Food

Tracking a Tater

Nov 18, 2010

Lake Effect’s Stephanie Lecci produced our feature for Project Milwaukee: What's on Our Plate? on following the economic impact of a Wisconsin potato. She visited locations including Heartland Farms, the University of Wisconsin’s Hancock Agricultural Research Station, and Frito-Lay. She also spoke with Joe McCarthy of Diamond Foods, which owns the Kettle brand potato chips, and Duane Maatz of the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association.

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.

Expanding Fruit & Vegetable Production

Nov 16, 2010

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.

Wisconsin food history marks the first segment of our Project Milwaukee: What’s on Our Plate? series. John Gurda is a Milwaukee historian, the author of nineteen books, including The Making of Milwaukee and Cream City Chronicles, and he’s our regular Lake Effect history contributor.

Terese Allen is the author of the new edition of The Flavor of Wisconsin: An Informal History of Food and Eating in the Badger State, published by the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.

Tomorrow on our Project Milwaukee series, What’s On Our Plate?, we move into the present and take stock of what’s being produced in Wisconsin today.

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