Sum­mer Recipes with a Side of Food Pol­i­tics


Can you take a lit­tle dose of food pol­i­tics with your Eat­ing­well mag­a­zine? I ask, be­cause I re­cently got a let­ter from a reader scold­ing me to “just give me the recipes, lady!” I prom­ise you (and that reader) that this is­sue is chock-full of de­li­cious recipes and ideas for sum­mer par­ties. I tasted all 46 of them when they were cooked in our Test Kitchen. My fa­vorite item: the corn & fen­nel chow chow on page 80 from chef Vi­vian Howard’s pick­ling party. I’m about to fin­ish my sec­ond quart-size ma­son jar of the stuff. I’ve had it on a tuna salad wrap, over cheese grits, with eggs, on a hot dog. What is it not good on? And there’s plenty more be­sides that—so if it’s recipes you’re af­ter, you’re set.

But I want to go back to the pol­i­tics for a sec. Here’s the deal: part of why I be­lieve deeply in Eat­ing­well is that we tell the sto­ries be­hind our food, ex­plain how it’s pro­duced, and hope­fully help you bet­ter un­der­stand com­plex is­sues rang­ing from GMOS and food ad­di­tives to an­i­mal wel­fare and farm­worker jus­tice. I re­cently looked through stacks of Eat­ing­well from 25-plus years ago, when we first started. The is­sues had ar­ti­cles on top­ics like pes­ti­cides on pro­duce, bet­ter ways to farm fish, and or­ganic la­bel­ing. In other words, not only do we in­ject our pages with food pol­i­tics to­day, but we’ve been do­ing it since day one.

So while I’m ex­cited for you to try the recipes in this is­sue, I’m not go­ing to shy away from point­ing you to our sec­ond an­nual list of Amer­i­can Food Heroes (page 109), writ­ten by our fea­tures ed­i­tor, Shaun Dreis­bach. It in­cludes 12 peo­ple, each of whom is work­ing on chal­lenges fac­ing our food sys­tem. There’s a con­gress­woman who’s worked tire­lessly on the farm bill. There’s an ag ex­pert from The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy, lead­ing a pro­gram to re­store nu­tri­ents and im­prove soil health on at least half of all row-crop acreage in the U.S. over the next sev­eral years. There’s an in­no­va­tor who’s built the largest in­door farm in the world in Ne­wark, New Jer­sey, and the CEO of a multi­na­tional pack­aged-goods com­pany who made the list be­cause he not only pledged his com­pany would end pack­ag­ing waste by 2025, he also com­pelled his co­horts from Mcdon­ald’s, Mars and more to com­mit to the same prom­ise.

The list goes on. But I don’t want to give it all away. Read it for your­self, then email me to let me know whether you give it a thumbs-up or -down. Me, per­son­ally? I love these sto­ries. They in­form me, in­spire me and make me hope­ful. But I to­tally get it if you tell me, “Just give me the recipes, lady.” That’s fair. May I rec­om­mend start­ing with the chow chow?

Eat­ing­well’s 2018 Amer­i­can Food Heroes start on page 109.

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