For TLP’s first-ever “green” issue, the team set out to gather and share stories of food sustainability from around the South. It’s on all our minds daily: How to live in a way that reduces harm to the earth and its natural resources; how to support those businesses and services that are committed to the same. In the world of food, it turns out, the opportunities are growing every day.
Those luscious, unfurling leaves on our cover are grown hydroponically and harvested in a greenhouse at Biltmore, the George Vanderbilt estate that marks the region just south of downtown Asheville, North Carolina. Not many of the 1.4 million visitors to the landmark are aware that the estate supports a working farm—from a closed-loop cattle operation to a 50-acre vineyard to those hydroponic greenhouses, the estate is getting ever closer to the self-sustaining vision Vanderbilt once set forth.
For “The Green Beyond the Grandeur,” I made my way to Asheville to get a peek behind the curtain at the many involved systems that make up Biltmore’s beating heart—including the efforts they’re making to be as sustainable as possible.
Greens play a big part in vegan and vegetarian diets, and as writer Debra Freeman explores in this issue, those diets are taking hold in a greater number of Black communities than ever before. But the reasons go beyond health—and go back farther than any recent trends. In “Vegan is the New Black,” she looks at the roots of this movement while visiting with a handful of those who are leading the charge today.
For Lia Grabowski West, the question isn’t, “Where are we camping out?” It’s “What are we cooking when we get there?” In her trial-by-fire experience, she’s learned what works and what doesn’t when cooking beside a campfire—and it’s not all hot dogs and canned goods. She shares the tips and tricks to an effective “leave no trace” experience—and yes, it involves s’mores.
From micro-farming systems that could change urban agriculture to dairy-free ice creams and natural wines in Texas, there’s a world of sustainable options to explore in this issue. Here’s hoping it inspires you to make this your own summer of green.
Erin Byers Murray, Editor in Chief
Three Delicious Examples of Food Sustainability
Crispy Butterbean Burger | Post House Inn, Charleston
This play on the veggie burger crunches like falafel but bursts with a bright green interior. The carrot slaw and sesame bun offer a nice assist.
Korean BBQ Fried Jackfruit | Radical Rabbit, Nashville
All the wings, zero meat. For these crave-worthy jackfruit snacks, chef Mariah Ragland fries and then slathers the textured fruit with a bright, zingy glaze.
Vegan Rouxed Peas | North of Bourbon, Louisville, Kentucky
Though chef Lawrence Weeks can (and does) load this dish up with tasso, the vegan option allows the peas with mushrooms and mustard greens to shine.
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