My Feast weekend started with the Media Breakfast at Imperial with Chef Vitaly Paley. You may remember that name from the private tasting I did at Imperial a little while back with him and Liberté Yogurt!
|Photo by MatthewDomingo via Instagram|
Breakfast consisted of (easily) the best buffet I’ve ever attended. Waitstaff wandered the restaurant with Irish Coffee, Bloody Marys, and fresh, hot coffee. I chose to pace myself, eating only one plateful of food, as I knew the day would be a marathon of amazing food and drink options.
|Photo by JenniBost via Instagram|
After breakfast I headed to Registration to pick up my pass for the weekend. Endless amounts of swag ensued. My bag included (but was not limited to): Foodie magazines galore (Bon Appetite and Portland Monthly), certificates from companies like Whole Foods, Pacific Foods, and Evo, my very first can of Pinot Noir from Union Wine Co. plus tumbler, a personal-sized King Estate Pinot Gris, Widmer Brothers coaster, USA Pears, and more–not to mention the sweet little bag in which everything came.
|Photo by Jenlikestoeat via Instagram|
|Photo by TheSpicyBee via Instagram|
After stowing my swag bag in a safe spot for the day, I sipped on a Stumptown coffee, took in some of the gorgeous weather Friday brought, and headed over toward Pioneer Square. The Oregon Bounty Tasting took up most of the afternoon. The Bounty took up all of Pioneer Square, and it was packed to the brim with people too! Beside meeting fellow foodies and filling my wine glass, I took the time to test drive a Lincoln MKZ–sort of. I not sure I would call coasting for 2 blocks around Pioneer Square amidst copious amounts of jay-walking pedestrians at 5-10mph an actual test drive. It did, however, result in a $50 gift certificate to Genoa.
|Photo by UrbanBlissLife via Instagram|
Feast Speaker Series | Transparency and GMOs: the More You Know, the Better
In the afternoon, I attended the Speakers Series on GMOs. Here are a few of my notes:
GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) also known as a GE (Genetically Engineered) product was defined in this talk as an organism that has had DNA from another organism injected into it.
- Mandatory labeling of foods would make things more transparent on the buyer’s side, as the information is already quite available on the farmer’s end. Farmers have GMO corn (for example) clearly labeled in their fields, and know when they are purchasing GE (genetically engineered) seed.
- Labeling GE food should not increase the cost of the product as all companies should already apply it to their existing budgets.
- GMO labeling should also cover animal feed
- It takes 3 years to take a GE farm and develop it into a Whole Foods level (acceptable) farm.
- As of now there is no accountability or liability in the US and Canada for GE food growers/producers.
- Right now there is a monopoly on the corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets industries, in which 90-95% of product is GMO. This increases costs for production of non-GMO crops in those industries.
- Non-Organic is less expensive in the US and Canada because:
- Tax payer dollars are actively going toward supporting non-organic farms and supportive marketing for them
- They also have much easier access to insurance policies for their crops
- Organic then because more expensive because:
- Organic certification is a long, expensive process
- Insurance for the crops is much harder to come by
- Marketing support and tax subsidies are not as readily available
- If a seed/crop has been patented, it’s likely because it is a GMO/GE item
- Non-GMO honey becomes increasingly difficult to come by due to the fact that many bees pollinate both organic and GMO fields.
Stay tuned for more FEAST a touch later this week.
For more pictures from FEAST 2013, check out these #hashtags on Instagram: