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On August 27th, on the eve of the Slow Food USA National Congress and Slow Food Nation, the Slow Food USA Ark Committee held its annual meeting in Mill Valley, CA to review, taste and “board” new foods to the Ark of Taste (you know, like the animals, two by two…).

The Ark of Taste—a catalog of foods threatened by industrial standardization, the regulations of large-scale distribution and environmental damage—is a tool that helps farmers, ranchers, fishers,
chefs, retail grocers, educators and consumers celebrate our country’s diverse biological, cultural and culinary heritage. In an effort to cultivate consumer demand—key to agricultural conservation—only the best tasting endangered foods make it onto the Ark.

Yesterday’s newly boarded foods include the Fuerte avocado, Reefnet salmon fishing method of Northern Puget Sound, New England Boiled cider and cider jelly, Piki bread, Randall cattle, Black Republican cherry, Kiawe honey, Gallberry honey, Sourwood honey, Datil pepper, Black Sphinx date, Cayuga duck and the Hatcher mango.

Now back to the Reefnet salmon fishing method…this one’s particularly interesting because it is not a food, per se, but rather an endangered method, one that’s sustainable and historically significant and, sadly, one that is all too rare. Says Riley Starks of Lummi Island Wild:

“It is wonderful that this endangered Northwest Native American fishing method is getting this recognition. It shows that truly sustainable fishing methods deserve to continue and they are valuable, not just to the fish stocks but to people who rely on the fish stocks.”

Profiles of the newly boarded products will be on the Slow Food USA website soon. Click here to learn more about the program and members of the Ark Committee.