Up & Coming Weekly

January 10, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/1489808

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Page 27 of 35

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW JANUARY 11 - 17, 2023 D.G. MARTIN, Contributor. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcom- ingweekly.com. 910-484-6200 North Carolina food: Great resources, great challenges by D.G. MARTIN Let's take a culinary trip across North Carolina. Our leader will be food expert and retired UNC-Chapel Hill professor Marcie Cohen Ferris. Our guidebook will be her latest book, "Edible North Carolina." For many years I traveled across our state searching for old-time country cooking eateries and simple barbecue restaurants, places where locals meet to catch up with community news. Ferris and the group of food experts she assembled for her book have taught me that I missed a lot about our state's foodways. ey are chang- ing and there is a growing awareness of conflicts between the goals of low- cost food productions, fair compensa- tion of food workers, and protection of the environment. Ferris's experts show how the state's food scenes are changing. ey explain the challenges that will face those who work for food equity and justice. For instance, food writer Andrea Weigl explains how some barbecue restaurants have been transformed from modest places serving 'que and a handful of sides and sweet tea to restaurants with "full menus with appetizers and desserts, table service, cloth napkins, a full bar and even valet parking." Back to the coast where Harkers Island advocate Karen Amspacher explains how the state's commercial fishermen work to meet the demands of customers "who want fresh, local, sustainable seafood." She worries that "campaign contributions, lobbyists, and media campaigns assure well-funded recre- ational user groups that allocations of finfish in particular, a public-trust resource, will be dedicated to those who have the time and money to fish for leisure rather than those who fish for a living and provide North Caro- linians with the state's best, freshest seafood." Durham chef and Saltbox Seafood Joint restaurant owner Ricky Moore was recently named Tar Heel of e Year by e News & Observer. He supports Amspacher's efforts, and believes that local, seasonal fish taste superior, offers more diversity, and, most important, supports North Caro- lina fisherfolk. "My guests at Saltbox want to know where to purchase their seafood. My advice is to go to your local fish market. At your neighborhood res- taurants, do they serve regional fish? Where do they source their fish? Do not assume that all North Carolina restaurants get their seafood from our coast. Ask questions. What part of the North Carolina coast does the seafood come from? Is the fish in season? How do they acquire their seafood, where and when and from whom?" Former UNC Chapel Hill and cur- rent Emory University professor Me- linda Maynor Lowery takes readers to Robeson County where her Lumbee Indian kin introduce us to fried corn- bread and collard sandwiches, food traditions they share with non-Indian rural neighbors. Durham resident and N.C. State community food system outreach coordinator Shorlette Ammons "grew up Black and Country, and honestly, I have never had a strong desire to be anything else." Her description of the annual hog killing contrasts with the "environ- mental cost of industrial hog farm- ing." Struggling "to work effectively within institutions that historically perpetuated racial injustice re- quires a fair amount of soul search- ing," she says. But, she continues, "Food, farm- ing, family, freedom--and the audacity to confront the contradic- tions they muster--are inherent to our history these stories are weight- ed by ancestry and remembrance, like the heaviness of wet tobacco leaves." ese examples and many others demonstrate how Ferris's authors give recognition to North Carolina's admirable food resources and the challenges that accompany them. LITERATURE

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