Eat this, nation!

Bruce Cole of Saute Wednesday launched a new blog this week called Edible Nation. The latest in the network of Edible Communities publications, which include various regional print quarterlies focusing on sustainable agriculture and the local food scene, EN looks so far like it’ll be both a fun read and a solid news source (though it has some kinks to work out in aligning itself with the overall mission of EC).

The bacon wallet is a great find, and I like Bruce’s personal notes about grass-fed beef. The graphics on “What the Duck?” and “Iowa to vote…” are also charming, and the latter post points to some really interesting articles and stats that I probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

But Bruce could have given the link to the Kerrymaid “happy cows” ad a little more context: Some cursory googling reveals that the Kerrymaid brand is actually part of a huge convenience-foods company that doesn’t seem to adhere to any special animal-husbandry standards or doesn’t mention them if it does —which makes the “happy cows” claim look pretty wack. The Happy Cows TV ads for the California dairy industry have always annoyed me for similar reasons. Those cows masquerade as cuddly little California Raisins-style mascots, but secretly they’re on a mission to quash any consumer concerns about how dairy cows are treated and capitalize on the growing demand for natural products. Point being, I’d love to see EN (which is in position to become the authoritative blog on sustainable farming) get to the bottom of some of these PR campaigns.

And then there’s the slightly odd choice of partnering with Amazon.com. Given Edible Communities’ commitment to local, independent businesses (many of which despise the online giant), you’d think the EN blog would offer its users the choice of buying books from a different company. Why not use BookSense.com or Powells.com, like many other progressive and socially responsible sites?

These quibbles aside, I’m excited to keep reading Bruce’s new project. (Let’s just hope he doesn’t totally ditch out on the lovely Saute Wednesday!)

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