Eco-Bite: Mapping Your Produce; SalmonAid

Until recently, both Bon Appetit and its Conde Nast sibling, Gourmet, shared online space via epicurious.com, perhaps the most well-known recipe portal on the Web.


Epicurious.com's peak-season map on my Apple laptop. (Kim O'Donnel)

Now they are distinctive Web entities (well, sort of) with their own domains, (bonappetit.com and gourmet.com), look and feel, offering up both re-purposed magazine content and online-exclusive multimedia wizardry.

This does not mean epicurious.com has disappeared into the Internet sunset; in fact, it seems to be developing a personality of its own. You can find both BA and Gourmet from epicurious, and what I discovered along the way is one of the coolest Web food features I've seen in a long time.

Someone rather brilliant at epicurious.com has produced a Peak-Season Map, an amazing interactive tool that provides month-by-month produce updates for all 50 states. Here's how it works: You click on a month, then you click on a state, and you get a handy-dandy pop-up list of in-season crops. Each ingredient page includes links to backgrounders as well as recipe archives. This is the smartest thing I've seen on the Web in a long time -- hooray! Check it out and share your thoughts in the comments area.

For readers here in the Washington area, you can take your in-season info a step further with washingtonpost.com's interactive farmer's market map, which is organized by day of the week.

SalmonAid
If my plans weren't putting me in Seattle this weekend, I would have booked a flight to Oakland, Calif. instead, where there will be much love for wild salmon.

SalmonAid, a two-day festival focusing on the rapidly disappearing Pacific salmon, will kick off this Saturday, May 31 at Jack London Square in Oakland.

Organized by an ad hoc group of fisherman (commercial and tribal) and environmental organizations, SalmonAid is a free event that will include live music, plenty of wild salmon on the grill (which is being flown in from Alaska, due to the cancellation of this year's Pacific salmon season) and a rally on Sunday.

The mission behind the hoopla, say organizers, is to raise awareness about the state of Pacific watershed habitats, which are suffering from both pollution and water diversions -- water that is exported and pumped out for agribusiness cropland and drinking water in southern California. The depleted waters are having a direct impact on the ongoing decline of wild salmon and steelhead trout populations.

By Kim ODonnel |  May 29, 2008; 7:45 AM ET Eco-Bites , Sustainability
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Comments

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The peak season map is a good idea, but it's not terribly accurate for Wisconsin--it says the growing season is "dormant" in May, whereas we've got tons of asparagus, rhubarb, leafy greens like sorrel and nettles, green garlic, etc.

Posted by: Phoebe | May 29, 2008 9:36 AM

Hi Phoebe, I'm the editor of Epicurious and was very interested in your comment. We got all of this information from each state, but will have someone update the Wisconsin May links. thx!

Posted by: TSteel | May 29, 2008 11:18 AM

This map isn't too accurate for Florida, either. We enjoy local strawberries from just after Christmas until some time in March; now we're reduced to eating "imports". But the map says our strawberry season is starting right about now. Would that it were true!

Posted by: dv | May 29, 2008 12:04 PM

"...plenty of wild salmon on the grill (which is being flown in from Alaska..."

How is this eco-friendly? I understand that the idea is to raise awareness about an environmental issue, but flying in wild salmon from Alaska sounds like the wrong idea.

Posted by: me | May 29, 2008 3:46 PM

to "me" at 3:46 -- It'd be great if they could have local salmon, but obviously they can't. At least this way they raise awareness. And people can eat good salmon -- sea-farmed actually threatens wild populations. It makes sense to me to support sustainable salmon fisheries in Alaska and get the fish to population centers on the west coast. Money to people who fish for salmon mean there's an economic (and strong political) interest in keeping the wild population strong. Better ecologically than flying it to the east coast, midwest, etc. no?

Posted by: cs | May 30, 2008 2:35 AM

want alaska king salmon for $12/pound? want alaska red or sockeye salmon for $10/pound?

i'll sell you fresh alaska king (chinook)and sockeye (red) salmon for way way less they you'll every pay.

alaska's only area code nine zero seven.

eight six three.

zero eight zero eight.

want alaska salmon? we will sell it to you less than anyone else will sell it to you.

alaska's area code, there's only one.

eight six three.

zero eight, zero eight.

we're democrats, so republicans don't respond.

tee hee hee.

seriously.

i am an alaskan commercial fisherman and i will sell to fresh alaska salmon to non-republicans for the price i say.

remember, if i don't sell, i am guilty of internet fraud.

Posted by: egalitaire | May 30, 2008 2:38 AM

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