small, good-natured comment.
Y'all--let's give her a break. At least she didn't say Kansas City barbecue beats all.
(Just kidding, Kansas City.)

See the full article, "Michelle Obama, trapped in the barbecue wars" here.

Wednesday, February 2


In an article about, among other matters, unrest in the Middle East, the Sydney Herald of Australia postulates that "food has become the new gold."

"The surge in global food prices is not the underlying cause of Arab revolt, any more than bad harvests in 1788 were the cause of the French Revolution."

"Yet they are the trigger, and have set off a vicious circle. Vulnerable governments are scrambling to lock up world supplies of grain. Algeria bought 800,000 tonnes of wheat last week, and Indonesia has ordered 800,000 tonnes of rice, both greatly exceeding their normal pace of purchases. Saudi Arabia, Libya, and Bangladesh are trying to secure extra grain supplies."

Tuesday, February 1


The recession is taking its toll on everything, including iconic American Girl Scout cookies. In several markets across the country, councils have slimmed down their menus to offer just the most popular cookies, i.e. The Super Six. And to make their offerings even more irresistible, some councils are using consultants to teach sales techniques to the scouts.

Why the reduced menu and increased training? It's an effort to streamline sales, speed delivery, and increase profits, according to the national Girl Scout office. It's a move by the Girl Scouts to implement the same thriftiness and good business practices that the scouts demonstrate to earn badges.

Rest easy: Thin Mints are here to stay. After all, no good business tinkers with its best seller. And there's a publicity lesson here, too. After the Wall Street Journal reported on the Super Six, had its most hits ever.