Cuisine in Transition

An Interview with Julieta Salazar Robert at Villada in Oaxaca, Mexico

It’s that time of year again when UVM’s Oaxaca Study Abroad program starts and a curious bunch of undergraduates, from many different majors, come together to learn about Mexico’s past and present history, politics, language, culture, art, and best of all for me, its incredible food.

This year, the students’ first four days are in an acclimatization retreat at La Villada Inn about 20 minutes up a steep hill outside of the City of Oaxaca.  A picturesque location with views down the valley and up into the majestic and very high, Sierra Norte Mountains.

Oaxaca is a state in Mexico and its capitol is formally called Oaxaca de Juarez, which is where UVM’s program is based. The city has approximately 100,000 inhabitants and is known for its fine and artisanal art as well as for its beauty, a mile high up in the Sierras.  Far from the troubled border, Oaxaca is a haven of artists and interested foreigners curious about this special place. Continue reading

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UVM Students Find Local Food Hub Inspiration in Vermont

The temperature was 12 below when a busload of UVM students arrived at a nondescript business park off Route 100 in Waitsfield.

From the outside, the green, industrial building didn’t look like a thriving food enterprise. But on the inside – with 4,000 square-feet of freezers, storage, a loading dock, and processing space – it became immediately clear to students that local food was the mission.

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Breaking Free of our (Food) Chain$

FoodChain$-Poster-SmallBy Jane Kolodinsky

I consider myself lucky to have seen an advance screening of FoodChain$, a documentary from the producers of Fast Food Nation and Food, Inc., while I was at the American Public Health Meetings in New Orleans this past November. There is something energetic, even radical or revolutionary, about being at an artsy venue in an industrial district of a city with like-minded people who want to see and make a difference in the food system, whether from a public health, labor, food security, or other approach.

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Keepin’ It Real

Yesterday I went to get my snow tires put on at our local tire place. And in order for you to continue reading, I want you to know I’m aware that the errand is two months overdue. As I entered, I was greeted by a bank of tire changers: four young men sitting on stools behind an L-shaped counter. It was a slow day, and they seemed happy to have a customer. They all wore dark-colored hoodies, jeans, and if I remember correctly, baseball caps. They appeared to be in their early thirties and Vermonters. As one punched in my information, I noticed the tell-tale, indelible grease under the fingernails of someone who worked on cars.

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What Does Sustainable Agriculture Mean to You?

Laurie Reese uprooted her life in the Pacific Northwest to learn how to become a farmer. The 54-year-old grandmother resigned from her office manager job and drove cross-country with her 76-year-old father last spring to join UVM’s Farmer Training program.

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