Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, October 20

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« Friday Foodporn: Two Tilapia Tacos "Dude, I Just Got a Biscuit Boner" »

Event Fri Aug 06 2010

Industrial Harvest: a Study on Nourishment, Food Systems & the City of Chicago

Back in 2008, Sarah Kavage began thinking about her relationship to food, the food's relationship to commodity trading and the commodity trading's relationship to Chicago. As Chicagoans, we're located smack in the middle of the US grain belt and if you stand at Lasalle and Jackson and look up, you'll see a statue of Ceres, the goddess of grain, announcing your arrival the grain world's epicenter. That brought a Seattle-based artist and urban planner Sarah Kavage and her project, "Industrial Harvest" to Chicago. Her goal is to take one unit of financially exchange traded wheat out of the system to 'de-commoditize' the commodity and use it for it's original purpose: feeding people.

After a busy summer of trading wheat at the CME and learning how futures contracts are exchanged, tracking how the contracts are delivered from grain elevators and then ground into flour, she has had her hands in every bushel (and now bag) along the food chain. In June, Sarah bought 1,000 bushels of commodity wheat from an Indiana grain elevator and had it trucked to a family owned mill to be ground into flour. These days, she has been handing it out at farmers markets, baking breads with culinary school students and giving it away to organizations who focus on providing food to hungry Chicagoans.

DSCN1008.JPGHer project is a hands-on conversation about our relationship with our food, an attempt to bring the abstract commodity contracts into the hands of real people making real bread and real pastries and real pizza. Sarah has been hosting and participating in a variety of events such as art shows, dinners, lectures, classes and panel discussions, using pretty much any excuse for people to get together, learn, eat and talk.
Industrial harvest flour.jpg

This Saturday, Aug. 7, Industrial Harvest will be a part of a show at the Roots & Culture Contemporary Art Center (1034 N. Milwaukee at Noble) from 6-10 pm. Sarah and Courtney Moran (aka Alimentary Tropism) will be grilling flat breads and pizza on the sidewalk free for all passers by, using Industrial Harvest flour.

Check out Sarah's blog and other events listed this summer and fall. She's looking for participants and supporters in her project too!

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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