Food Day and Fair Trade Month

October 24th is National Food Day and October is Fair Trade Month!

Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life-parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes-to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way.

Do you buy food? Do you eat food? Then you can be part of Food Day!
Everyone can make a difference and Anchorage Food Mosaic is excited to encourage people to celebrate our many cultures through food, and to mobilize to change our current food system. Everyone can be involved. Your interest in any aspect of food is relevant, from farmers markets to animal welfare, from labor issues to public health. But the most important ingredient in Food Day is YOU. We invite you to think about ways you can participate in Food Day.

Fair Trade goods are just that. Fair. From farms to your shopping cart, products that bear our logo come from farmers and workers who are justly compensated. Your purchase of Fair Trade products helps farmers in developing countries build sustainable businesses that positively influence their communities. Fair Trade is not charity. Fair Trade programs strive to teach disadvantaged communities how to use the free market to their advantage. With Fair Trade USA, the money you spend on day-to-day goods can improve an entire community’s day-to-day lives.

Where can I buy FAIR TRADE in Anchorage?
There are many stores around Anchorage that carry a variety of Fair Trade Goods. Did you know Costco sells Fair Trade wine? Natural Pantry, in the University Center Mall has a large variety of Fair Trade teas, coffees and chocolates. If you are a coffee or tea drinker, an easy way to take part in the Fair Trade movement is to make the commitment to switch your hot morning beverage Fair Trade certified products. GrassRoots: A Fair Trade store is full of Fair Trade goodies! In addition to consumables like dark chocolate and coffee GrassRoots also carries beautiful jewelry, clothes, books, cards and decorations for your home.
Some of our favorite products from GrassRoots is anything from Eswatini Swazi Kitchen. Hot Mango Chutney, Chili Sauce, and Curry are perfect with a bit of cream cheese on a cracker. The slightly sweet, savory and spicy treat is a perfect combination!

Are LOCAL and FAIR TRADE the same?
While local products are technically not certified as Fair Trade, some consider buying local products just as empowering as buying Fair Trade products. Local products strengthen local economies and consumers, and put money directly into the pockets of our neighbors and friends.
Did you know that you can buy local food all winter long from farmers at the Sears Mall on Wednesdays? The mini market is open from 11-6 on Wednesdays!
Want to buy local meat? Lamb, Pork and Beef are now available at Artisans & Farmers CSC, Community Supported Collective! For more information visit their website!

FAIR TRADE Chocolate Mousse

-8 ounces bittersweet fair trade chocolate (no more than 60% cacao), chopped (Try Divine, Equal Exchange, or Theo’s Fair Trade Chocolate found at New Sagaya, Summit Tea and Spice, or Grassroots Fair Trade Store)
-3/4 stick (3 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces (Mat-Su Creamery)
-3 large eggs, separated (Mat-Su Creamery or Tranquility Heights farm eggs sold at Natural Pantry)
-2 TBS strong fair trade coffee or espresso (Kaladis, New Sagayas, Fred Meyers)
-1 cup very cold heavy or whipping cream (Mat-Su Creamery)
-1/8 teaspoon salt

-Bring 2 cups water to a simmer and set glass bowl on top (creating a double boiler). Add the chocolate and butter in it (creating a double boiler), gently stirring until smooth. Remove from heat. Alternately, you can melt them in your microwave, stirring thoroughly at 30 seconds and every 15 seconds thereafter until the mixture is smooth.
-In the small bowl, beat yolks with your electric mixer until thick enough to form a ribbon that takes a few seconds to dissolve – this will take about two to four minutes to achieve. Whisk yolks into chocolate mixture along with coffee, then let cool.
-In one of the medium bowls, beat the cream with cleaned beaters until it just holds stiff peaks (you just made whipped cream!)
-In the other medium bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks.
-Fold the whipped cream and beaten whites into the chocolate mixture, gently but thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl, or go restaurant-style and serve in stemmed glasses with white or dark chocolate shavings on top, or mint sprigs.
Do ahead: Mousse can be chilled, its surface covered with parchment paper, up to 2 days. Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes before serving.

The Anchorage Food Mosaic’s mission is to build and celebrate community through our cultural foods.

In our current conventional agricultural system, a monoculture replaces lots of genetically diverse plants with one uniform crop, which is highly susceptible to disease and failure. In the same way that monocropping is dangerous to the future of a crop; we must encourage diversity within our community to prevent disease.

In order for our community to thrive we need to embrace and nurture the “mosaic” of people in this city.

The Anchorage Food Mosaic features different community members through photos and traditional recipes. Let us cook each others cultural foods and share our stories with one another.

Previous articleAFN 2011 Alaska Native Language Reports
Next articleAlaska News Nightly: October 21, 2011