Uncommon Carriers, by John McPhee. A short, 256-page read from one of the best writers who get in the field to explain our world. Using his experience, riding along with train engineers and barge pilots, he gives readers a close-up look at how these people move our stuff across the country.
The Container Guide, by Craig Cannon and Tim Hwang, started as a Kickstarter campaign and can now be found at Amazon or your local bookstore. Imagine tracking ships and their containers in ports across America. Be a container-spotter.
Sweetgreen’s WasteED salad. A way to put your mission where your mouth is, this offering from a new food venture, is a project of Sweetgreen’s and Dan Barber. Only found in the Northeast (too bad), this delicious salad uses all the peels and turnip ends left behind by the food preppers. Scrumptious and virtuous in one bite.
Wild Maine Blueberries. These tiny, bullets of blueberry bliss arrived in August this year, raked on the barrens along the Maine Coast, where we summer. Spent a foggy morning, stirring pots of bubbling berry jam, now ready for dispersal to my Austin friends.
Primo, Melissa Kelly’s restaurant in Rockland, Maine. Melissa takes farm to table to the extreme. Met her during the 1990s when we sold our heritage pigs to her fledgling restaurant, now home to a full herd of pigs and broad swaths of vegetables and herbs that grow just outside the window of adoring diners.
Moveable Feasts by Sarah Murray. “No, not Hemingway’s” you’ll have to say if you ask for this at a bookstore (or skip the confusion and get it from Amazon), but when you pick up this book you will wonder why more people don’t know about it. Murray picks food items as simple as chewing gum to as complex as yogurt to make up each chapter. She traces the food’s origins and explores its contemporary incarnations. Oh, and while she’s at it, she uses the these foods as a lens to discuss globalization, the Roman empire and the future of military technology. Her argument? Food has always been on the move. My argument? Everyone should read this book.
Sage, an app created by Sam Slover. While I haven’t used it yet, I read about this app on Tech Crunch back in May and I’m still excited to see where it goes. Having data about the food in my hand would help answer every (somewhat neurotic) question I have while grocery shopping. It probably still won’t tell me if a food combination I’m dreaming up is “weird” or not, though.
The Box by Marc Levinson. What should be the most boring history you’ve ever read--literally an entire book about a steel box--is actually anything but dull. Levinson paints vivid scenes of the enormity, ubiquity, simplicity and technology behind containerization. You’ll see after the first chapter, even, just how much the shipping container made the world what it is today. Now, if only Levinson would sit down and write one about pallets...
Clover Food Lab--Only found in Boston (and nearby Cambridge and Somerville), Clover Food Lab’s founder Ayr Muir has his eye on reducing the carbon emissions and wastefulness of fast food. Except for the speed component, Clover does pretty much everything differently than most fast food places. Muir is an MIT engineer who is all about using systems efficiency and data to achieve sustainability. We’ll see how long it takes for Clover to scale, but for now I’ll enjoy those rosemary fries while I’m in Boston.