When research began for Good Food Finder a little under three years ago, the publication of the work was a way to tell the stories of family farmers and food artisans. Each profile within the directory became a snapshot into the not-always-easy lives of what it is to choose to have or be grandfathered into a small-scale food business.
Good Food Finder also quickly became a way to document and promote the diverse variety of foods each of these food providers were offering. As an Arizona native, I'd be lying if it wasn't a way for me to prove to the rest of the world that AZ has more to offer than just the 5 C's (add in the infamous "cactus" catch-all we seem to be known for as well). But it was more than that too. Cataloging "Cherokee purple tomatoes" instead of simply "tomatoes", "Grenache" instead of "red wine" or a "porter" versus just a "beer" allows Good Food Finder to tell an even better story of history and of circumstance.
Because of this the growth and usage of so many wonderful products being used in our state today, I had the pleasure of being involved with the Conservation You Can Taste publication in collaboration with Gary Nabhan, Slow Food USA, Chefs Collaborative and some of my favorite colleagues in the good food movement. It is a piece designed to reflect the growth of these diverse food varieties over the last fifteen years from the perspective of the farmers, ranchers, artisans, champions and preservationists that have contributed to their success. It is now available for free download and will be available in print at the end of the month.