We’re pleased to announce the election of Anson Mills’ Glenn Roberts and agricultural ecologist Kraig Kraft to Slow Food USA’s Ark of Taste Committee, the group that reviews nominations to Slow Food USA’s catalog of over 200 delicious foods in danger of extinction. By promoting and eating Ark of Taste products Slow Food is making sure these foods remain in production and on our plates.
Glenn Roberts is a natural fit for the Ark Committee. While he is best known for his small-batch, artisanal, heritage grits and polenta that appear on ingredient-conscious restaurant menus around the country, Roberts spends much of his time and resources on the Carolina Gold Rice Foundation, which works to advance the sustainable restoration and preservation of Carolina Gold Rice and other heirloom grains and to raise public awareness of the importance of historic ricelands and heirloom agriculture. His work as an entrepreneur and as a seed-saver has made him absolutely essential in the preservation of Southern grain heritage. (to read more about Glenn and see pictures from his mill, click here).
“I love the challenge of making relevant nearly forgotten or little known aromas, flavors and textures of the extraordinary foods of America, both past and present,” says Roberts. “That these foods are without exception culturally vital, local, low input, low fuel and reach perfection only with careful and slow preparation seems astonishingly fitting for our time.”
Kraig Kraft’s expertise as a scientist and researcher make him a perfect addition to the Committee. Kraig is a PhD candidate at UC Davis, where he studies the genetic diversity of chile peppers, tracing the lineage of our domesticated peppers to their ancestral wild populations. His career has included education and program leadership for numerous international development projects in sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, and grassroots community development, and his expertise has been recognized and supported by numerous awards. He has a passion for not only food but the related traditions and landscapes in which they are rooted. For Kraft, “The Ark of Taste represents an important effort towards the conservation and preservation of agricultural diversity and their association culinary traditions. The stories of these foods and crops tell our own histories. They are part of our cultural heritage that we need to remember and renew.”