Farm-to-Table, Even in Alaska


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The expression “farm-to-table” (and it’s variants in the retail world like “bean-to-bar,” which recently got the Mast Brothers in hot water) has been around for some time; with sustainability and health on everyone’s minds in 2016, it shows no signs of going away. Even in Alaska, a state where chefs of all kinds lament the flavorlessness and cost of produce picked before its time and shipped thousands of miles, a farm-fresh movement is starting to take root.

Two new startups, Alaska Natural Organics and Vertical Harvest Hydroponics, are attempting to bring sustainable farming closer to the residents of Alaska using (relatively) new agricultural technology. The two companies rely on different solutions to the problem of climate – the former operates a small farm out of an old warehouse in downtown Anchorage, with LED lights set up to allow hydroponic vegetables to grow year round, and the latter makes portable growing pods out of repurposed cargo containers. These containers are designed to be climate-proof and easily installed as close to the consumer as possible – in the basement of restaurants or grocery stores, for example.

If successful, more start-ups could follow suit in Alaska and other harsh climates. The benefits are easy to see, as produce grown nearby saves on shipping costs, reduces emissions, keeps money in the local economy, and can be picked when ripe for better taste and nutrition.

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Chick-Fil-A Rings in New Year by Getting Shut Down

wrewr435345fdssdfsd.jpgAfter a December Health Inspection that earned the fried chicken chain a damning C grade, the midtown Manhattan Chick-Fil-A has closed for five days in order to make improvements to operations and hopefully earn a higher grade on re-inspection. “Grade Pending” currently hangs in their window until the update is complete.

This New York branch of the controversy-ridden chain earned a total of 59 violation points on their December 24th inspection, and 39 on an earlier December inspection. Those include a number of “critical” violations for things like the presence of filth flies and improper food storage. They are allowed to leave the “Grade Pending” sign up until their appeal is heard at an Office of Administrative Trials and Hearing Health Tribunal.

To read more, click here.