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You might notice a theme in my posts – I believe that food can create community in its most basic sense. And now that our communities are often more virtual than proximate, why not tap into that fact to create demand for healthy options?

Enter Foodsurge, a solution by a Detroit-area innovation team that calls themselves The Beet Squad.  Foodsurge uses social media fueled-tools to connect people with fast, nutritious meal options we can all get behind.

As a entry, Foodsurge has risen to be among the top two candidates in a competition whose winner gets the money and support to turn their idea into a reality. (The other top contender is a group from San Francisco that calls themselves the Udon Project.)

To quote the Foodsurge  mission:

Foodsurge is a platform that creates the connections between local producers of real food and area restaurants in order to create the quick, fast meal options the foodie community wants. Let’s group restaurants, farms, growers and eaters to create a better system that provides real, healthly and quick food options for everyone.

Similar to group buying sites, Foodsurge connects people with providers by using a voting-style method that ensures demand and availability for both parties.


Foodsurge 30 sec (Original Music – version 2) from Gary Wohlfeill on Vimeo.

Naturally, Detroit’s emphasis on food as a way to reinvent itself makes this project the perfect venue to bring attention to the intentions of the progressive Detroit Foodie Community. Don’t wait to cast your vote, as voting ends tomorrow! Show you support for this idea by going to yoxi to register for an account, and HERE to vote for Foodsurge/Beet Squad!

Learn more about the project by reading this story from the Detroit News Hub….and spread the word!!!

Wow, I am so freaking excited for Detroit right now. Seem like everywhere I look in national media there are mentions of cool things happening in this dynamic city.

Especially cool to see the food scene getting some well-deserved attention. Most notably the Atlantic gave the Detroit restaurant scene a healthy dose of recognition for it’s use of made-in Michigan products.

Two other examples are the NY Times article on Slow’s BBQ, and Grist’s highlighting the community organizing around urban gardening projects. The author noted about Detroit: “food has emerged as the key motivating force of Detroiters’ efforts to re-imagine their town as a thriving, livable place.”

Well said.

Detroit urban gardenNow I know the nay sayers like to scoff that urban farming is no golden ticket for Detroit, but I say give it a chance. In the face of non-existent job opportunities, Detroiters are creating their own. And we don’t know where that will go. Imagine if we bought even 25% of everything we ingest from local sources, what would that look like? I think it would create jobs and also have significant quality-of life-impact, as food connects people to each other as one of the most basic elements of our humanity.

Greening urban spaces, not only through urban gardening, but by creating sustainable, usable green spaces in the city CAN change the city.

For added inspiration, check out this TedX video about greening the ghetto by Majora Carter from the South Bronx whose commitment to urban renewal has truly made a difference.

Food can really lead the way for a better city, not just for Detroit, but for people everywhere. I believe that Detroit  is experiencing economic realities that will likely befall many cities in years to come. And our survival tactics can serve as a road map for the future.

It’s the first Sunday in September, and there’s a nip in the air this morning! As I often do on Sunday mornings, I’m off to pick up a little treat from my favorite Michigan-based coffee chain, Biggby.

Biggby - Michigan's Own Coffee More than the bright-clear sky and wear-your-hoody weather, a sign of approaching fall is the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte! Nothing says “You’d better buy some Halloween candy” like picking up a Pumpkin Spice Latte before your weekend errands.

Oh, and don’t forget their limited edition Hot Caramel Cider – particularly if you’re not interested in a wallop of caffeine. The Hot Caramel Cider is a treat worthy of calorie expenditure. Kids love it, too!

So I urge you to drive on by the ubiquitous multi-national corporates and buy Michigan, not just because it’s the right thing to do for your state and neighbors, but also because Biggbly just flat out offers a better beverage! (AND because these seasonal sippables will be gone before you know it!)

Hey, I’ve been absent from blogging for a spell, but have plenty to share with you Michigan foodies once I have time to write!

For now, I just wanted to take this opportunity to plug the appearance of Anthony Bourdain tonight in Ann Arbor. An Evening with Anthony Bourdain, author of Kitchen Confidential and host of The Travel Channel’s No Reservations, is a live Q&A session at the Michigan Theater.

Some of you may know that Mr. Bourdain came to some legendary eating establishments in a recent episode of No Reservations. I thought I would post a bit here to get you excited…
At Polonia:

At Cadieux Cafe:

Listening to WDET’s Detroit Today program this afternoon, I was pretty psyched to hear about this new snack food exhibit at The Detroit Historical Society.

Better Made Chip factory

Sorting chips at the Better Made factory, courtesy of Detroit News

Opening Saturday, September 26th, the scrumptious exhibit will feature a nostalgic look at Better Made Snack Food Company, Germack Pistachio Company, Sanders Confectionery, Stroh’s Products and Vernor’s Ginger Ale. The museum shop also promises to offer some of Detroit’s finer snacks for purchase.

From the DHS website:

Fabulous 5: Detroit’s Snack Food Superstars takes a tasteful look at the local companies that make some of Detroit’s most beloved treats.

Sounds pretty yummy. My only question is: what about Faygo?

Detroit Historical Society
5401 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48202