Contact: Regina Weiss: 212-991-1069 • 917-288-5251 (cell) • firstname.lastname@example.orgCultivating the Web to Debut at Slow Food NationEat Well Guide’s new book highlights digital tools for farmers & foodies
New York, NY – (August 18, 2008) – 21st Century technology is reviving a centuries-old relationship between people and food. Cultivating the Web
, a new publication from Eat Well Guide, shows how digital tools are being used to do everything from support local farmers to lobby giant players in the food industry, as online communities reject industrial food. Click on the hyperlink above to view the book.
Cultivating the Web was created by the folks at Eat Well Guide (EWG), North America’s premier free online directory for finding local, sustainable food. EWG will distribute 20,000 copies of Cultivating the Web at Slow Food Nation, the four-day gathering planned for Labor Day weekend in San Francisco where tens of thousands of citizens will come together to set a national agenda for a secure, sustainable food future.
With a forward by Slow Food Nation’s Anya Fernald, Cultivating the Web is both a collection of success stories and a how-to for time-pressed non-techies who want to harness the power of digital marketing and organizing. One passage details how web-based activism led corporate giants including Starbucks, Kroger, Publix and Wal-Mart to reject the longstanding dairy industry practice of selling milk laden with hormones that are routinely fed to cows to increase production. Another outlines this year’s unprecedented level of citizen lobbying on the federal farm bill, which led to a five-fold increase in funds for research and education on organic farming, expansion of funds for low income seniors to purchase food at farmers’ markets, and a regulatory change that enables small farmers to market their meat across state lines.
Cultivating the Web highlights an initiative to turn the nation’s front stoop – the Whitehouse Lawn – into an organic garden – an idea that’s enjoying a virtual tsunami of support on the Internet. The book also illustrates how farm-themed social networking sites are promoting sustainable farming as a career, and helping farmers who want to learn from each others’ experience with organic growing practices, local marketing, and more.
As Eat Well Guide director Destin Layne put it, “Although it may seem the most unlikely of catalysts, digital technology is jogging our memories of real food and agrarian culture. We may be going back to the land, but lots of us are bringing our smart phones and laptops along.”
In Cultivating the Web, leading environmentalist and prize winning author Bill McKibben (The End of Nature, Deep Economy) notes, “It is undeniably odd and lovely that among the most important parts of our food system — a little behind rain and sun and seed — are the new digital tools that allow us to bypass the big advertisers, the mega-chains, the junk peddlers, and instead find all the other people growing, processing, cooking and eating actual, delicious food.”
Illustrating the very digital virtues it documents, Cultivating the Web will live on the Eat Well Guide website (www.eatwellguide.org
), where it will be maintained as an up-to-date resource for everyone working to promote a future of good, local, sustainable food for all.
-30-Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of thousands of family farms, restaurants, markets and other outlets of fresh, locally-grown food throughout the United States and Canada. Visitors simply enter a zip or postal code to find good food and create free printable booklets. Originally a database of sustainably-raised meat, poultry, eggs and dairy, Eat Well Guide listings have expanded over the years to include farmers' markets, CSA programs, local advocacy organizations, and vegetarian/vegan restaurants. Many listings are also accompanied by water conscious ratings.