Earlier on today's show, essayist Kyle Cherek reflected that the word foodie is not just for trendy east or west coasters. It’s a word that can – and is – used to describe people right here in the heartland that are passionate about food, especially locally sourced and prepared food. But eating local doesn’t necessarily mean eating from a culinarytradition that is local.
All week, WUWM has been exploring the strength of Wisconsin’s food industry, including its economic impact here in the southeast.
The state’s lion’s share is its commodities such as grains and dairy products, as well as processed foods. They’re sold across the country, and Wisconsin continues to develop markets overseas, because that’s where 96 percent of the world’s eaters live.
But the state is also begun promoting the local food movement; it encourages residents to buy foods produced close to home. The goal is to put fresher, more nutritious items on tables, while generating more business for Wisconsin producers.
Here’s more from WUWM's Marge Pitrof, on this, our our final day of Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate?
There’s a national movement afoot to grow more food in cities.
And the Milwaukee area stands out as an urban agricultural hotbed, as raised gardens multiply in backyards, empty lots and community spaces. Another promising piece of urban food production is called “aquaponics”.
They’re systems that combine fish and produce.
On this final day of our Project Milwaukee series on the local food economy, Environmental Reporter Susan Bence introduces us to local innovators using this fishy model to inspire future leaders.
Southeastern Wisconsin has long been a leader in the world of manufacturing. That reputation might conjure images of machinery and tools. But nine percent of the items manufactured here are food products.
There are more than 250 food and beverage factories in southeastern Wisconsin, and the economic development group, the M7, estimates that those companies employ more than 14,000 workers and generate nearly $600 million in annual salaries. In this installment of “Project Milwaukee: What’s on our Plate?” WUWM’s Marti Mikkelson takes us to several operations that have been growing.
Our Project Milwaukee series What’s on Our Plate? continues with an overview of Wisconsin’s place at the food producing table. Kyle Cherek is known to many of us here in Milwaukee as the host of the syndicated television show Wisconsin Foodie, currently in its third season. It profiles where our food comes from, the region’s artisanal resources and culinary high points. Cherek is also a frequent contributor and speaker on culinary topics and the farm to table trend.
While Wisconsin may be number one, or close to it, in growing and producing many foods, a new agricultural report from Iowa State University finds there’s even more we could be doing in terms of fruits and vegetables. But some believe the issue is more challenging than just changing what farmers grow. Michelle Miller is associate director for the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at UW-Madison. She spoke with Stephanie Lecci as part of our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series.
We travel to Organic Valley to learn how supporting family farms and committing to organic practices made this Wisconsin company very successful – and a national role model. WUWM environmental reporter Susan Bence takes us there for our Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? series, and we hear from reporter Joanne Weintraub, who wrote about Organic Valley in the current issue of Milwaukee Magazine.
WUWM begins a week-long look at the state's food economy in our series, Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? The foods that are grown here have always been intertwined with the state's history. Some analysts believe food is also key to the region's future. In our first installment, Ann-Elise Henzl reports on how Wisconsin became so closely associated with food.