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WHETSTONE  A print publication on food origin and culture — for the culture. Support us on Indiegogo! 👇🏾


#Pulque to the people! We love how this photo reflects its luminous taker, a shining light, @sanajaverikadri. For more of her radiance, check out her radical, direct-trade spice company, @diasporaco, and of course, #WhetstoneVolume2.

#Thanksgiving is in serious need of reframing. The genocide and attempted erasure of native people and foodways is a narrative we all need to be more steadfast in challenging. NYC: This week, the @icollective2017_ , a group of indigenous chefs, artists, farmers and academics are hosting a series of pop up dinners to help change the narrative. Checkout subsequent images for details. Shoutout to @dimestimes and @thepixieandthescout for holding space.

A whetstone is used to grind and hone your blade or tools. But you probably already knew that. That’s no coincidence. We made this magazine for you. You are someone who cares deeply about food. Perhaps you even use the tool depicted in the above image (from #OrchardSteel in Shelburne, VT). So as people who care deeply about food, you’ll feel us when we say, there’s way more to food than restaurants. Eating has always been our most essential activity as humans. Without it, there are no other activities. Surely there is more to consider than ranking restaurants. What about a profile of farmworkers in Chiapas, or a study of their indigenous diet? If that’s you, you should tooootally back our Indiegogo campaign, because we can’t send you anywhere else to get it! JUST ONE WEEK LEFT!! If you’re in a business that uses knives or whetstones, we’re happily offering a back cover listing for $100. Or perhaps, retail? The link is in our profile.
Special shoutout to our knife and whetstone slingers of record, @bernalcutlery who have made this effort possible. thankyouthankyouthankyouthankyouthankyou

Whetstone launched this spring @FoodBookFair at the @acehotelnewyork
It was impeccable timing. @kimberchou and @amanda_dell are the formidable co-captains of the annual festival — well, part festival, part conference on all things food culture. At #Foodieodicals (a festival-within-the-fair) we connected with fellow food magazine publishers from Mexico City to Tokyo. A worthwhile event, indeed! They’re extending their continuous support of our publication to you, our readers! Whoop! Subscribe via our Indiegogo campaign (link in our profile) at any interval in the next week and receive *free tickets* to #Foodieodicals 2018 in New York (or a city near you). Just leave us a note at checkout that says, #Foodieodicals. Gracias, Chicas!

Satchita Melina is an extraordinary Bay Area artist. Raised between Bologna and New York, with intermittent years between Southeast Asia and South America, her work consists of free-hand paintings and illustrations that draw on her love for the wild, eastern traditions, sexual empowerment and socio-political issues. We’re excited to publish three of her stirring environmental illustrations, and also share a sequence of photographs from her time in Bara Mangwa, a remote village set between the border of Sikkim and West Bengal. The original inhabitants of this region are the Lepcha, Nepalese, Sherpa and Bhutia people. This is one of four of her selected images in which aunties sip tea in the farmhouse. They are of Buddhist-Nepalese descent, and part of the Tamang clan, a systematically displaced aboriginal group. South Asia has been a soft spot in our #OriginForaging, and we couldn’t be more delighted to amend that with such a gifted and soulful contributor.

Burgeoning interest in clay-fermented, “orange” and “natural wines” means slowly, Georgia’s storied wine culture is expanding. ​@isawstephen chronicles a recent visit to explore the cradle of wine. “I left the southern part of the country, ​in Vardzia, ​astonished and euphoric​​ after drinking wine from a grapevine more than 400 years old. Our host, Giorgi Natenadze, is an energetic vintner, entrepreneur and preservationist. ​His homeland,​ Samtskhe-Javakheti​ was once blanketed with hundreds of distinctive grape varieties, many of ​which were destroyed during the Ottoman rule. Giorgi, ignited by his father’s tales of this once vast viticultural tradition, began climbing trees and exploring distant mountainsides for indigenous​ varieties​. To date, he’s identified (and had verified through lab testing) nearly two dozen different grapes that were previously thought to have been destroyed.” More on Giorgi and his wine #OriginForaging in #WhetstoneVolume2. Subscribe today!
Photo: @mrdavidp

Laurel Bellante takes us to #Chiapas, in Southern Mexico, where she has studied the agrarian change at the very heart of it. “Even today, as you drive through the region, fields of corn, sorghum, and cattle extend in all directions. Billboards line the road all along the way. They announce the newest seed varieties from Dekalb (Monsanto) or Pioneer (Dow-Dupont); promising ‘high yields’ and ‘drought tolerance.’ While most farmers in the highland regions of this mountainous state still farm and save their native corn varieties, here in the lowlands, native seeds have become scarce and brand name varieties are the norm.” Join us in learning more about the journey of transformation in #WhetstoneVolume2. Link in our profile.

Building on @simransethi‘s piece on diminishing biodiversity in the chocolate industry, @heleenetambet continues from the jungles of Peru, where she explores the iconic local variety - cacao chuncho. In a region well known for its prolific citrus and coffee production, chocolate – and in particular, cacao chuncho – wasn’t hard to come by. “Farmer after farmer told me how they are cultivating the best tasting, best smelling local chuncho – and only chuncho – supporting what I’d heard previously. Despite being constantly pushed out by high yielding varieties like CCN–51, chuncho’s sensory traits are hard to beat. Some say – the best chocolate in the world.” Dig deeper into the complex story of chuncho with #WhetstoneVolume2.

In sustainable food circles, the @intervalecenter is a well-known and regarded resource for farmers emerging and established. The 360-acre campus in Burlington, VT has served as an educational resource, incubator and learning center for more than three decades. Whetstone was fortunate to collaborate with staffers Sarah Alexander and Abby Portman on a story about the New Farms for New Americans, a community-based gardening and agriculture program for refugees and immigrants. Refugees resettle to seek safety, freedom, and the chance to reclaim a life and future for themselves and their families. Janine Ndagijimana, a farmer from Tanzania is one the program’s major success stories.“ Through NFNA, gardeners and farmers are able to access tracts of fertile land to grow fresh, organic, and culturally significant crops. Men, women, and children from every corner of the world can be found tending their fields and reaping the harvest.” Learn more about Janine’s story — as told by Sarah Alexander and shot by Abby Portman — in the second print edition of Whetstone.

As we attempt to better understand the complex world of cacao, we’re lucky to have @SimranSethi — author of Bread, Wine Chocolate and host of @theslowmelt podcast — as our navigator. Hidden behind the backstages of industrialized cocoa cultivation are child workers and enslaved laborers on West African plantations. Our exploitation of the planet is just as catastrophic as our exploitation of its people. Simran distills the environmental impact, and subsequent loss of the things we love: “Those [cacao growing] regions aren’t only impacted by rising temperatures. Pathogens with sinister-sounding names and devastating consequences — such as black pod rot, witches’ broom and frosty pod rot — along with mirids, moths and other insects, currently destroy between 30 and 40 percent of the world’s annual cocoa crop, with losses estimated at $2 to $3 billion. Under hotter temperatures, this could get worse.” Find this and other stories stories on the future of chocolate in volume two of Whetstone Magazine, available this month.
Photo: @simransethi

Mexico is again at the heart of our second edition. A lot is changing for the country, its incomparable gastronomic and agricultural heritage. But much of what makes it iconic endures. Under the guidance of Mexican food scholar @normalistman, Bella Luna (@theplaylust) and Sana Kadri Javeri (@sanajaverikadri), take us on a trip to #Texcoco to taste the local delicacy lamb barbacoa, prepared in underground fire pits and buried beneath the #succulent leaves of the maguey plant. “It is all too easy to get caught up in the hype and narrative that México City is having its moment, but experiences like Texcoco continue to show me, that today’s México, the vibrant, the avant-garde, the melting pot, is nothing new, rather a steady evolution over centuries, grounded in traditions that are alive today.”

Sonja Swanson & Seoyoung Jung of @bburikitchen are kindred #OriginForagers. Just as #whetstone represents the action before the action, #bburi, which means “root” in Korean is about getting to the roots of Korean cuisine. They travel South Korea exploring seasonal foods, interviewing local farms and sharing recipes on their site, www.burrikitchen.com. Here’s a snippet from their forthcoming contribution: “One startling commonality between all of these dried fish is that the vast majority of the fish no longer come from Korean waters. Overfishing and rising ocean temperatures have decimated the yellow #corvina, #pollack and #herring populations, and Korean fishing boats are going further and further afield, some as far as the #Okhotsk Sea, to bring back enough fish for the demands of the market.”​

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