When the first Europeans came to what is now North America, they found peoples skilled at not only surviving in this land—but thriving. Flash forward a few centuries and the situation couldn’t be more different. In most indigenous communities today, self-sufficiency has been replaced by dependency on imported food and frighteningly high levels of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
In a 2012 report, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, wrote that Indigenous peoples in Canada have a history of political and economic marginalization, and this has severely damaged their quality of life. Nearly 60 percent of First Nation children in the province of Manitoba don’t get enough to eat, while 70 percent of those living in Nunavut faced food shortages. De Schutter says this is a shocking six times higher than the national average.
But thankfully, the practice of food sustainability is gaining momentum, particularly among Indigenous peoples and communities. Everything from chicken-rearing and sausage-making to bison sliders served out of an Indigenous-owned food truck.
Meet just a few of the people working to reverse history and regain control of the foods communities eat:
Joshua Dockstator — Mohawk, Hamilton, Ontario
“A lot of people are starting to embrace food trucks, it’s not just a fish and chip truck or a lunch truck at job sites,” says Joshua Dockstator. “It’s actually a place to go and have a good meal and good quality food.”
Imagine trying a wild boar bacon BLT, bison sliders or a pulled venison sandwich for lunch. The Big Chief food truck is now proudly serving the streets of Hamilton, Ontario and surrounding areas. As his first business, it was important for Doxstador to honour his late grandmother while doing it. “I was looking for a way to still have that connection with her,” says Doxstador. His beloved grandmother Reta Doxstador passed away a year ago, but before she did, she instilled a love of food and food preparation in Doxstador.
With a small inheritance from her estate, he opened a food truck business in one of Canada’s hottest markets for mobile eats.
His grandmother and mother taught him the basics; next, he added a traditional, yet contemporary twist to Indigenous cuisine. “It’s been a family affair,” says Doxstador. His wife takes care of the advertising and social media, while his mother and sister work inside the truck.
“The response has been overwhelming.” He’s been selling out since he’s been opened. “People are going crazy for it, they love the game meat. I thought I’d have to convince people to do it.” As the seasons change, Doxstador will revise his menu. He is looking forward to making a cold strawberry soup to serve to his customers.
Leon Simard — Anishinabe, Manigotagan, Manitoba
Meet Leon Simard, from Manigotagan, Manitoba and member of the Hollow Water First Nation. For the last three years he’s witnessed an awakening among First Nation individuals and communities. “The people are really, really keen,” says Simard. Simard works as a food security coordinator for the province of Manitoba. He travels to 63 First Nation communities to teach everything from community gardening, greenhouse construction to raising backyard chickens.
“People were stressed, they were playing Farmville and then they got chickens and they realized they have to play Farmville for real,” laughs Simard. “It’s like an awakening thing.”
Simard noticed people becoming healthier and not taking their usual medication because of gardening. His work also takes him inside the schools. “It’s sometimes their first time seeing seedlings and potting things,” says Simard about First Nation children. “Especially with the youth, once they start getting their hands in the mud, it just takes off.”
Communities such as Peguis, Popular River and Cross Lake are just a few of the champion communities. Popular River now has six greenhouses and the Peguis First Nation will be hosting a farmer’s market this summer at their annual fair.
“It’s about utilizing what you got,” says Simard. “There’s so many reserves that I drive through—especially Manitoba—they’re located in agricultural areas and then you realize you’re on a reserve.”
Growing up, Simard remembers his late-grandmother having chickens and a garden. “It brings back memories when I’m traveling, especially with chickens,” says Simard. He also recalls everyone in Manigotogan tending to a garden. Now, he is just happy to revitalize food sustainability. “It reminds me a lot of the old Indian Agent days; here I am with my gardening supplies encouraging them to be in agricultural,” chuckles Simard.
Greg Powless — Mohawk, Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory
“I can live off the grid if I want to,” says Greg Powless referring to his garden, back-up generator and water supply.
He remembers as a young boy hovering over an uncle tending a garden passed down from his late-grandfather.
He made sure to pass these skills on too. “I’ve been teaching my kids how to survive off the land,” he shares. For Powless, the key is to become self-sufficient. It goes back to an Iroquoian prophecy for him—a belief that the world economy will collapse, forcing people to live off the land in order to survive.
After experimenting with modern garden methods and realizing the ground was getting worn out, today Powless uses what his ancestors may have utilized. “I went back to the old methods, the old Iroquoian methods that looked at companion planting, at enrichment—the three sisters,” says Powless. This is about planting food that works well together.
Using a square foot method (growing food in boxes), Powless can begin planting in March and grow up to 200 plants a year, having a total of 18 boxes of food. He also has a potting shed to grow mostly greens under lights. The food is not only for his family, he gives a lot of it away.
Powless also created store houses, something the Iroquois have done to store food during the winter months. In the fall, Powless will pick all the carrots and bring them into a cold cellar storing them in sand. “There’s enough moisture in the sand to keep them fresh,” he says. “They are good until February.” He’s planted herbal medicines for a while, but he knows the land will naturally provide them for him. For Powless, being with the land is healing. “I always found a connection…that connection to the land is in me, it’s in a lot of people.”
Food Security in Nishnawbe Aski Nation
Food sustainability efforts are even reaching into rural Indigenous communities. The ‘Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Get Growing Project,’ a two-year pilot project funded by the province, spearheaded several food sustainability initiatives in northwestern Ontario.
“They actually preserved enough food in a community for three months, if there was a crisis or if food couldn’t be brought into the community,” says Wendy Trylinski, a community program manager at the Nishnawbe Aski Nation, referring to a northern First Nation community that participated in the project. She said, it raised the dialogue about food security for that community. “People can actually take action and address it on their own.”
The NAN Get Growing Project involved everything from gardening, chicken rearing, canning to sausage-making. Trylinski said the project has even helped people to lose weight, maintain their diabetes and create a special space for the young. “Children used to come in and visit her and they thought it was a safe place to be and talk to her about their day,” says Trylinski about a First Nation woman’s garden.
Although the project has come to a close now, 49 Chiefs of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation are currently developing a food sovereignty framework with their community members to continue the engagement and to address the need. First Nation communities also took it upon themselves to see past ‘Get Growing.’ One community will be building a learning barn for school-age children to teach them about food sustainability. Another community launched a good food box program. “Every two weeks they [the community] brought 55,000 pounds of food in 2012 and marketed it through a non-profit structure so people are only paying the true cost,” says Trylinski. “I think certainly the challenge is dealing with remote communities and connecting them with each other to share knowledge,” says Joseph LeBlanc, community project coordinator with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation. But through videoconferencing, First Nation members will be able to come together to learn more about gardening with an experienced organic farmer.
For the last four years, the Nishnawbe Aski Nation has held an annual food symposium. This year’s event, July 23-25, will focus on traditional medicines and youth engagement.
We are writing in response to Cody Thatcher’s Local View column July 19, “City food trucks should roam free.” While we appreciate and share Thatcher’s enthusiasm for the trucks, he does not quite understand the current situation.
Thatcher alleges the city’s proposal bans food trucks from public property within 150 feet of restaurants because it might interfere with “certain elected officials’ businesses.” His conflict of interest accusation is unfair and unwarranted because neither the mayor nor any City Council members have ownership stakes in any restaurant.
Thatcher also calls the city “hypocritical” because we have allowed, and even encouraged, food trucks at Union Plaza events. In fact, encouraging food trucks to congregate at events in city parks was made in response to requests from the food vendors themselves.
There are legitimate traffic congestion, safety, and yes, fairness issues for both restaurants and the food carts who pay fees for their sidewalk vending operations. The proposal offered to the council took these concerns into consideration. That proposal would allow food trucks with proper permits to operate downtown in certain designated areas for periods of up to 24 hours, very similar to what Thatcher proposed. Unfortunately, the food trucks we contacted were not especially interested or supportive. It was not unreasonable for the council to decline an ordinance when there was little interest from the affected business sector.
If someone has a solution, the city is open to the discussion. But unwarranted accusations of hypocrisy and unethical behavior won’t get us there.
Roy Christensen, City Council, and Rick Hoppe, chief of staff, Mayor Chris Beutler
Here is a lineup of the food trucks serving dinner tonight:
- Buen Provecho serves a “taste of Puerto Rico at your fingertips.”
- Blaxican brings together Mexican and soul food.
- Freckled Blue “feeds an Atlantan in need” with every meal purchased.
- Hail Cesar uses “only the freshest ingredients” sourced close to Atlanta.
- Happy Belly is Smyrna’s hometown food truck.
- Ibiza Bites‘s motto is “Life is food! Taste life!”
- Mix’d Up is inspired by Rock and Roll.
- King of Pops brings popsicles on wheels!
- Pressed for Time serves up paninis.
- The French Truck is “A Movable Feast” that brings “exquisitely crafted” crepes to the neighborhood.
- Viet-Nomie’s offers authentic and healthy Vietnamese food
- WOW Food Truck is the only food truck serving Arepas in Atlanta.
- Yum Yum Cupcake claims to be the first mobile dessert truck in Atlanta.
- Yumbii boasts it’s Atlanta’s first food truck.
Public parking is available adjacent to the playground and mini
ampitheatre, and also at Community Bank of the South, Covenant Christian
School and Smyrna Presbyterian Church. Parking is limited, so walking
or biking is encouraged.
Smyrna Food Truck Tuesdays are recycling friendly. Look for recycling containers and help keep the park clean.
Don’t miss this food-related news from around the Baltimore metro area:
La Cakerie Launching Food Truck
Towson bakery and cafe La Cakerie will be launching a food truck that will hit the streets in about a month, according toTowson Patch. Owner Jason Hisley, a Parkville resident who has been featured on Food Network, said the truck will feature made-from-scratch savory and sweet selections such as gourmet pretzel dogs, cupcakes, quiches and croissants.
Five Days Left Until Baltimore Restaurant Week
Get excited! The most delicious week of summer is back this year from July 26 to Aug. 4 with many of Baltimore’s best restaurants offering special three-course menus for $30.13 and $20.13. Plus, some restaurants are offering two-course lunch menus for $15.13.
Flameworks Heats Up White Marsh
The owners of the old Frames To Flames hot rod shop now fire up a grill in White Marsh, according to Perry Hall Patch. The roadside steakhouse at 11244 Pulaski Highway is a homage to owner’s Mike “Smitty” Smith’s second passion in life—hot rods.
Champs Grill To Close, Auction Set
Champs Grill is closing for good July 28, and an auction will be held July 30, according to Catonsville Patch. The privately-owned bar and eatery located at 6600 Baltimore National Pike, closes July 28, an employee says.
Voting Ends Monday for Baltimore’s Maryland Crabs
Keep voting, Baltimore! Baltimore’s Maryland crabs are listed among the 20 regional specialties selected for the Best Iconic American food category by USA TODAY’s expert panel. Voting for the Best Iconic American Foods category ends at noon on Monday, July 22, 2013 and the winner will be revealed on 10Best.com and USA TODAY on Wednesday, July 24, 2013.
Summer Sundays Prime Rib Dinner Returns
Fleming’s Prime Steak House Wine Bar‘s Summer Sundays prime rib dinner has returned, according to the Sun. Enjoy a salad, dessert and a choice of one side with the prime rib, which is served with a trio of sauces.
Family League Joins Summer Food Service Program
The Baltimore housing agency will be helping out a program that delivers food throughout West Baltimore’s Penn North and Upton neighborhoods on weekdays, according to the Sun.
Planning Board Passes New Food Truck Laws
It’s now up to the Baltimore County Council to approve of the new regulations the Planning Board passed Thursday. The regulations include laws outlining the definition of a food truck, where trucks are allowed to park and more, according to the Sun.
How To Make a Hershey’s Chocolate Snow Ball
Breyer’s vanilla ice cream and crunchy ice make this summer treat delicious, said Andy Hoffman, owner of Gourmet Again.
Need A Summer Wine? The Wine Source Recommends…
If you’re looking for a wine for your next cookout or summer party, consider these options from The Wine Source in Hampden.
Hampden Ice Cream Parlor Opened Saturday
The Charmery on 801 W. 36th St. in Hampden opened Saturday, according to the Baltimore Sun. The shop requested outdoor seating earlier this month.
Vino Rosina Closed Saturday, New Place to Open
Former Top Chef contestant Jesse Sandlin closed the three-year-old restaurant on July 20, according to an email sent out on July 1, and will be transforming into Oliver Speck’s Eats Drinks with a focus on “comfort food and barbecue,” according to Baltimore magazine. Fun fact: The new restaurant was named after Jesse’s pet Juliana Pig, a type of mini pig.
Thousands Attend Artscape
Did you make it to Artscape in Baltimore, the largest free arts festival in America? More than 150 fine artists, fashion designers and craftspeople showcased their work over the weekend, with concerts, food demonstrations, art cars and other attractions spanning 13 city blocks. Patch was there andgot some cooking lessons from a top chef.
The Detroit Coney Food Truck has legit french fries
on Tue, Jul 23, 2013 at 9:00 AM
It’s too easy to use frozen french fries. They’re readily available. They cook consistently. And most of us just gobble them down with no regard to whether they started fresh or frozen. So if you’re going to serve fresh fries out of a mobile kitchen, you really have to care how your fries taste. And it’s clear that the Detroit Coney Food Truck cares.
The rolling homage to the hot dog of the Motor City has some killer fries ($4, available in cheese, chili or chili-cheese iterations). They’re skin-on, beautifully crispy on the outside and soft like fire-kissed marshmallows on the inside. They come out of the window too hot to eat, but you’ll sear the roof of your mouth anyway as you shove spuds in your face with all the self-control of Amanda Bynes and an open Twitter account.
For those who have been to Detroit, you’ll find the food truck’s Coney (there’s a book dedicated to the Michigan tradition) to be an accurate representation of the ubiquitous franks. Topped with yellow mustard, a thin chili – existing somewhere on the spectrum between sauce and tailgaiting chili – and raw white onion, it’s a multi-napkin affair. In a city starved for hot dogs, it’s a welcome addition.
All this sounds great on paper, right? But recent headlines point to what could be the dark horse of the endeavor. Food safety. As with any brick and mortar restaurant, this should always be a major concern…perhaps even more so for new trucks. Patrick Lynch, owner and operator of Bon Me says “The food truck trend had just started rolling into Boston when we got our start, and a lot of people still had the old “roach coach” mentality in mind.” This mentality for the most part, has become an antiquated one. Nowadays food trucks look sleek, polished and inviting. Upon first glance, the average customer is probably more likely to think of gorging on salmon and hitting up Twitter than they are about getting salmonella and hitting the sh…, well, toilet…
At least until recently. The Clover Food Lab could easily be named the pioneers of the Boston food truck scene and may also be the most popular. CEO Ayr Muir and co. have been safely dishing up unique vegetarian dishes from an always-expanding variety of locations for over 5 years now. Yet, they are now closed and have been for a week. Although it’s not yet clear if they are responsible for any of the recently reported cases of salmonella, what is clear is that even if their food was never tainted, their reputation has been.
A multitude of news reports sprang up on the closing of Clover almost instantly, ranging from the “lynch the poisoners!” type article to those showing tenderness towards the small business. These articles, more or less, work to illustrate the attitudes of customers. Of course there will be backlash…Hungry folks may choose to skip the lunch truck as echoes of “risk” and “safety” bounce around the empty recesses of their stomachs. Alternately, looking at the comments section of the Clover website proves other people are not as ready give up their grub.
One commenter “Suzanne” says “I hope this all ends soon and you’re back out in the truck so I can get my sandwich and some french fries!”
While another former employee attests to the health and safety priorities of the business saying “I’m letting family and friends know that the article is extremely misleading.”
Food trucks like Clover, most often serve a rather small niche menu. And this menu is often served to a rather niche clientele. Not everyone feels safe dining at such establishments but those who do, can be fiercely loyal. So what to do when your business comes under fire? Well, what Muir did, and is doing, seems to be working. He is approaching his business’s PR disaster much like he approaches the business itself…by engaging his customers directly.
Clover has always utilized the idea of complete transparency. Whether it be through sharing recipes, letting people know which farms their produce comes from or even posting their budget model to help prospective newbs like myself, they’ve always operated as an open-source company. Now, instead of shying away from the issue at hand, Muir has been posting almost-daily updates on health inspections, answering questions about procedures and offering plans for upgrading some the kitchen’s now scrutinized operations.
Will the impact on sales be massive? There is no true way of telling. But Muir’s harm-reduction strategy via an open line of communication certainly appears the best approach to recovering gracefully. He is reassuring customer’s that he cares and being reassured by his customers that they care.
So has this scared me away from the food truck business? Not yet. But examining some of the hiccups that can arise in owning such a business is an essential part of starting one. Here are some things I plan to pay special attention to before my rig hits road:
1. Consistency. Almost like following a recipe, airplane pilots have a checklist of things to tick off every time they take off. Whether we’re talking about what goes between the bread or how the fry-o-lator is cleaned. Don’t slack, it needs to be the same every time.
2. Mangement. One of the problems cited by Clover’s inspectors was lack of a proper Person in Charge. No matter how experienced an employee may be, they should always have oversight.
3. Training. Food trucks may appear to be small operations but oft times there are more people with their phalanges in your falafel than you’d care to imagine. Make sure all employees from dishwasher to driver are educated and certified according to standards.
4. Regulations: Be up to date on all health and safety (and parking!!) rules. They change for a reason and you need to change with them.
Arvid Brown graduated from Emerson College, took a few very long trips to the far side of the globe, and is now rediscovering America as the multimedia sensation he always knew he would be.
Jul 23, 201309:49 AMTable Talk
Steve Markham, the owner of One3Five Cuisine
Steve Markham, owner of the popular one3five cuisine truck that’s been stationed in the parking lot of the Montgomery Farm Women’s Cooperative Market since 2011, is taking over the former Majestic Bar Grille right down the street.
The Majestic, which also previously housed the long-running Gaffney’s, closed this spring. The new restaurant, which will aptly be called Markham’s, will open sometime in September.
Markham said he’s aiming for a neighborhood gathering place that will be open late. As for the menu, look for about a dozen appetizers (think Southern fried oysters, homemade biscuits and ham), five salads, a dozen sandwiches, burgers and some nightly special entrees.
Some of the items will be the same or similar to the appealing offerings at the food truck, but with more options and side dishes. For example, the signature bahn mi made with marinated pork loin will be available at the restaurant in a version with panko-crusted oysters.
Interestingly, he still plans to keep the food truck going, and believes the two operations will “work off the other.” There’s a “market for both,” he said.
Markham, who lives in Chevy Chase, has had a long career in the restaurant and hospitality business, and was the general manager of the Arts Club of Washington before opening his mobile eatery.
The chef of Markham’s will be Billy Colliton, who most recently was the executive chef at the Arts Club, and has worked at a number of other downtown restaurants, Markham said.
Markham is planning to renovate the outdoor patio at the restaurant, and provide free parking in the farm market lot.
7141 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda
Meanwhile, Jon Rossler, owner of the terrific Corned Beef King food truck, has landed a regular spot at Bethesda’s BP Auto Service Center on Old Georgetown Road. The former gas station is still operating as a service center, but Rossler’s truck will occupy the area that formerly housed the gas pumps. He’s hoping to add some picnic tables (to seat about a dozen people), jazz up the space with colored lights, and offer delivery to local businesses.
The truck will be stationed there Tuesdays through Sundays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., starting Tuesday, July 30.
7725 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, www.cornedbeefking.com
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -
Mobile food vendors wanting to do business in downtown Las Vegas have until 5 p.m. Monday to register for a lottery that would allow them access to three legal parking spots on a rotating basis.
The city of Las Vegas announced licensed food vendors are eligible to register for the lottery, which will take place on July 29 at City Hall.
Under a program regarding the spaces, the designated spots will allow mobile food venders to operate legally. The proposal, which was approved by Las Vegas city council in February, was created after a vote last October that banned food trucks from setting up within 150 feet from brick and mortar restaurants.
Violations of the ordinance will carry fines of up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail.
The lottery registration requires a $50 non-refundable fee with a complete form filed with Parking Services, which is located at the ground floor of the City Hall parking garage at 500 S. Main St.
Registration can also be made at the Business Services Division on the sixth floor of the Development Services Center at 333. N Rancho Dr.
The three designated spaces are located at 100 Bonneville Ave. near the Bonneville Transit Center; 400 block of S. Third Street, near the Regional Justice Center; and 1 Lewis Ave. near City Hall.
Copyright 2013 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.
Brian Finks, the chef-driver behind the popular Fired Up Taco Truck, has secured a second rig.
“Initially, we were going to do Fired Up Taco Two, but we decided on Chilled Ice Cream Truck,” says Finks.
This ice cream truck will be more than just a roving scoop shop, he promises. “We are focusing on sophisticated desserts,” he says. “In order to do that we have to design the interior of the truck like a real functional kitchen. This will allow us to get very creative.”
Rather than make the ice cream, Fink says they’ll leave that part of the process to local pros. “We want to keep things local, so we are currently sourcing a brand that is local to Cleveland to provide us with hard packed ice cream.”
The initial menu will include gourmet scooped ice cream cones, creative sundaes, and convenience desserts like a grab-and-go homemade pie a la mode.
Finks even has his big debut all planned out.
“First, the plan for Chilled is to be at all the downtown food truck events like Walnut Wednesday,” he says. “But we will primarily aim for catering and big events.”
Be on the look out for Chilled to hit the streets next spring.
KNOXVILLE (WATE) – A public meeting is scheduled for next week to consider policies the city of Knoxville should set for food truck vendors.
The meeting will be held Wednesday, July 31, at 5:30 p.m. at the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce, 17 Market Square.
According to a release from city officials, they will present ideas they have gathered from other cities, including Nashville. They have been working with local vendors to develop a pilot program for regulating food truck operation on public and private property.
The public is welcome to comment at the meeting.
Anyone needing disability accommodations can contact City ADA Coordinator Stephanie Brewer Cook at (865) 215-2034 or email@example.com.
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