2015 - International Year of Soils

GoodFood World

Good food is everybody's business!

Welcome to GoodFood WorldFebruary 13, 2015

Just when we think multinational corporations have taken over the world, we find reasons to be encouraged and excited. Small independent businesses are offering us a creative and diverse set of alternatives. 


Quick, take a look... tell me where we are! 

No idea? Well, folks, you're now a victim of the "franchization" of America! Every place is now the same place. 

We'd like to think the food world is different, but the world of food is even more insidious. Just the top 10 food processing companies together generated more than $197 billion in revenues in 2014.

And your grocery cart? Those top food processing companies control it. Americans are spending twice as much on processed food today than we did just 30 years ago. In 2012, we spent 22.9% of our food budgets on processed food, compared to just 11.6% in 1982.

Produce is no better. While today's produce sections are piled high with colorful fruits and vegetables, all that choice is just an illusion too. In most supermarkets there are just a handful of varieties of each kind of vegetable offered for sale.

There is good news. Even as we face globalization (and standardization) of nearly every element of our lives, including the food we eat, there are between 25 and 27 million small and medium independent companies working separately to deliver us diversity and quality. It's time we recognized the value that these businesses deliver to us, and to our communities.

Read how local independent businesses provide much more than an increasing diversity of products and services, they also keep more money in (and circulating through) the community in which they are located, in If SMALL is Beautiful, Why Has BIG Taken Over the World?  

Know What Is REALLY Good Food!

A New Service for GoodFood World Readers


Good food is everybody's business and this year we will be providing even more information to help you identify, locate, purchase, and prepare the very best food for you and your family. 


How do you know what's the best choice to make in the produce section, at the dairy or freezer case, or in the grocery aisles? What are the healthiest and highest quality products for you and your family? How do you know which is the best buy? 


Following are three analyses that look at ingredients, sourcing, and growing and processing methods for three product groups: bread, lentils, and tomato soup. Watch for our next product analysis: soy and other alternative "milks."   


What's In My Soup?  

Canned soup, boxed soup, soup produced in huge quantities in industrial conditions is by nature a "processed food." And nutrients (vitamins, minerals, etc.), flavor, and aroma are destroyed by processing - the grinding, mashing, blending, and cooking.  


To replace what's lost artificial flavors, colors, aromas, thickeners, texturizers, and preservatives - and man-made vitamins - are all added back in attempt to give processed food the taste and appearance of fresh food. Compare any canned or boxed soup to fresh soup or soup made in small quantities and frozen, and you'll immediately see the difference. Read more in What's Really In That Bowl of Soup?   


Wonder Bread or Wonderful Bread?

Chances are your family's daily bread is just another item on your list when you shop at your favorite supermarket. Let's take a closer look at what you're bringing home; your bread may be "in disguise."


It's pretty clear that fluffy loaves of mass-produced soft, damp, nutritionally deficient, chemical-laced bread made in large industrial "bread factories" and sold in tightly sealed plastic bags contain additives and preservatives to make them easy to process and to give them a long shelf life. But what about the rest of those loaves lined up just asking to be dropped into your shopping cart? It's time to say, "Let us eat (REAL) bread!" Read more in Wonder Bread or Wonderful Bread? 


Peas and Beans and Lentils, Oh My!

Lentils (those tiny little legumes often displayed in the "healthy grains" section of the supermarket) are not commonly on the dinner plate in most American households, even though they are a key element in the healthy - and highly recommended - Mediterranean diet.


Lentils - and other assorted grains and beans - are on the shelves in every supermarket and in the bulk bins in nearly every natural food market. But how to decide which ones you should buy? Get the whole story in Peas and Beans and Lentils, Oh My! 

The Reading List

The unsung heroes of today's food system are small and medium-sized growers, producers and processors, and retailers. Today's reading list celebrates small farmers in Montana, independent retail shops, and small businesses across the country.

The Lentil Underground, Liz Carlisle

Organic grain farmers are a closely connected lot, and about two dozen organic farmers are linked through Timeless Seeds, Ulm MT.


David Oien and three other "renegade farmers" started selling organic grains and seeds before consumers knew the definition of "organic" or "lentil."  


A quiet leader, David has inspired his friends and neighbors - and hundreds of fellow farmers - to venture into organic farming, which is a more sustainable approach that has kept them from going bankrupt and made them more resilient to climate change. 


Read the story of the Lentil Underground, then buy a few bags of Timeless' amazing lentils and start cooking!


The Mom & Pop Store, Robert Spector
A celebration of the history of small, independent retail shops and the story of how mom and pop stores across the country still thrive on attentive customer service and renewed community support for local businesses.

The Mom & Pop Store reflects the story of this country, for it embraces and cross-references every ethnic group and virtually every element of American society.

The Small-Mart Revolution, Michael Shuman

Contrary to popular belief, many small, locally owned businesses actually out-perform their "big box" and Fortune 500 competition - both in outright profitability and the value they bring to consumers, workers, and communities.


Unlike mega-stores and multi-national chains like Wal-Mart, these small businesses stimulate the economy by buying supplies and services locally, adapt to (rather than fight against) higher local environmental and labor regulations, and stick around for many years, often many generations.


There are more books on GoodFood World and more coming all the time. Read, learn, and enjoy!
The AV Department

Pete Knutson, Small Boat Fisherman

Pete Knutson, owner of Loki Fish Company, discusses his path to becoming a direct-marketing fisherman.


Loki has taken an alternative path to direct marketing fresh, frozen, and smoked salmon products by managing all the elements of the supply chain: harvest, processing, packaging, retailing, and serving a wide variety of products from salmon roe caviar to grilled salmon sliders.  


Man in the Maze   

Throughout the U.S. borderlands, a diverse group of people have come up with innovative solutions to mend our broken food system.


Man in the Maze takes us from the devastating dumping of fruits and vegetables into the Rio Rico landfill to the Borderlands Food Bank in Nogales and on to Southern Arizona communities working to save the food from waste, and to grow their own.  


There are more videos on GoodFood World and more coming all the time.

Kamut International
Tilth Producers of Washington Upcoming Events
Profitable Urban Agriculture, February 14, 2015, Seattle WA
Curtis Stone
of Green City Acres in British Columbia will present an in-depth workshop on profitable urban agriculture at the Phinney Community Center in Seattle. Details and online registration. 

Seeking Referrals and Recommendations  


GoodFood World is an important platform to help re-establish the missing connection with our food and our farmers, fishermen, millers, and bakers - all the people who grow and prepare it.  


We've sought out sources of local or regional, whole or minimally-processed meat, fish, produce, grain, dairy, and more. We introduce producers who are growing and harvesting good food. We promote food products that we believe are not only good food, but are food produced in a way that is environmentally sensitive and socially responsible.


At GoodFood World, we are dedicated to help these people and others like them succeed and we offer consulting and business services to carefully selected clients who are:

  • Responsible food producers, processors, distributors, and retailers.
  • Environmentally and socially responsible small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Entrepreneurs launching new products and new businesses.

Leveraging my experience as a corporate executive, small business owner, and writer and public speaker, I specialize in strategic business and marketing planning, technology implementation, and marketing communications and promotion. To learn more, read about my services here and contact me here.

Contribute Content, Advice, Input

We welcome photos, tips, observations, and links to stories about the world of good food. Send us stories about what you've seen or heard. Tell us what we're doing right. We like "atta boys!" Got a beef? Send it on... we need to know! Here's the place to do it.   


Take care, eat well, and be well!


Gail Nickel-Kailing and Ken Kailing



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