Want to stay close to your food source? This season, cook with heirloom grains, meats, beans and more.
Concerns about a lack of diversity in the food supply (75 percent of the world’s food today comes from just 12 plant and 5 animal species, according to some estimates) are spiking interest in heirloom foods, produced by farmers and ranchers who prize flavor and nutrition over production efficiency.
What are heirloom foods?
Although there’s no single definition or certification for heritage and heirloom foods, they’ve become known as those that were raised decades, if not centuries, ago—before modern agriculture began cultivating animals and plants for certain genetic traits.
Which heirloom foods should I choose?
Around the holidays, savor heirloom grains like Kamut, amaranth, and teff or varieties of beans such as heirloom pintos. If you eat meat, ask your butcher about heirloom breeds of turkey, pork, lamb, bison, beef, and chicken.