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Here's some food for thought, Grand Rapids

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Food for Thought 2010

Find a collection of food-related stories in The Rapidian's special Food for Thought 2010 section.

Fresh, fast and frugal. How do you like your dinner?

Fresh, fast and frugal. How do you like your dinner? /Richard Deming

No matter where you're from, food is a popular topic. Whether it's finding the best po-boy sandwich in New Orleans, picking out the largest lobster at a shore diner in Maine, finding out what you can (although maybe you shouldn't) fry at a state fair in Minnesota or just enjoying the company of family at your own dinner table, food is a subject that we all have an opinion on. And there are many reasons people rally around the subject of food. Some champion the cause of eating healthy, others like to indulge in the creations of inspired chefs. Gardening, grocery shopping, supporting local farms and businesses and even watching a documentary can have something to do with what we eat.

On The Rapidian, food coverage is just as varied. There have been stories on food-related films ("Eating in Place" and "Food, Inc."), on community supported agriculture farms, on more mobile ways of gardening, on local restaurants and, of course, Restaurant Week. For the next few weeks, we'll be highlighting our food-related coverage in a special section titled "Eating Local 2010" (and under the Eating Local tab on the front page). This will include past coverage that is still relevant today as well as new pieces we're asking our readers and reporters to help generate.

It's quite possible you've got a food-related story of your own to share. Is there a certain signature dish you enjoy at a restaurant in Grand Rapids? Do you know a cherished recipe that's been passed down through the generations of a local family? Is there a certain time of the year that crucial ingredients are easier for you to find? What philosophy is your diet based on and why? What food traditions can be found in Grand Rapids and where did they come from? The answer to any of these questions could lead to an engaging story on The Rapidian, and that's just what we're hoping to see.

While Restaurant Week is taking place in Grand Rapids from Nov. 4-13, we're hoping to continue the conversation on local eateries, dinner tables, produce aisles, garden beds, the silver screen and elsewhere on our pages and with a Twitter Chat planned Tuesday, Nov. 9 from noon to 2 p.m. Prompts from our @verylocal account will be tweeted to followers using the hash tag #RapidianEats. You can follow the whole conversation once it's in progress by searching for #RapidianEats on Twitter or using a service like Twitterfall. I, Rapidian Content Facilitator Matthew Russell, will be moderating the chat and sending out questions like those mentioned above. It doesn't take more than a Twitter account to participate. The idea is to see what type of food-related issues people in Grand Rapids are interested in, discuss those issues and perhaps even find some willing enough to contribute a story based on the ideas we bring up.

For something that can differ so greatly from culture to culture, food in its simplest form is a globally shared interest, craft, cause and need. If you're not already signed up on The Rapidian as a new reporter, maybe the chance to write about food is your initiative. And if we haven't whet your appetite for sharing a story yet, maybe we've at least got you thinking about what's for dinner.


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This is a great follow up to the recent Moral Ground series!  What we eat is so intimately connected to  environmental responsibility.

As someone who blogs about this issue regularly, I'm happy to see others who share the same passion for local food.